Vincent (Tony) Charlemagne is pictured in this photo released by the OLG Friday November 29, 2013. (Handout)
News Americas, TORONTO, Canada, Fri. Nov. 29, 2013: This Christmas will be brighter for St. Lucia-born, Canadian immigrant, Vincent (Tony) Charlemagne, who has finally been able to claim his $30-million lotto jackpot.
A regular LOTTO MAX and LOTTO 6/49 player, Charlemagne checked his ticket in August when he went to purchase a ticket for the next week’s draw.
“I scanned my ticket on the self-checker. When I saw all the numbers, I didn’t think it was real. I thought I won just a couple bucks,” explained Charlemagne. “I then asked the retailer to validate my ticket and that’s when I found out – I won the jackpot!”
Charlemagne, a self-employed contractor, was in such shock that he decided not to go to work that day but instead went home to take a shower to clear his head.
Then he shared the news with family. “I called my cousin, and said ‘I catch it, man!’ He didn’t believe me until I went over to show him the ticket.”
The two men then sat back, celebrated with a couple drinks and waited for the rest of the family to arrive so they could share the good news.
Charlemagne’s prize was paid after a prize claim review fully confirmed him as the winner making him Toronto’s newest multi-millionaire with a cheque of $30,350,652.50.
“It was a long process,” admitted Charlemagne. “However, all along I knew that I held the winning ticket so I wasn’t worried. The wait has made getting my cheque today that much sweeter.”
Although he has had plenty of time to think about his plans for his windfall, he has made no definite decisions yet.
“My wife and I will probably buy a new house and a new car. But what I’m really looking forward to is visiting my family and friends in St. Lucia.”
The winning ticket was purchased at M&D Variety on Main Street in Toronto. Lottery winners are reminded to always sign their tickets with their legal first names or initials to minimize any delay during the prize verification process.