A young woman from Northern Ontario is rounding out her teen years with a $48 million lotto jackpot. It’s the first ticket she’s ever bought.
“I just turned 18 and my grandfather suggested I buy a lottery ticket for fun,” Juliette Lamour of Sault Ste. Marie told OLG officials at a celebration in her hometown.
“When I went to the store, I wasn’t sure what to ask for because I had never bought a ticket before, so I called my dad who told me to buy a LOTTO 6/49 Quick Pick. I still can’t believe I hit the GOLD BALL jackpot on my very first lottery ticket!”
While other 18-year-olds have won before, the OLG says Lamour is the youngest person in Canadian lottery history to ever win a prize this big.
The university student said she forgot about the ticket, which she had purchased at a Circle K on McNabb Street, until her work colleagues mentioned that the winning ticket for the Jan. 7 jackpot had been sold in Sault Ste. Marie.
A co-worker offered to scan her ticket on the OLG app on his phone. When he scanned the ticket, the Winner/Gagnant’ jingle started to play and ‘Big Winner’ flashed on the screen.
“I didn’t understand what was going on at first. I couldn’t process this news. We kind of made a scene in the store that day,” Lamour said.
She said she was crying so much that her mother could barely understand her when she called her parents to share the good news.
Lamour’s mother wanted her to finish her shift, though her boss offered to let her off for the rest of the day.
“My colleagues called out ‘come and get her,’ and my parents eventually came to pick me up,” she said.
Despite the big win, the teen said she still plans to pursue her dream of going to medical school and then coming back to practice in Northern Ontario.
“I wanted to go to medical school before winning the lottery. Now I can pursue this dream without worrying about grants or loans,” Lamour said. “As a member the Garden River First Nation community, I was eligible for educational assistance programs, but I no longer need those resources which means someone else in the community can benefit from that funding. I really want to come back to this area as a doctor so I can give back to my community.”
For now most of the money is being put away while Lamour’s father, a financial planner, helps her decide how to invest it.
Still, the teen said she plans to enjoy some of it travelling when the school year is done.
“I am not a ‘sit on the beach’ type of person. I want to experience different countries, study their history and culture, try their food, and listen to their language,” Lamour said.
While she’s excited about the possibilities that the win brings, Lamour said some of the best advice about the windfall has come from a close friend who told her ‘money doesn’t define you, it’s the work you do that will define you.’
“While I am so excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, I feel comforted knowing I am surrounded by the grounding love of my family,” she said. “They will be with me on every step of this incredible journey.”