Mother’s Day Millions for Canadian Grandmother

Wednesday May 14th 2014

One Canadian grandmother had a Mother’s Day to remember this month after scooping the CAD$50 million Lotto Max jackpot just days earlier. Sophie Rizavas of Toronto, Ontario, won the top prize on May 9 and discovered her win the following evening after she checked her ticket at a local retailer.

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Rizavas initially misread the receipt and thought she had won CAD$50,000, it wasn’t until the store’s phone rang moments later that she realised her mistake. As per protocol, lottery service providers OLG froze machines and called the store to confirm the win within two minutes of the ticket being checked. Rizavas, who had juggled four jobs up until her win, revealed that the clerk who processed her ticket was crying as he hugged and congratulated her.

63-year-old Rizavas shared the news with her husband Tom immediately but the pair waited until Mother’s Day to break the good news to their family over a celebratory meal. "We've never had a proper family vacation," Rizavas said, confirming her first plans for the money would be to fund a family holiday; "We've tried over the years but someone's always had to stay home to work." Rizavas can now fund the whole trip with ease after she collected her CAD$50 million tax-free lump sum yesterday.

Eerily, the lucky couple’s big win came exactly 44 years to the day after the pair immigrated to Canada from Greece to start a family and, according to Sophie, it will be their family who share in her good fortune. “I’m very good where I am. I love my car. I love my house,” she said, adding that the money would be used to ensure the family can spend as much time as possible together while she and her husband enjoy a worry free retirement.

If you’d like to participate in Canada’s favourite lottery game, tickets can be purchased on the Buy Tickets page or in person from an authorised retailer.

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