Congratulations to Jason Debattista of Brampton after winning $35,317,981.10 in the January 5, 2018, Lotto Max draw.
“I play Lotto Max and Daily Grand occasionally, when I remember to buy a ticket,” shared Jason, while at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto today to pick up his winnings. “My winning ticket actually came from a Free Play from the week before.”
On Saturday after the draw, Jason and his wife of 23 years went to the store. “My wife was purchasing her ticket for the Lotto 6/49 draw that evening – she’s actually the one that plays the lottery regularly,” laughed Jason.
While his wife bought her ticket, Jason decided to check his on the Ticket Checker. “When I scanned it the first time, I saw the words ‘Big Winner’ and the number 35 so I thought I won $35. I scanned it again and saw a couple more zeros. I scanned it a third time and that’s when I thought to myself ‘Wait a minute . . . there are a lot of zeros here!’ I called my wife over to double-check and we realized, together at the same time, that I won big!”
The couple went home to share the news with family. “I was in such shock, I couldn’t get my keys in the door because I was shaking so much,” laughed Jason.
Once they gathered their three daughters and other family members together, Jason made the announcement. “I said, ‘Something life-changing just happened . . .’ I had tears in my eyes.”
Though he now has more than $35 million in his bank account, Jason, a mechanic at a local car dealership, plans to keep working. “I’m still the same person. Working helps me think and will keep a sense of normalcy in my life – this is important after such a life-changing event.”
Some things will change for the family. “I plan on taking care of my children – helping out with their education costs and setting them up for the future. I’ll also be helping out family and friends – there are a number of people in our lives that have been very supportive of us through some tough years in the past. And I’ll be picking out an anniversary present for my wife – what woman doesn’t love diamonds?” he smiled.
A family trip is also on his mind, “I’m just a regular guy but we’ll be travelling first class for sure!”
“This win will trickle down for generations,” Jason concluded.
The winning ticket was purchased at Hasty Market on Queen Street in Brampton.
Photo Credit: OLG