Leah Murdoch-Gerics from Hamilton, Ont., is the newest multi-million dollar Lotto Max winner, after taking home $60 million from the April 19 draw.
"When I see OLG emails in my inbox, they normally say I won a Free Play ticket, but this specific email looked different," Murdoch-Gerics said.
"I didn’t know what to do next. I couldn’t really fathom this was happening to me."
The 58-year-old purchased her winning ticket, a $5 Quick Pick, on OLG.ca, which makes her the biggest winner from an online ticket purchase.
Murdoch-Gerics was waiting for a moment show her husband the prize amount, and even he couldn't believe what he saw.
"He looked at me and said, ‘Oh you won $60-thousand.’ I urged him to take a closer look," she said.
"It was clear at that moment what he saw! We were both in shock and just stared at each other stunned in disbelief."
But one of the best moments was when Murdoch-Gerics was able to tell her children about the lottery win.
"It was seeing the shock on their faces when they realized that they get to enjoy all the excitement without the responsibilities," she said.
"However, my husband and I realized the responsibility of this win immediately. It’s a huge blessing. We are very aware that we have to use this money wisely."
Murdoch-Gerics has been an occasional lottery player and as she start to make plans for how to spend or save her lottery winnings, Murdoch-Gerics said her husband, who was planning to retire, will now be the "family money manager."
The most immediate plan is to take a family trip, but they're still deciding on the destination.
"This is just an emotional journey that starts with disbelief and builds into excitement," Murdoch-Gerics said. "I feel so humbled and honoured to be in this place at this moment."
Tools to stop gambling
If you're looking to take a break from gambling, self-exclusion programs can be effective tools. See here for resources that are available across Canada.