Vera Page from Vankleek Hill in eastern Ontario has lived her entire life giving to others. As one of the eldest of 11 children, she helped raise her younger siblings, and when her sister needed a kidney transplant, Vera selflessly offered her own. Now, as Ontario’s newest multimillionaire, Vera plans to continue the spirit of giving by sharing her incredible windfall with her family.
The 83-year-old mother, grandmother and great grandmother was overjoyed when she collected her $60 million LOTTO MAX cheque at the OLG Prize Centre from the November 1, 2022 draw.
Vera has been a regular lottery player for about 40 years, and almost missed out on buying this ticket when her weekly outing to the grocery store was cancelled. “When the staff at my retirement home rescheduled our weekly trip, I got on my motorized scooter and went to the store myself. As I was checking out, I remembered to buy my LOTTO MAX and LOTTO 6/49 tickets, both with ENCORE. When I got home, I tucked the tickets under my computer until the draw.”
After hearing on the news that the winning $60 million LOTTO MAX ticket was sold in the Prescott and Russell area, Vera decided to check her ticket. When she saw that she matched all seven Quick Pick numbers, she had a difficult time convincing herself she hit the jackpot. But Vera admits she had a tougher time convincing her family and friends. “It was close to 9 p.m. when I called my son, Trevor, but he didn’t answer his phone. Then I called my daughter-in-law, and she didn’t answer either. I finally got a hold of my other daughter-in-law, but she didn’t believe me and told me to go to sleep,” she laughed.
Still anxious to share her big news, she called some friends in her retirement home, but they were in bed and half asleep. Vera said she normally has no trouble sleeping, but she was up most of the night thinking about this life changing development.
The next morning her son returned her call and upon hearing the news, raced to her apartment. “I told him that we have to go to Foodland where I bought the ticket to validate it and make sure I wasn’t seeing things”, said Vera. “We were in such a rush that I put on a pair of pants over my nightgown, threw on a jacket and went to the store half-dressed! When I gave my ticket to the clerk, the bells and whistles went off and the clerk yelled that I had won BIG!”
At that moment, Vera said her anxiousness disappeared, but her son got very excited, “I felt very calm for some reason. I’ve been trying to keep my family members calm and grounded ever since learning of this news. They are extremely happy for me.”
Trevor says his mother has worked hard all her life, giving so much back to her family and he is over the moon that she won this money while she can still enjoy it, “She helped raise all her siblings. She raised our family while working as a Personal Support Worker. And in 1983, when her younger sister fell ill and needed a kidney transplant, my mom found out she was a match and didn’t hesitate to donate her kidney that saved her sister’s life. She is so deserving of this good fortune.”
With a $60 million LOTTO MAX windfall, what is on Vera’s bucket list? “I want to purchase a piece of land along the Ottawa river and build a new double-family house for myself and my son’s family. I have always wanted to experience an Alaskan cruise and am planning for that trip. The winters in eastern Ontario are cold so I would like to spend them in a warmer climate. But the summers are wonderful, so I want to get a big boat that many people can sleep on and tour the Ottawa River. Most importantly, I will share my winnings with my family. I want to take care of their futures.”
However, before Vera begins her bucket list, she has something she urgently needs, “I am getting new hearing aids!”
Despite this incredible $60 million win, Vera admits that she will keep buying lottery tickets!
Vera’s winning ticket was purchased at Foodland on Highway 34 in Vankleek Hill.