A 55-year-old engineer from Hamilton, Ont., has been announced as the winner of a $50-million Lotto Max ticket that remained unclaimed for almost a year.

Kathryn Jones, who purchased the ticket in nearby Cambridge, Ont., said she had lost her ticket soon after buying it.

Jones said she had no idea she had even won until OLG officials contacted her after launching an investigation into the unclaimed prize.

“As you can imagine this has been a very weird and wonderful journey,” she said during a press conference held Tuesday to announce her as the winner.

“I feel almost as though I have been struck by lightning twice because first to win is pretty incredible, but then to lose a ticket and then to have OLG find me and take the initiative to actually contact me is also pretty incredible,” Jones said.

When asked where she thinks she may have lost the lucky ticket Jones replied, “I wish I knew, I honestly don’t know. I have looked into my house very thoroughly and it’s not there. I’m not sure whether I threw it out by accident or what happened to it.”

Jones said she does not know how she will spend the money and is still trying to let the good news sink in.

Investigation into transaction records, surveillance footage IDs winner

OLG President and CEO Rod Phillips told reporters that the case of the unclaimed $50-million lotto ticket was particularly unusual since Jones never stepped forward to claim the ticket herself.

He said the organization received more than 430 inquiries regarding the winning ticket since last November, but it was one individual’s inquiry regarding the prize that led them to Jones.

The OLG launched an official investigation that lasted several months and compared credit card transactions made by Jones to verify the time and date of her purchase.

Officials also looked at surveillance footage from the Shoppers Drug Mart where the ticket was purchased and identified Jones as the winner.

“The case of this outstanding $50-million Lotto Max jackpot is one of the most unique in OLG’s history,” Phillips said. “I am pleased that we are one step closer to awarding this multi-million dollar prize.”

OLG officials said the $50-million prize will be officially presented to Jones in January.