VANCOUVER -- After realizing she'd won a $39.5-million Lotto Max jackpot, Michelle De Roma did something most winners don't -- she put the ticket in an envelope in a safe place and waited a week to claim her prize.

The mother of three from Surrey, B.C., says she wanted to focus on enjoying the holidays and celebrating her husband's birthday before their world shifted.

"This will change our life," she said Friday at a news conference.

De Roma plays the lottery about every week and the winning Lotto Max numbers were randomly generated through a quick pick. She bought the ticket at Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre in Delta while doing some Boxing Day shopping.

When she realized she had the single winning ticket matching all seven numbers in the Dec. 28 draw, she told her husband first.

"I just hugged my husband because he's the one who supported me all the way with this. He just said, 'Wow!' And then hugged me and kissed me," De Roma said.

De Roma said she hasn't told her children yet but she wants to use the money to build a good life for them, and also travel to Rome to see St. Peter's Basilica and the Coliseum.

"I first will secure my family. I just want a nice house for my kids and I want to travel -- everybody wants to travel with this amount -- and I want to invest in real estate for our future."

All lottery winners have 52 weeks from the draw date printed on their ticket to come forward to claim their prize.

The odds of winning a Lotto Max jackpot are one in 28,633,528 per play, the B.C. Lottery Corp. says.

De Roma said she considers the win an "amazing blessing," and had hoped for a miracle whenever she bought lottery tickets.

She plans to continue playing the lottery.