Ontario man nearly misses $23.6 million Lotto Max win
Published Tuesday, July 11, 2017 3:38PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 12, 2017 10:46AM EDT
An Ontario warehouse worker will retire $23.6 million richer thanks to a Lotto Max win over the weekend -- a life-changing surprise he might have missed had it not been for his perceptive wife.
Luciano Polera, 64, bought a lottery ticket on Friday, a tradition he’s had for 40 years. When he checked the numbers Saturday morning over a cup of coffee, he thought he’d missed out by a single number: 33.
“I only circled six numbers instead of seven. I told my wife we missed by one number,” Polera told CTVNews.ca on Tuesday.
Fortunately, Polera’s wife Cathy took a second look at the ticket and saw that the seventh number was there, after all.
“She looked at the ticket and said, ‘You forgot to circle number 33.’ That was the number I needed!” he said in an OLG statement.
While Cathy screamed and celebrated, Polera said he remained calm.
“I thought, it’s about time,” he said.
Polera said he was initially unsure of what to do, so he called OLG and was told to take the ticket to a store for validation.
“The retailer was very excited. So were the customers around me. They started to congratulate me and shake my hand. I think they just wanted to be close to someone who won the lottery,” he said in the OLG statement.
Polera, who lives in Richmond Hill, Ont., told OLG the win comes at a perfect time, especially after a challenging year of family health issues.
“Now I don’t have to worry about any more financial problems, we can take care of our house and our kids,” he told CTVNews.ca.
He told CTVNews.ca that he plans to invest some of his winnings, take care of his two adult children, ages 30 and 27, and take the family on a trip to Fiji, a vacation his wife has always dreamed about.
According to the OLG statement, he also has some other presents in store for his wife, like a sports car, a luxury SUV and a condo or cottage by the water.
“We met and fell in love very young. We have grown up together. This is definitely our time to celebrate,” he said.
As for his job at the warehouse, Polera told CTVNews.ca he was planning to retire in a month-and-a-half. Instead, he’ll be submitting his formal resignation sometime this week.
He picked up his winnings Tuesday in Toronto. He told CTVNews.ca the news still hasn’t quite sunk in.
“I’m still a little shocked every now and then.”