How's this for beginner's luck?
Juliette Lamour of Sault Ste. Marie is now part of Canadian lottery history after winning $48 million as the sole winner of the Lotto 6/49 Gold Ball jackpot from the January 7 draw.
The 18-year-old university student is the youngest person in Canadian lottery history to win a jackpot of this size. While there have been other 18-year-old lottery winners across Canada in recent years, no one has won as much as her.
Amazingly she won the multimillion-dollar jackpot on her very first lottery purchase.
“I just turned 18 and my grandfather suggested I buy a lottery ticket for fun,” explained Juliette during a winner’s celebration at OLG Headquarters in Sault Ste. Marie. “When I went to the store, I wasn’t sure what to ask for because I had never bought a ticket before, so I called my dad who told me to buy a Lotto 6/49 Quick Pick. I still can’t believe I hit the Gold Ball jackpot on my very first lottery ticket!”
Lamour forgot about the ticket until news started to spread that the winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $48 million was purchased in the Soo.
She was at work with her colleagues when they told her the winning ticket was sold in the city. That’s when she remembered she had a ticket for the draw. Her co-worker offered to check her ticket on his OLG App. When he scanned the ticket, the ‘Winner’ jingle started to play, and ‘Big Winner’ was displayed on the phone.
“My colleague fell to his knees in disbelief. He was yelling, in fact, everyone was yelling that I won $48 million! I didn’t understand what was going on at first. I couldn’t process this news. We kind of made a scene in the store that day!”
The shock and excitement continued as she called home with the unbelievable news.
“Because I was crying — happy tears — of course, my mom couldn’t understand what was going on. Thankfully my dad was able to piece together that I won the lottery jackpot! I knew I couldn’t focus on work and my boss told me I could go home, but my mom wanted me to stay and finish my shift! My colleagues called out ‘come and get her,’ and my parents eventually came to pick me up.”
As Lamour was trying to process the enormity of the lottery prize, she was comforted by knowing that her dad is a financial planner. While the majority of the money will be put away for now in carefully chosen investments as they develop a bigger plan for it, Juliette remains committed to her dream of becoming a doctor and coming back to practice in northern Ontario.
“I wanted to go to medical school before winning the lottery. Now, I can pursue this dream without worrying about grants or loans. As a member of the Garden River First Nation community, I was eligible for educational assistance programs, but I no longer need those resources which means someone else in the community can benefit from that funding. I really want to come back to this area as a doctor so I can give back to my community.”
When asked about any immediate “bucket list” plans, she says she is focused on finishing her studies for this school year and then will start to plan some summer adventures. “Once school is done, my family and I will pick a continent and start exploring. I am not a 'sit on the beach' type of person. I want to experience different countries, study their history and culture, try their food, and listen to their language.”
Lamour says when she started to tell the news about her lottery win to those closest to her, she received some words of wisdom that she will never forget.
“‘Money doesn’t define you, it’s the work you do that will define you."
"While I am so excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, I feel comforted knowing I am surrounded by the grounding love of my family. They will be with me on every step of this incredible journey.”