Niagara Falls couple claims $41M lottery jackpot
Two former Niagara Falls teachers finally claimed more than $41 million in lottery winnings Tuesday afternoon after the ticket spent almost a week pinned to their fridge.
Carmen and Loretta Demizio picked up a cheque for the Lotto 6-49 jackpot at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. headquarters in Toronto after finally checking the ticket to Loretta's insistence.
The couple, in their early 50s, actually won almost a week ago but Carmen kept delaying checking their numbers because the chances of winning were "slim to none."
"There are so many tickets out there," Carmen told reporters, adding that when he checked his ticket at the store, he ‘tiptoed' out and sat in his car until he was calm.
He said he drove home, put the ticket back on the fridge before returning to the store for further assurance he had actually won.
He then washed his car and waited for his wife to return home.
"She was jumping up and down, screaming," he said of Loretta's reaction to their win.
Carmen said they told their three children over dinner after demanding to see their "happy dances."
The couple said their children were at first reluctant to come over for Sunday dinner.
"They hemmed and hawed, they said it was hot and that they wanted to go swimming," Carmen said. "We said we have something important to share with you."
The children were then worried their parents had a health issue or that something else was wrong.
"My youngest son was concerned we sold the house," and that they were kicking him out, Carmen said.
He said the children were stunned and also had to check the ticket several times.
With their win the Demizios join a growing class of overnight Ontario millionaires.
A $41-million Lotto Max jackpot was also won in Toronto last week and another $1 million Lotto Max Encore was purchased in Barrie, Ont.
Another winning Lotto Max ticket was purchased by Richmond Hill, Ont. resident Vivian Leung. She took home a $22.5-million prize on June 23.
A manager at a store selling hair products, Leung said she had to run her ticket through a ticket reader twice before she would believe her luck.
A Willowdale couple won a $15-million Lotto 6/49 in April and as many as three $50-million Lotto Max jackpots have also been awarded to people and groups in the Toronto area this year.