Good Karma: 5-Year-Old Who Once Emptied Piggybank for Charity Wins $48M Lottery Jackpot
The youngest jackpot winner in Canadian lottery history wins on first-ever lotto ticket purchase.
Spoiler alert: An 18-year-old winner dreams of going to medical school … and won’t have to worry any longer about how she’ll afford it! At 18, Juliette Lamour is the youngest Canadian ever to win such an enormous jackpot – a whopping $48 million! The win ranks among the largest-ever of Lotto 6/49 prizes.
Speaking to Scott Sexsmith and Michael Friscolanti of the Inside the Village podcast, the youngest winner in Canadian lottery history explained the happenings that led her to purchase her first-ever lottery ticket.
“I was home alone with my dad for the weekend with my mom and sister out of town for volleyball. My dad asked me to go visit my grandpa and I did, going to pick up ice cream for him first.” Lamour explained. “I asked him what flavor he would like and his response was that I had just turned 18, so I should buy a lotto ticket and try my luck.”
“I actually didn’t know how to buy it, so I called my dad who told me to just go with a quick pick.”
“How many zeroes is that?”
At work the next day at the local Rexall, Lamour had just come off her 15-minute break when her coworkers told her that she had missed all the excitement – someone in Sault Ste. Marie had won the Lotto 6-49 Gold Ball Lotto!
“The six four nine one? I have one!” she exclaimed. Her coworker checked her ticket on his lottery app and when he discovered she had won, they went wild. “He was screaming, in fact, everyone was screaming that I had won $48 million,” she said. “At first, I didn’t understand what was going on. How many zeroes is that? I couldn’t take in the news. We made quite a scene in the store that day.”
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“I called my mom crying and telling her I had won the lottery, with my coworkers in the back yelling “come and get her!” Lamour explained on the Podcast. “I signed it and gave it to my mom to take home. Everyone was telling me I should leave, but she told me ‘you’re staying until 5:00 p.m. and finishing your shift!’”
Lamour said that she didn’t want to keep the ticket on her for fear of misplacing it, so her mom took it home and put it into a Ziploc bag and then into an envelope. Her dad bought a safe the next day to keep it in until she contacted the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).
Family Meetings to Discuss the Newfound Wealth
“Surreal” was the word Lamour said best described the feelings she had the first few days. Fortunately, her father is a financial planner so they had a family meeting to decide what to do with the winnings.
“The very first night when we found out that I had won, my parents established the living room as the ‘normal room’ where nothing changes and we don’t focus on the lottery.”
Lamour says that her win “changes nothing. My goals are still the same. I want to stay in school. If I had to quit school (because of the win), I wouldn’t want this.”
Lamour, who is from Sault Ste. Marie originally, says she plans to go to medical school and come back to practice in Ontario. She says she will be keeping family, friends, and the community in mind and the majority to be invested to help support generations to come in the community. “We’ve always been big community people, and we want to give back to the community.”
Good Things Happen to Good People
“All of the messages I’ve been getting have been positive, and people are telling me that ‘good things happen to good people’, so I plan to do good things with the money.”
Lamour had made it into the news once before when in 2010 she attended the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds hockey game and brought her pink piggy bank with $61 towards Haiti relief efforts.
“I spoke to the Dean at my school, Algoma University, about the winnings and he told me ‘it’s not the money that defines you, it’s the work that you do that does’”. And good work is what she intends to do.
But first, she wants to travel with her family, as she hadn’t had a chance to do so as a child. “Maybe go to Venice before it floods. I’m not one to spend my days at the beach. I want to visit different countries, learn about their history and culture, taste food, and listen to people speak their language.”
The lesson here? Keep putting good out into the world and it will always find its way back to you!