83-year-old great-grandmother wins $60 million in Lotto Max draw

An eastern Ontario woman is thankful for a recent trip to the grocery store when she bought the winning ticket to the $60-million Lotto Max draw Nov. 1.

Vera Page of Vankleek Hill, Ont., almost didn’t buy the ticket as the 83-year-old’s weekly retirement home grocery store trip had been postponed.

“When the staff at my retirement home rescheduled our weekly trip, I got on my motorized scooter and went to the store myself. As I was checking out, I remembered to buy my Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49 tickets, both with Encore. When I got home, I tucked the tickets under my computer until the draw.”

Page checked her ticket after hearing the ticket had been sold in the Prescott and Russell area.

She says she had a hard time convincing herself of the win but had an even harder time convincing her friends and family.

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“It was close to 9 p.m. when I called my son, Trevor, but he didn’t answer his phone. Then I called my daughter-in-law, and she didn’t answer either. I finally got a hold of my other daughter-in-law, but she didn’t believe me and told me to go to sleep,” she laughed.

The next morning her son returned her call and upon hearing the news, raced to her apartment.

“I told him that we have to go to Foodland where I bought the ticket to validate it and make sure I wasn’t seeing things,” said Page. “We were in such a rush that I put on a pair of pants over my nightgown, threw on a jacket and went to the store half-dressed.

“When I gave my ticket to the clerk, the bells and whistles went off and the clerk yelled that I had won big.”

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Page raised her family while working as a personal support worker. In 1983, when her younger sister fell ill and needed a kidney transplant, she found out she was a match and didn’t hesitate to donate her kidney, which saved her sister’s life.

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Page says she plans to spend some of the winnings on an Alaskan cruise, a trip to a warmer climate and “a big boat that many people can sleep on and tour the Ottawa River.”

She would also like to share her winnings with her family.

The winning ticket was purchased at Foodland on Highway 34 in Vankleek Hill.

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