Camellia Kazemi Talachi has been a regular lottery player for the past four years, normally selecting her own numbers, but a switch to “quick picks” is what won her a $60 million jackpot.
The Richmond Hill resident recently claimed the winnings at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto, saying it “seems so surreal.”
A statement from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation issued Friday said Talachi won the jackpot in the Nov. 29 Lotto Max draw.
Talachi, who switched to buying “quick pick” tickets a few months ago instead of selecting her own numbers, realized she won big when she stopped to check her ticket at a gas station — unaware that the winner was sold in Richmond Hill.
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“I gave my ticket to the clerk, and when the winning jingle started playing, I knew I won something but didn’t know how much until OLG called the store and told me it was $60 million,” she said in the OLG statement.
She was trying to process what had happened as her mother waited in the car outside.
“I saw my life pass before my eyes as I stood there in shock. I kept thinking, ‘Is this real?’ I couldn’t concentrate and started to shake,” she said.
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“The clerk, who was very excited for me, helped calm me down so I could go back to my car without worrying my mom that something was wrong.”
Talachi then drove 30 minutes without telling her mom she won.
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When she got home, she prepared to tell her family the big news.
“My sister thought I was kidding,” Talachi said.
“But when I started jumping up and down and cheering, she started to do the same. The entire family was overjoyed for me.”
Talachi said she has many plans for her winnings, including sharing, creating employment, and travelling with her family to view historic art pieces.
“I want to be an entrepreneur and create jobs, but I need to take the time to figure out how to do this sustainably,” she added.
The OLG said the winning ticket was bought at the Bayview Kitchen Food Fair on Bayview Avenue.
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