Winnipeg winners bring home record LOTTO MAX jackpot
$60 million windfall largest-ever in Manitoba
John Chua and his family are Manitoba’s newest lottery millionaires and are the big winners of the January 22nd Lotto Max jackpot of $60million. From left to right: John Chua, Jhoana Chua, Angie Chua, and Ben Lagman with the big lottery cheque during the presentation at Western Canada Lottery Corporation.
John Chua admits he was a little disappointed when his wife, Jhoana, woke him up early in the morning on January 23 to tell him someone in Winnipeg had brought home a massive $60 million LOTTO MAX jackpot.
“I was jealous of whoever won…not knowing it was me,” he recalled with a laugh.
John, who regularly picks up tickets on behalf of his family, started buying them online with PlayNow.com in November when retail sales of lottery tickets in Manitoba were restricted as part of public health orders. When John blearily checked his PlayNow.com account early the morning after the January 22 LOTTO MAX draw, he says he didn’t see anything to indicate his ticket was a winner.
Then later that day he received an email from PlayNow.com, and everything changed.
“I thought it might be a Free Play or something. But it said $60 million – I was confused, so I checked on PlayNow.com when I got home,” he explained.
“And there it was; I didn’t see it earlier in the morning.”
John – who is sharing the win with his wife Jhoana Chua, mother Angie Chua, and uncle Ben Lagman – did actually win two Free Plays…along with a $60,000,020 prize; the largest lottery jackpot ever awarded in Manitoba and the biggest payout ever in Canada from a ticket bought online.
The group matched all seven winning numbers for the draw – 11, 21, 23, 25, 28, 41 and 43.
“He always plays jokes – he’s a joker, so I didn’t believe it,” Angie recalled her son telling her their family was about to be multi-millionaires.
“I believe now that it’s real,” she continued as the family filled out the paperwork to claim their prize. “Now we’re not just dreaming any more.”
John, who noted that even though his family’s lottery dreams have come true he’ll probably keep playing – “It’s a lot of fun,” he chuckled – credits options like PlayNow.com, lottery subscriptions, and remote ordering and pickup of lottery tickets as being important to allow players to keep playing when sales at retail were temporarily suspended.
“Being able to do it online was great,” he said. “People talk about what they’d do if they win the lottery, but that won’t happen unless you buy a ticket.”
The group isn’t sure exactly what they’ll do with their winnings yet, but one purchase John says he and his wife will be making soon is a home for their growing family.
“I wasn’t really expecting anything – I was hoping for just a little to put toward a house,” explained John.
“There’s a lot of things that come to mind – but I’m going to take my time. I want to be wise. We’ve got kids and need to think for our future. I just want to take the time and do the smart thing.”
“It’s a huge blessing,” added Angie. “We’re all very thankful – we just needed a little bit and we got a lot.”
Photos courtesy of Western Canada Lottery Corporation