Hamilton woman wins $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

A woman from Hamilton, Ont. she is now a billionaire after winning the $60 million Lotto Max jackpot.

Leah Murdoch-Gerics received the check on Thursday. She purchased the $5 “quick pick” ticket at OLG.ca for the April 19 drawing.

The $60 million payout is the largest ever awarded to a Lotto Max jackpot winner who purchased their ticket online.

Murdoch-Gerics said he had been casually playing the lottery for the past year before the big win.

“Just one ticket is all it takes. Five bucks,” Leah Murdoch-Gerics said to a roomful of reporters as she was handed the novelty check.

The 58-year-old Hamilton resident said she saw an email from OLG after the April 19 drawing indicating she had won a prize.

However, he didn’t actually open the email until later.

“When I see emails from OLG in my inbox, they normally say I won a Free Play ticket, but this specific email looked different,” he said.

When she opened the email to verify the prize amount, she said she was “suddenly calm.”

“I didn’t know what to do next. I really couldn’t imagine this was happening to me.”

After showing her husband the email, he initially thought she had won $60,000.

After she urged him to take a closer look, he realized the reality of victory.

“It was clear at that moment what he saw! We were both in shock and looked at each other in stunned disbelief,” she said.

The self-described stay-at-home mom said the windfall is overwhelming for her and her family.

“My husband is retired…but not for long,” Murdoch-Gerics said jokingly. “He has a new job now: he works for me.”

She said that one of the best moments after the victory was the look on her children’s faces after she broke the news.

“It was seeing the surprise on their faces when they realized that they can enjoy all the excitement without the responsibilities,” he laughed.

Murdoch-Gerics said he understands he has to “use money wisely” in the long run, but plans to take his family on a vacation in the near future.

“I don’t see any major changes in the immediate future because who knows where we’ll be a year from now,” he said. “This is just an emotional journey that starts with disbelief and turns into excitement. I feel so humbled and honored to be in this place at this time.”

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