Hawkesbury couple wins $50-million jackpot
A Hawkesbury couple says they're planning to give back to their community after winning a $50-million jackpot on New Year's Eve.
Jo-Ann and Gaetan Champagne said they had previously won a free ticket and redeemed it at the Hawkesbury Pharma Prix for their chance at the jackpot.
On New Year's Eve, the former convenience store owners said they checked the numbers on their drive to Ottawa.
They said they thought their win was $50,000 at first, before they checked their numbers again and found it was a thousand times more than that.
"It's still sinking in," Jo-Ann said. "When we went to that casino and ran the ticket through, that's when we knew that we didn't make a mistake and we were going to get it."
"When I checked the numbers and I saw the seven numbers were matching, that's when I realized it was $50-million," Gaetan said.
They said they're planning to take care of their kids, buy a new home and a few cars along with helping the community.
"(The town) was great to us, so we're going to give back to the community," Jo-Ann said. "Our food bank in Hawkesbury just got robbed, we're going to help them out, our hospital is expanding, we're going to help the hospital out, then we'll take it from there."
Jo-Ann said she was sure to include her lucky number and encouraged others to do the same.
"Everything in my life has always revolved around eleven, my mom was born on the eleventh, my dad was both in the eleventh month, my first child was born on the first day of the tenth month which adds up to eleven, my second son the eleventh of the eleventh, we were married on the eleventh," said Jo-Ann.
"I was hoping in 2011 we would be able to advance and hit a little bit but I never dreamed that the number 11 would pull out for me but it did . . . It hit good this year."
Before the winners were identified, Ottawa residents said they couldn't even dream of what they could do with that much money.
"That would blow my mind, because I can't fathom $50-million," said Linda Ann McEvoy.
"This isn't only changing our lives and our children's lives," said Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.spokesperson Tony Bitonti. "This is changing our grandchildren's lives and even our great-grandchildren's lives."
With that much money, you could pay the salary of six Jason Spezzas, buy 271 Porsche 911 Turbos or cover three full Ottawa snowstorms and cleanups.
Other people on the streets had their own ideas.
"I think maybe just a trip with family and friends, where you can experience something different," said Kush Gidda. "Maybe go somewhere warm."
"With that kind of money you can help the Salvation Army, there's the food banks and things like that," said Wayne Marshall. "It's too much money for one person to keep."
The Champagnes will head to Toronto later this week to officially claim their winnings.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Katie Griffin