Juliette Lamour, a teenager from Ontario, Canada won the biggest lottery prize of her life at her very first lottery ticket purchase.
Lamour, 18, bought the lottery ticket just for fun after her grandfather encouraged her to do so on her 18th birthday.
According to Good Morning America, “She decided to give it a go — but to her and her family’s great surprise, Lamour didn’t just end up winning a small amount, she won the entire LOTTO 6/49 Gold Ball payout from the Jan. 7 draw — a whopping $48 million Canadian dollars (roughly $35.7 million).”
When she won the prize, she was at work as a pharmacist’s assistant. Lamour’s boss checked her ticket number on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) app and found out she was the only one to win the ticket.
“The pharmacist, his hands went to his head, and he fell on his knees. He’s like, ‘Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!’” she recalled the moment during the prize-receiving ceremony at the OLG.
“I was so in shock. … He showed me the phone. He’s like, ‘You just won this!’ I’m like, ‘How many zeroes is that? Let me count!’”
“I called my mom, and she answered the phone. I’m like, ‘I won the lottery!’ She’s like, ‘No, you didn’t!’” the university student added.
“My co-workers were behind me. They’re telling my mom, ‘Come and get her! Come and get her!’ She came to my work, and I gave her the ticket. I was so scared. I already signed it all shaky.”
The 18-year-old resident of Sault Ste. Marie has now become the youngest to ever win such a large sum of money in Canadian lottery history.
Moreover, the best part about this story is that nearly 13 years ago, in 2010, Lamour emptied her piggybank along with her little sister Sophie to help the victims of Haiti who were severely affected by the devastating earthquake in 2010.
“It was late-January 2010. Juliette Lamour had recently turned 5, her sister Sophie was 2½, and a catastrophic earthquake had just rocked Haiti, killing tens of thousands of innocent people and leaving much of the country in ruins,” Soo Today reported.
“Rushing to raise money for relief efforts, the Sault Ste. Marie branch of the Canadian Red Cross had set up a table at the Gardens to collect fan donations during a Greyhounds game.”
The Lamour sisters, who were determined to help the people of Haiti during that difficult time, donated $61.38 after emptying their piggy bank.
According to OLG, the teen looks forward to traveling around the world once she is done with school.
“Once school is done, my family and I will pick a continent and start exploring,” she said.
“I am not a ‘sit on the beach’ type of person. I want to experience different countries, study their history and culture, try their food, and listen to their language.”
“Money doesn’t define you,” she said in her statement. “It’s the work you do that will define you.”