ontario lottery vankleek

Woman who donated kidney to sister wins $60 million Ontario lottery

Those who believe in karma — the concept that everything always comes back to us — will be impressed with the story of 83-year-old Vera Page, who appears to have done at least $60 million worth of good deeds in her life so far, least of which involved donating her own kidney to someone who needed it more.

Page is a retired personal support worker, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother from Vankleek Hill, Ontario. She is also one of the eldest of 11 siblings, whom she helped raise and, in one case, provide life-sustaining organs for.

The now-multimillionaire had been playing the lottery for 40 years when she matched all seven Quick Pick numbers to win a $60 million LOTTO MAX prize this fall — and it was only through her own tenacity and dedication to the game that she'd even managed to get the ticket.

You see, according to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Page usually buys lotto tickets during her retirement home's weekly outing to the grocery store. 

"When the staff at my retirement home rescheduled our weekly trip, I got on my motorized scooter and went to the store myself," she said in a release issued Wednesday.

"As I was checking out, I remembered to buy my LOTTO MAX and LOTTO 6/49 tickets, both with ENCORE. When I got home, I tucked the tickets under my computer until the draw."

It wasn't until Page heard that the $60 million LOTTO MAX ticket had been sold in her area that she decided to check on her numbers. At first, like many lottery winners, she couldn't believe that the win was real... and neither could some of her family members.

"It was close to 9 p.m. when I called my son, Trevor, but he didn't answer his phone. Then I called my daughter-in-law, and she didn't answer either. I finally got a hold of my other daughter-in-law, but she didn't believe me and told me to go to sleep," said Page in the OLG release.

The next morning, upon learning of the big news, Page's son rushed to her apartment and took her to the Foodland where she'd purchased the ticket to validate it.

"We were in such a rush that I put on a pair of pants over my nightgown, threw on a jacket and went to the store half-dressed!" said Page. "When I gave my ticket to the clerk, the bells and whistles went off and the clerk yelled that I had won BIG!"

Needless to say, friends and family are thrilled for the hardworking matriarch and happy that she can enjoy her newfound riches while she's still young at heart.

"She helped raise all her siblings. She raised our family while working as a Personal Support Worker," said Page's son, Trevor, in the release.

"And in 1983, when her younger sister fell ill and needed a kidney transplant, my mom found out she was a match and didn't hesitate to donate her kidney that saved her sister's life. She is so deserving of this good fortune."

There's nothing quite as soul-soothing as seeing good things happen to good people — and Page seems about as good as they come.

Trevor told the OLG that he's happy his mother won the $60 million while she can still enjoy it, and it sounds like she'll enjoy it quite a bit by taking an Alaskan cruise, buying her own boat, and getting out of chilly eastern Ontario for the winter, among other things.

"I want to purchase a piece of land along the Ottawa river and build a new double-family house for myself and my son's family. I have always wanted to experience an Alaskan cruise and am planning for that trip," said Page when picking up her prize at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto earlier this month.

"The winters in eastern Ontario are cold so I would like to spend them in a warmer climate. But the summers are wonderful, so I want to get a big boat that many people can sleep on and tour the Ottawa River. Most importantly, I will share my winnings with my family. I want to take care of their futures."

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