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Ontario man says he now believes in Santa after winning huge lottery prize

Of all the colourful, scratch-to-win lottery cards I've seen shimmering beneath plastic at convenience store cash registers, none have interested me as much as Cash For Life — a game in which the top prize pays out $1,000 to the same lucky winner, every single week, until the end of time (or something along those lines.)

Depending on where one lives, a Cash for Life winner might possibly be able to quit their job and pursue their passions while still making enough money to, ya know, live, at $52,000 per year.

Apparently, however, there's another prize option: You can eschew the grand-a-week for life (which would equal $520,000 after only 10 years) or take a lump sum payment from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) right away.

Ronald Hughes of Barrie, Ontario, chose the latter option after winning $1,000 a week for life with OLG's "INSTANT CASH FOR LIFE" game, walking away with a cool $675,000 after visiting the corporation's prize centre in Toronto.

"I never believed in Santa Clause until today," he said while picking up his winnings. "This is a good time in my life to enjoy a lottery win."

Hughes says he's been playing the lottery "occasionally" for about 10 years, preferring to pick up INSTANT tickets more than any other kind of game.

This preference worked out quite well for him after buying a Cash For Life ticket at Maple Convenience on Dunlop Street in Barrie earlier this year.

"I was at home in my favourite chair when I decided to play my ticket. I revealed the three cash for life logos and couldn't believe it," says Hughes. "I turned on the lights and grabbed my glasses – it was a moment of shock!"

Shock turned into excitement as Hughes realized that the win was real. He was so excited, in fact, that he says he couldn't sleep for two days.

He doesn't yet have a plan for all of the money, but he does know that he'd like to use some of it right away with a close family member.

When asked by OLG what he would do with his winnings, Hughes said: "First up, I will treat my brother to a nice meal."

Lead photo by

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation

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