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olg winner $60 million

Toronto-area lottery veteran failed to realize she won $60 million jackpot for weeks

One woman from just north of Toronto is probably one of the most envied people in Ontario right now.

Camellia Kazemi Talachi of Richmond Hill has been unveiled as the big winner of that gigantic $60 million jackpot that went unclaimed for weeks.

That's right, the province's newest multimillionaire — who has been playing Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) draws for years — initially failed to realize she was the ticket holder of the $60 million jackpot from Nov. 29. 

"I stopped at a gas station and decided to check my LOTTO MAX ticket, unaware the $60 million winning ticket was sold in Richmond Hill," she recalled when emotionally picking up her gigantic cheque in person.

"I gave my ticket to the clerk, and when the winning jingle started playing, I knew I won something but didn't know how much until OLG called the store and told me it was $60 million," said Talachi.

After she composed herself inside the gas station — the clerk had to help calm her down — she returned to her car with her mother and didn't share the good news for 30 minutes until arriving back home.

"I saw my life pass before my eyes as I stood there in shock. I kept thinking, 'Is this real?'," she said. 

Arriving home, Talachi prepared to spill the beans and prayed to a higher power for extra help in the moment.

"I stopped to pray for a moment, and then, what felt like an out-of-body experience, I said the words, 'I am the big lottery winner in Richmond Hill!'," she recalls. 

Her sister didn’t believe the news at first, but quickly realized Talachi was not lying when she started jumping up and down and cheering. Her sister then joined in the joyous celebration. 

"The entire family was overjoyed for me," she said.

Talachi has spent the last four years picking her own numbers for the LOTTO MAX draw but recently switched to the QuickPicks option, leading to her astronomical jackpot win.

Now that the initial excitement has (sort of) dwindled, Talachi wants to become an entrepreneur and create jobs for those in her community.

"I want to be an entrepreneur and create jobs, but I need to take the time to figure out how to do this sustainably," she tells the OLG.

There are also plans to see some of the world's best art pieces, with travel plans for the family ready to book in the near future. 

"A win this big needs to be shared and who better to share it with than the people I love the most."

Lead photo by

CNW Group/OLG Winners


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