Laura Tutcho from Yellowknife is the winner of the $55 million Lotto Max jackpot, the NWT & Nunavut Lotteries announced on Monday, putting to an end the mystery of who won the giant prize of May 1.
The winning is the largest lottery jackpot the NWT has ever seen, the organization said.
“I’m just beside myself. It’s so exciting and overwhelming!” said Tutcho.
She bought the winning ticket for $11 at the Reddi Mart convenience store in Yellowknife.
“My granddaughter told me that someone in Yellowknife won the jackpot,” she remembered. “So I went on the internet to check the numbers.”
Tutcho was the only player in Canada to match all seven main winning numbers in the draw – 3, 12, 25, 36, 37, 42, and 49.
“I was in shock! “I said, ‘Oh, my god!’ My grandkids came in right away, and my grandson asked, ‘Are you all right, Grandma?’”
“I just kept looking at the ticket, and looking back at the numbers. My granddaughter told me, ‘The numbers haven’t changed, Grandma!’”
Since she learned about her win, she has been consulting with financial advisers and making future plans for the money.
“Her priority is to use the money to help her immediate family,” the organization said.
Originally from Délı̨nę, Tutcho has worked as a freelance interpreter and dedicated her efforts towards the revitalization of the Sahtúgot’ı̨ne language.