An Orillia woman’s promise to replace an ice cream treat she stole from her fiancé has made the couple $50 million richer.
While Deanna Bergeron, 30, was at the store buying a make-up frozen treat for her sweetheart, she decided to pick up some lottery tickets as well.
“I usually buy lottery tickets when I know the jackpot is large and for some reason I bought two,” the personal trainer said in a statement on Monday.
“And I am so glad she did!” added her fiancé Jeff Bourret.
The couple travelled to Toronto to pick up their cheque and shared their story about how they learned about the weight of their winnings.
On Sunday, Bergeron’s mom heard news about a winning ticket sold in Orillia and called her daughter to urge her to check her ticket. So Deanna did as she was told and found the numbers on one of her ticket matched the lucky seven drawn.
Unsure about what her exact prize was, she texted a photo of the ticket to her fiancé who was working at the time.
Bourret, a government worker, double checked the numbers and realized they had a winning ticket. He then left work, picked up Bergeron, and brought their ticket to the store where a singing lottery machine confirmed the $50-million jackpot was theirs.
The pair say they’d like to travel to Hawaii and buy a couple of cars with their life-changing winnings. But for now, they're still coming to terms with their mind-blowing twist of fate.
“This is overwhelming, we are still in a daze,” Bergeron said.
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In 2011, an anonymous church-goer put a winning $30,000 lottery ticket into a Baltimore church’s collection plate. The incredibly appreciative pastor of the parish said he was going to use the donation to pay for church expenses, as well as help those in need.
B. Raymond Buxton of Northern California won a $425 million Powerball prize earlier this year. He waited more than a month to come forward and is trying to remain as anonymous as possible. He said he plans to set up a charitable foundation focused on pediatric health, child hunger and education with his winnings.
Les Robins, a Wisconsin middle school teacher, won $111 million in Powerball winnings in 1993. He decided to use his hefty check to purchase a 226-acre plot of land off Lake Winnebago. But instead of building the vacation house of his dreams, he opened Camp Winnegator, a day camp for kids. Years later, the camp is still going strong.
Jim Dancy of Michigan won $10,000 in 2009. Rather than spending the money on little luxuries for himself, he donated the lump sum to the Kalamazoo United Way, which helps those in need with education, income stability and leading healthy lives.
This is one of the more creative ways to spend lottery winnings. John Kutey, who split a $319 million jackpot with six other people, built a $250,000 water park in Green Island, NY. Spray Park replaced an outdated park from the 1940s.
Ray and Barbara Wragg, a couple from Sheffield, England, won over $15 million in 2000. They’ve given away most of the prize money to causes including the Weston Park Hospital in their hometown and Sheffield Children’s Hospital. In 2004, they even sent 50 veterans to Italy in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino.
Gloria Mackenzie, an 84-year-old retiree won a massive Powerball jackpot of $590.50 million in 2013. She used $2 million of her prize to fix a leaky roof at Schneck High School in East Millinotick, ME. Mackenzie is herself a retired teacher and her children all attended the school. Mackenzie’s daughter also taught at Schneck and her son was a member of the school board.
Homeless man Dennis Mahurin of Illinois won $50,000 from a scratch-off ticket. Not too shabby! Instead of using the money to move out of his tent, Mahurin went to the dentist and gave each of his homeless friends $100.