07/20/2011 12:16 EDT | Updated 09/19/2011 05:12 EDT

Retired Teachers From Niagara Falls Win Lottery Worth $41.3-Million


THE CANADIAN PRESS — TORONTO - Baseball was partly responsible for Carmen and Loretta Demizio's big lottery win, so it's only fitting that one of the first things they plan to spend the money on is a trip to the West Coast to catch a few games.

Carmen, a big fan of the New York Yankees, has been using No. 44 as one of his lottery numbers for the past 20 years in honour of legendary Yankees right-fielder Reggie Jackson.

"We're baseball fans so we're going to do a little bit of travelling there and go to the different stadiums and see what we've been watching for years," said his wife Loretta.

But family will be the first priority for the two retired Niagara Falls, Ont., teachers, who received a cheque for $41.3 million Tuesday at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. prize centre in downtown Toronto.

The Demizios, who are in their 50s, will be spending the jackpot on their three kids, Carmen's parents, their siblings, nieces and nephews.

Carmen will also be using some of the money to have his MGB sports car that currently has a broken motor professionally overhauled.

"It's been in our garage unable to work for 24 years because we didn't have the money to put into it the way he wants to have it," said Loretta. "He couldn't fix it himself so it's been sitting there and it's going to be fixed now."

"Every time there was money put aside it was always the children's education that came first or something else with the house so it took a back seat to all that," added Carmen.

The winning numbers came up in last Wednesday's Lotto 6-49 draw but Carmen said he didn't check the ticket until Sunday. When his ticket scanned as a winner, he said he "quietly tiptoed out of the store" — then went home and put the ticket on the fridge.

The couple announced their big win to their children during dinner.

The win is one of Ontario's biggest in recent months.

The last big winner was Richmond Hill, Ont., resident Vivian Leung, who won $22.6 million in a June Lotto Max draw, while three employees at a Toronto bakery split a $50 million Lotto Max jackpot in March.

A couple of other big recent jackpots in the province are currently under dispute after additional claimants came forward.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A earlier version incorrectly made reference the prize being a Lotto Max jackpot.