04/13/2013 04:10 EDT | Updated 06/12/2013 05:12 EDT

Lotto 6/49 Jackpot Estimated At $55 Million, A Canadian Lottery Record


TORONTO - Hopeful lottery players across the country kept ticket kiosks busy Saturday as the hours ticked down to what is expected to be a record Lotto 6-49 draw estimated at $55 million.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation said the prize will top the current all-time jackpot of $54.3 million, won in an October 2005 draw by a group of 17 oil and gas workers in Camrose, Alta.

A lottery stall at Toronto's busy Union Station transit hub was doing brisk business Saturday afternoon as players tried their luck.

While some nabbed 10 of the $2 tickets, Fort MacMurray mechanic Jamie Squire said his strategy was much simpler.

"Just one. That's all I need," he said, clutching his lottery slip.

Toronto finance worker Julie Hamilton wasn't put off by the long-shot odds of winning, which sit at about one in 14 million.

"It just catches your attention and you kind of hope you could win some money," she said, adding that ditching her condominium for a house in an upscale neighbourhood was at the top of her jackpot-spending list.

And she'd spread some of the cheer by taking up to 20 people on a trip "down to Mexico or somewhere in South America."

"Some place I haven't been and bringing my friends and family."

Others who lined up to buy tickets also had sun and sand in mind as they pondered taking home the big payoff.

Dale Therrien, who helps manage a Saskatoon car dealership, said he'd need to get some beach time in before deciding how to handle his hoped-for millions.

"I'd probably go to Hawaii first for a couple of weeks until I figured out what I wanted to do with it."

Glenn McLean, of Toronto, said the money represents "freedom — to be able to do whatever you want."

He said that would mean an end to his teaching career and an immediate vacation "somewhere warm."

"Away from the cold weather of Toronto," he said.

The winning jackpot numbers were to be announced Saturday night.

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