Dollena Mcinnes of Chatham, Ont. has been playing the lottery for over 30 years, and has finally won big for the first time through Encore with the Dec. 23 Lottario draw.
The 81-year-old retiree is celebrating her $100,000 prize. However, it does also come with some mixed emotions as she reminisces about playing the lottery with her late husband.
“My husband passed away a few months ago and we used to play the lottery together,” said Mcinnes while at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto to pick up her winnings.
“I really wish he was able to be here with me to see this. He would be so happy. This is a bittersweet moment for me.”
A few days after the draw, Mcinnes was checking her ticket on the OLG App, when she discovered that she had matched the last six of seven Encore numbers, 9767125, in exact order.
“I used my daughter’s phone and found out I was a big winner,” said Mcinnes, as she shared the good news with her children.
“I was numb! My children were all beyond happy for me.”
As for her plans with the winnings, Mcinnes remains undecided. The long-time lottery player wants to first let the exciting feeling of finally being a winner sink in.
Lottario launched in 1978 as Ontario’s first terminal lotto game, and takes place every Saturday. For a $1 ticket, you have two chances at winning the prize — all you have to do is pick 6 numbers in your selection slip and hope they’re the winning ones.
You can ask your lottery retailer to Quick Pick your numbers for you, or you can pick your own using any method you’d like.
For $1, you can add Encore to your draw, which offers 22 ways to win and can be played in conjunction with most lottery games, including Lottario. There is an Encore draw every day.
Adding Encore to her ticket paid off, after Mcinnes purchased her winning ticket at the CNIB Kiosk in Walmart on Dougall Avenue in Windsor, Ont.
Tools to stop gambling
If you're looking to take a break from gambling, self-exclusion programs can be effective tools. See here for resources that are available across Canada.