SUDBURY -- Marc Meilleur, of Noelville, says he had to check his winning ticket almost a dozen times before it sunk in that he had won $70 million.

Meilleur, 60, won the top Lotto Max prize in the Feb. 26 draw. He said he and his wife, Dorothy-Ann have been dedicated lottery players for many years. Each buys their own tickets to ensure they don’t miss a draw. Marc buys Quick Picks while his wife plays her own numbers, which consist of birth dates and anniversaries.

The morning after the draw, the retired mechanic checked his Quick Pick tickets on the OLG Lottery app when he saw “$70,000,000” displayed on the screen. Even after scanning the ticket four or five more times with the same result, he was still not convinced he had hit the Lotto Max jackpot.

“That’s when I went to the bedroom to get Dorothy-Ann and tell her, ‘I think I have the winning ticket,’” Meilleur said, while at the OLG Prize Centre to collect his prize. “But my wife thought I was joking, so I scanned the ticket again to show her the $70 million win on the screen.”

The couple participated in a virtual cheque presentation due to the COVID restrictions on public group gatherings in Toronto.

In disbelief, Dorothy-Ann called the OLG Win! Line and went to to check the numbers. The couple then drove to the store in Noelville where Marc purchased the ticket, waited until the other customers had left and asked the owner, who is also a friend, to validate the ticket through the lottery terminal. The 'winner/gagnant' jingle played, the terminal froze and an OLG representative called the store to speak to the retailer and then to Marc.

Tears of joy

That’s when the thrill of the win became a reality.

"I started crying tears of joy,” said Dorothy-Ann, who was still tearing up while recounting the story.

“My mind was racing, and my hands were shaking, and I was wondering what to do next,” Marc said.

That’s when they decided to share the news with their family. The first call was to their daughter who lives in the Sudbury area. At first, she thought there was bad news because her mom was crying but soon, she too was overjoyed. The couple then tried contacting their two sons via text to share the unbelievable news about the win.

Marc and Dorothy-Ann, who also have seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, are finally settling into the reality that their good fortune will be able to change the lives of many generations of their family.

“As a parent, you want to provide the best for your children and now we can take care of them without worry,” said Marc. “We want them to be able to buy new homes and vehicles, but we also have a great team of financial advisers helping all of us set up the grandchildren and great-grandchildren for future success.”

The couple also have a few Lotto Max dreams of their own to fulfill. They are very dedicated to their community and surrounding area and vow to help various charities and institutions near and dear to them. Because they love the natural beauty of the Sudbury region, they will purchase a new home and remain in the area.

But at the top of their bucket list is a new truck and RV, and when it is safe to travel again, they want to crisscross Canada.

“I am not a big fan of flying across the ocean, so I want to drive and see all of the country which I love,” said Marc. “Starting on the east coast, there are so many beautiful areas to discover all over this amazing country. I’ve only seen it on TV and now me and my wife want to see all of Canada in person.”

While they get used to the fact that they are Ontario’s newest multi-millionaires, Marc and Dorothy-Ann will take time to enjoy their family and keep dreaming of the all adventures that await them.

The winning ticket was purchased at Mayer Services Esso on David N. Street in Noelville.