Winner of $70M Lotto Max Jackpot Revealed As 22-Year-Old Gregory Mathieu
Gregory Mathieu, a 22-year-old grocery store worker, has been revealed as the lucky winner of the $70 million Lotto Max jackpot given away in the draw on Tuesday 25 February.
Mathieu, joined by his family, collected his prize from Loto-Québec headquarters on Friday. Prior to the win he worked at an IGA grocery store in Lévis, Quebec City, which is where he validated his ticket. He spoke about the moment that he found out he had won a $70 million jackpot.
“When there was nobody at the register I told her, the cashier, to check the ticket,” he said. “she checked it and I couldn't believe my eyes. And I still can't believe it.
“I went to sit down because I couldn't talk or think. I called my mother and then I called my brother and then they came and joined me at the IGA and we went straight to my grandparents to take a breath.”
The next step for Matthew is to decide what to do with his newfound wealth but he talked about his relief at being able to eliminate his money worries: “I was stressing a lot about that and now I no longer have to. It’s really a big weight lifted off my shoulders. I no longer have to wonder how I'm going to pay for my apartment with a salary of $12.55 an hour. Financially, I am good for life.”
The first item on his wishlist, he said, is a new car, as his - which keeps breaking down - is stuck under a pile of snow at his former workplace, after he was too excited to drive home.
Mathieu’s mother, Sandra Julien, was the one who asked her son to go and buy a lotto ticket for the 25 February draw; when he called her to tell her that he had bought the winning ticket, she said: “Gregory, are you freaking serious?”
She had trouble believing him at first and asked to speak to one of his co-workers: “I said, ‘Gregory, your father and I don’t have funds to miss work for a bad joke, pass me to someone to confirm that what you’re telling me is true’. His coworker said it was true and I asked Gregory to send me a picture of the confirmation — and then after that I’m missing a few pieces.”
The winning ticket was a Quick Pick but some of the numbers held a special significance to the Mathieu-Julien family.
“Gregory purchased the ticket the 25th and it was our eldest sister’s birthday, who happens to be Gregory’s godmother. Our sister committed suicide 10 years ago,” Julien said. The number 10 was one of the winning numbers.
“My mother used to always say, ‘One day we’re going to win the lottery!’ and she would buy tickets religiously,” Julien added. “On her deathbed she said, ‘Girls, I will find a way to come back to see you.’ And she found a way.”
Mathieu’s prize ties the record for the biggest ever lottery jackpot in Canada’s history, a record that was only just broken in January when another $70 million Lotto Max jackpot was given away.
Adlin Lewis won the first ever $70 million Lotto Max jackpot in the draw on 7 January 2020. The 49-year-old credit risk manager from Brampton, Ontario, said he felt “overwhelmed, excited, happy and shocked but mostly, very, very blessed” after the record windfall.
These $70 million jackpots have only been possible since a change to the Lotto Max rules in May 2019. The jackpot cap was increased from $60 million alongside several other major changes, including the addition of a second weekly draw on a Tuesday.
The jackpot won by Adlin Lewis in January was the first time the new cap had been reached. A $50 million jackpot was then won just three draws later on 17 January, before Gregory Mathieu tied the record for the biggest jackpot on 25 February. That took the total jackpots won in 2020 so far to $190 million, a sum that last year wasn’t reached until June.
The next Lotto Max draw takes place on Tuesday 3 March, offering a jackpot of $24 million. You can purchase tickets from any lottery retailer in Canada.