Ontario’s newest multimillionaire, Manoharan Ponnuthurai of Brampton, who won the $70 Million LOTTO MAX jackpot from the December 17, 2021 draw, is emphatic, he does not want to retire just quite yet.
The 54-year-old married father has been playing the lottery for about 30 years because his father enjoyed playing and they both appreciated the opportunity to dream about what could be. “I had many dreams about winning it ‘big’ one day and a few times I came close,” said Manoharan while at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto to collect his $70 million prize. In fact, he won $2800 about 15 years ago with SUPER 7, the predecessor to LOTTO MAX.
“Sometimes I play my own numbers and sometimes I play Quick Pick but this time it was the numbers from a Quick Pick selection that won the LOTTO MAX jackpot. I heard on the news that someone in Brampton won $70 million so I started checking my numbers. One by one the numbers were matching and by the fourth number, I knew I won something. That’s when I started shaking and called my wife and children to help me check. As each number matched, my heart was racing faster and faster.”
Still not believing he matched all seven jackpot numbers, he checked his ticket on the OLG App and saw “BIG WINNER” displayed on the phone screen. “At that very moment I was still shaking but I was not loud. I was in shock and I quietly kept saying, ‘I won. I won!’”. His family, on the other hand, started to celebrate loudly. Manoharan recalls, “My family started hugging me and I could feel them shaking with excitement as well. They kept saying they couldn’t believe this was real. I was so blessed to have them all with me to celebrate this incredible moment. My mother, who was also with us celebrating, said that I deserved this win and I felt so proud to hear her say that.”
Although he is still processing the fact that he is Ontario’s newest multimillionaire, Manoharan is starting to think about what he wants to do with the incredible windfall.
As mentioned, Manoharan says he does not plan to retire for a while. It’s because he operates a small manufacturing company, which employs several people who depend on him for their jobs. But his wife is retiring from her job immediately. She plans to start studying again as she wants to take courses to learn more about the world around her. She will put her new knowledge to good use because the family will be doing some travelling when it is safe to do so. “I want to explore Europe. I want to take time to see the entire continent and make ‘friends’ with all the beautiful spots around the Mediterranean Sea!”, said Manoharan. A new home is also planned for the near future.
Manoharan also wants to give back to his community and is in talks with his financial planner on exactly how to do that.
“I am so happy about my family’s future. Whatever we decide to do, we will do it as family and that is so most important to me!”
The winning ticket was purchased at Circle K at the intersection of Torbram Road and Countryside Drive in Brampton.
LOTTO MAX players in Ontario have won over $6.7 billion since 2009, including 88 jackpot wins and 721 MAXMILLIONS prizes, right across the province. LOTTO MAX is $5 per play and draws take place on Tuesdays and Fridays.