A Closer Look at the $70M Record Lotto Jackpot

Last year, Lotto Max underwent some changes, one of which allowed the jackpot to cap at $70 million, quite a bit higher than in the past. This month, just one week into 2020, one ticket holder from Brampton won the $70 million jackpot, the largest thus far in Canadian lottery history.

Change is Hard

People are creatures of habit. They play their favorite lotto games and become accustomed to their sets of numbers and the days of the drawings. It makes changes that much tougher.

In May 2019, though, Lotto Max underwent some changes. The ball machine went to an antique shop as lottery numbers were going to be chosen by a computerized random number generator going forward. Instead of one drawing per week on Fridays, there would be two – Tuesdays and Fridays. And another number was added.

Players had 50 numbers from which to choose instead of just 40. However, the addition of that additional number allowed the jackpots to be capped at $70 million instead of $60 million.

The odds for winning that top prize were higher, but there were also two new winning categories added. Technically, players had more of a chance to win something, and the top prize was higher than ever before. In fact, that $70 million, when hit, would be the largest jackpot in Canadian history.

Largest Lotto Max Ever

On Tuesday, January 7, 2020, one ticket was sold to one player who won that magical $70 million.

The winner didn’t come forward right away. There was a time when the only information available was that the ticket was sold in Brampton, just outside of Ontario.

Of course, others won in that January 7 drawing as well. In fact, six millionaires were crowned from MAXMILLIONS tickets – one each sold in Brampton, Hamilton, Niagara, Oshawa, Ottawa, and Pickering. Two people won $500K each with MAXMILLIONS tickets – one in Niagara Falls and another in Perth. And three MAXMILLIONS ticket holders – one each in Richmond Hill, Toronto, and online – won $333,333.40 each.

Winner Announced

On January 13, 2020, Adlin Lewis received his cheque for the $70 million. Well, it was a very large cardboard check for pictures taken at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto. Mr. Lewis probably doesn’t want the general public to know exactly how he was paid or where he does his banking.

Lotto Max winner

His story was revealed to the public on January 14. Adlin Lewis is a 49-year-old credit risk manager.

The day after the drawing, Mr. Lewis was warming up his car and decided to scan his ticket on the OLG mobile app to see if he won anything. The first attempt garnered an error message. The second attempt worked and showed “Big Winner” and the number 70.

As the natural reaction of disbelief took over, he wanted to look at the numbers themselves. He went online to look at the actual winning numbers and connect them to the numbers on his ticket. Every one of them matched.

Probably out of habit, Lewis drove to work. And he took the time at work to let the news sink in for himself and decide how to share the news with his wife.

“I wanted to tell her in a special way – with a trip or something creative – but I couldn’t keep this news to myself,” Mr. Lewis said, according to an inbrampton news story. “I ended up waking her up in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday and just telling her outright,” he admitted.

Further, Mr. Lewis talked further to OLG staff after accepting his prize. “I’m overwhelmed, excited, happy and shocked, but mostly, I feel very, very blessed.”

What to Do with $70 Million

Few people have plans prepared for the moment they win tens of millions of dollars.

Mr. Lewis said he wants to make some “major investments” and take time to do some traveling with his wife, though he didn’t give any specifics. “We have a lot of options now,” he said.

It wasn’t his first experience with a prominent win, though. “A couple of years ago,” he said, “I won a car and then more recently, I won both the first and second prizes in a workplace holiday draw.” Even so, there is a big difference between a car and $70 million.

As for the lottery, Mr. Lewis said he has played for the last 25 years and considers himself to be a lucky person. He hopes to parlay that luck into making one of his wife’s dreams come true, as she wants to play the $100-per-spin VIP slot machines in Las Vegas. “Now I can make that dream come true for her.”

Other than that, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis plan to enjoy life with the winnings.


Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen


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