A Canadian woman who purchased a lottery ticket, lost it and forgot about it until lottery officials tracked her down and showed up at her door will be $50 million richer.
Lottery officials announced Tuesday that Kathryn Jones, of Hamilton, Ontario, was the mystery face behind the $50 million Lotto Max ticket that was drawn on Nov. 30, 2012 and left unclaimed, prompting more than 430 inquires from possible winners.
“I am still in shock and very grateful OLG approached me regarding the outstanding $50 million prize,” Jones said at a press conference Tuesday in Ontario. “I completely respect OLG’s rules and processes. I now anxiously anticipate the end of the wait period.”
Jones, an engineer, must wait until January to claim her prize, following the Ontario Lotto and Gaming Corporation’s (OLG) standard policy to wait 30 days after the claim is publicized.
The 30 day-wait will be nothing for Jones, who lost the lottery ticket after she purchased it at a Shoppers Drug Mart in November and paid no attention until lottery officials traced her from a camera image at the store and showed up at her door this fall.
“We weren’t sure we wanted to let them in the house,” Jones told CBC News. “Then they showed us their ID, so they came in and sat down and started asking a number of questions.”
OLG investigators began to focus in on Jones through their investigation in another claim to the winning jackpot. They used surveillance tools including credit card proof of purchase, store surveillance video footage and in-person interviews to confirm that Jones was, in fact, the winner, lottery officials said.
Jones was informed of her soon-to-be multi-millionaire status last Thursday, just 48 hours before the filing deadline, according to CP24 in Toronto.
“You try to brace yourself for ‘maybe this isn’t going to happen,’” Jones said Tuesday, alluding to another complication in her story, the fact that her sister owns a store near Ottawa that sells OLG lottery tickets, prompting a mandatory additional review of her claim.
“The case of this outstanding $50 million Lotto Max jackpot is one of the most unique in OLG’s history,” OLG CEO Rod Phillips, said in a statement. “I am pleased that we are one step closer to awarding this multi-million dollar prize.”