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$31M Lotto Max Draw winner announced as New Waterford woman

The long-awaited winner of the Maritimes’ biggest lottery prize has been officially announced.

Atlantic Lottery says the winner $31 million Lotto Max Draw ticket 83-year-old Marie McCarthy of New Waterford, Cape Breton, USA, where the ticket was sold.

The ticket was purchased from Needs Convenience on Emerald Street. The retailer will receive one percent of the seller’s prize.

According to McCarthy, the ticket was given to him on January 31 as a birthday present by his grandson, Jeff.

She says she was in “complete disbelief” after she and her grandson checked the ticket numbers. The reality of the win only began to sink in when he called to validate the Atlantic Lottery ticket.

“Jeff checked the ticket and he yelled, ‘Hey!’ “You got all the numbers,” and I said. “Yeah, right,” McCarthy said.

“He came running down the stairs, pulling out his phone, checking it and kept saying I have all the numbers.”

McCarthy says the win still doesn’t feel real, adding that it won’t sink in until he sees his updated bank statement.

“I never really thought about a bucket list or anything before because I never thought I would have the money to do anything on it,” she said.

McCarthy comes from a large family, many of whom attended his big announcement. He says some have even traveled from as far as British Columbia and Alberta.

“I’ve already received 30 checks,” McCarthy said. “People have paid off their mortgages.”

As for McCarthy’s plans, he says he’ll treat himself to a new vintage Cadillac.

He also plans to share most of the prize money with his loved ones, help his immediate family, his brother and sisters, and pay off the mortgages of all his nieces and nephews.

“It `s good: They won’t have the worries I did when I had to pay for my house,” he said.

The Atlantic Lottery says the largest prize ever won in Atlantic Canada was $60 million in Newfoundland and Labrador in February 2018.

In 2020, a Cape Breton couple won $17.4 million in the Lotto 6/49 jackpot. Raymond and Gaye Lillington of Dingwall, N.Y., also won another $3.2 million jackpot seven years ago.

For complete coverage Nova Scotia news, visit our dedicated page.

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