Cutting it close: N.B. man claims $64M lotto win just 19 days before expiry

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N.B. man claims $64M lotto win just 19 days before expiry
WATCH: N.B. man claims $64M lotto win just 19 days before expiry – Mar 28, 2024

After a search that spanned throughout the course of nearly one year, a crab fisherman from New Brunswick has claimed the largest lottery prize ever won in Atlantic Canada — $64-million dollars — just 19 days before the ticket was set to expire.

Merel Chiasson of Bas-Caraquet, N.B., said he kept the ticket amongst a set of other unchecked tickets on his bedroom dresser for the past year, where he regularly checks them one month’s worth at a time before they’re set to expire.

When he took his tickets to a local retailer, he said he wasn’t sure if he had won $64,000 or $64 million.

“There was a lot of zeros, so I wasn’t sure,” Chiasson said in a release from Atlantic Lottery, adding that once his partner looked at his ticket — she knew right away that he was the $64-million winner everyone was looking for.

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Chiasson said he heard many people talking about the unclaimed prize throughout the last year, but never suspected that he might’ve been the winner. He said he wasn’t concerned that he would miss out on the big prize.

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“I’ve always done it like that, and I never thought I would win big, so I leave the tickets there and didn’t worry too much about it,” he continued.

According to an Atlantic Lottery release, Chiasson worked as a crab fisherman for 40 years before beginning work at a local fish plant a few years ago. He said the prize money will now allow him to retire and provide some additional financial assistance to his family.

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“I don’t want anything big,” he said. “It’s not going to change me, I’m still the same person.”

Chiasson has been a regular Lotto 64/9 player for many years, adding that he intends to continue playing the lottery — even purchasing a few more tickets after validating his winning ticket.

The winning Lotto 6/49 ticket was purchased at Depanneur Pokemouche in the town of Pokemouche, N.B. The retailer will receive a one per cent seller’s prize from the winnings.

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