WATCH ABOVE: What would you do if you won the lottery? One couple in Alberta took a long time to think about that, keeping the $50-million win a secret for seven months. Mike Drolet reports.
EDMONTON – The owners of the $50 million Lotto MAX ticket from Dec. 20, 2013 knew they won two days after the draw, but decided to keep it a secret.
Andrea and Bill Groner were presented with their $50 million cheque on Tuesday, more than seven months after buying the lucky ticket.
The Groners purchased the ticket from the Shefield Express store inside Londonderry Mall.
Once she heard the winning numbers called, Andrea checked the ticket at a self serve scanner at the mall on Dec. 22.
“When I checked the ticket, the first thing I should have had was my glasses on,” she joked. “I didn’t have those with me. I had to get the retail clerk there to tell me what it said on the self scanner. She was more excited than I was at the time. I was in disbelief.”
Then, she waited until she got home to tell her husband the news in person.
“We had to maintain a normal lifestyle until we could get all our ducks in a row that we had to take care of in our own lives,” said Andrea.
While they held off on claiming the winning ticket for months, they told some close family and friends.
“The people that we wanted to know already know.”
A spokesperson for the Western Canada Lottery Corp. said in June that it’s possible that winners know, but choose to delay collecting on the ticket for some reason. However, the length of time the ticket remained unclaimed was unusual.
“This is the longest that a $50 million jackpot has gone unclaimed,” said Andrea Marantz.
The Groners say they plan to support friends and family as well as donate to charity.
The couple has been married 25 years, but never went on a honeymoon. They plan to spend some of the money on a honeymoon now.
Andrea, who is 47, will be retiring in December from her job with an electrical supply company.
Bill, 54, just retired from his job as a heavy equipment operator.
“The strong, silent type,” he said with a smile.
“We’ve got our whole lives to think what we’re going to do with the win,” Andrea added. “It’s not anything we’re going to rush into. I think we did go out for dinner that night, didn’t we?”
This is the largest win from a ticket sold in Edmonton. It is the second largest win in Alberta.
The Groners say they regularly bought lottery tickets, and have continued to play since the big win.
During the seven months in which the ticket was unclaimed, the couple would watch news stories asking where the winner was and would say, “we’re right here.”