North York woman wins more than $1 million playing nickel slots

WATCH: A Toronto woman who missed the first bus to Niagara hit it big on the nickel slot machine Sunday. As Sean O’Shea reports, the huge payoff has made Family Day extra special.

A Toronto woman who spent $5 on a slot machine in Niagara on Sunday is $1.03 million dollars richer today.

Casilda Pouk, 51, was playing the Mighty Millionaire nickel slot machine when she hit the jackpot. She had barely sat down and had only hit the machine for a third spin when she struck it big.

“It really is wow,” she told Global News in her North York home, surrounded by family.

“My husband can have that car he was dreaming of,” she said with a smile.

Pouk originally intended to go with family to Casino Rama, north of Toronto but bad weather caused a change of heart. She even missed the first casino bus to Niagara.

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Armed with about $200 to play, Pouk quickly lost money on other machines. Until she found the lucky nickel slot machine which delivered an enormous payoff.

Pouk came to Canada in 1991 from the Philippines to work as a nanny. After jobs at a convenience store and a grocery chain, she began working as a cashier at McDonald’s on the overnight shift. Pouk still works at the restaurant 15 years later and she plans to return to work this week.

Relatives say Pouk, the youngest of 11 children, generously supports her family in the Philippines, sending back what she could even when money was tight. In light of the windfall, she’s now in a position to help even more. Her family sees the prize as a God-send.

“Maybe God helped her to help more of our family when they need it,” said her sister Maria Angelina Espanola, who said she cried when she heard news of Casilda’s winning spin.

An occasional casino player, Pouk says she may play again. Asked if it’s possible to see another big payoff she responded “you never know.”

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