On the morning of April 14, Liliane Fortin received an unexpected phone call that was about to change her life.
It was Loto-Québec on the line, letting her know she had won over $15 million after purchasing a LottoMax ticket on online for the April 13 draw.
“There was a lot of doubt at the beginning,” she said. “I just couldn’t bring myself to believe it.”
An incredulous Fortin asked the Loto-Québec employee several times if she was being serious.
“She told me to check so I did and I saw that the amount was what she told me,” Fortin said during an online interview in French with Loto-Québec. “I rechecked several times.”
The retiree from the Capitale-Nationale region said she would sometimes buy group tickets with her coworkers when there was a big jackpot.
She continued to buy tickets from time to time, but said her online purchase was spontaneous.
Fortin explained she didn’t pick her usual numbers. Instead, they were automatically generated.
“I picked the ticket at the right moment,” she said of her lucky win.
Fortin’s $15,231,359 share is only half of the total jackpot. The other half was collected by a winner in another province.
Nonetheless, Loto-Québec said Fortin’s prize is the biggest ever won in the province for an online ticket purchase.
By Wednesday, Fortin said she’d only shared the news with her husband of 43 years and their two children, explaining they needed time to process how they were feeling.
Asked if she was happy, Fortin said she was.
“Of course I’m very happy, you can’t not be happy with that,” she said. “When I would win $20 I was happy — we aren’t too difficult to please.”
Fortin admitted to already having splurged a bit.
“I made a big first purchase,” she laughed. “I went to buy myself some new glasses.”
As for what comes next, Fortin said she and her husband didn’t quite know, but added they weren’t in any rush.
“We’ll take the time to dream,” she said. “But now maybe our dreams can come true.”