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Meet the 22-year-old Quebec grocery store worker who won $70-million
MONTREAL -- A young grocery store employee, whose car had been breaking down, can now afford a new one -- or a fleet of them.
Friday was a life-changing day for jackpot lottery winner, 22-year-old Gregory Mathieu, as well as seven members of his family, who received a cheque for $70 million from Loto-Québec.
Smiling as blue and white confetti filled the air, they collected their prize Friday morning at Loto-Quebec's office in Quebec City.
Loto-Quebec identified the winners as Mathieu and family members Ursule Jolicoeur, Sandra Julien, Sonia Julien, Sylvie Julien, Denis Lessard, Derek Prevost and Stephane Provost.
Mathieu, who worked at an IGA grocery store in Lévis, a suburb of Quebec City, held the winning ticket for the record draw this past Tuesday.
Mathieu validated the ticket after arriving at work Wednesday morning. He was crying and shaking, one of his co-workers said, adding that his father had to come pick him up because he wasn't in a state to drive home.
"When there was nobody at the register I told her, the cashier, to check the ticket and she checked it and I couldn't believe my eyes," he said. "And I still can't believe it."
Mathieu said the first call he made was to his family.
"I went to sit down because I couldn't talk or think. I called my mother and then I called my brother and then they came and joined me at the IGA and we went straight to my grandparents to take a breath."
The family has some plans for the jackpot already - such as travelling and buying new cars - but have yet to figure out they will do with their massive winnings.
"We are a very close-knit family and I am thrilled that we are able to experience this life-changing moment together," Mathieu's mother, Sandra Julien, said Friday.
Mathieu said the top of his wishlist is a new car: His is breaking down and currently under a pile of snow in the IGA parking lot because he was too excited to drive.
The IGA Extra, where he bought the ticket, will receive a $700,000 commission – one per-cent of the prize – for selling the winning ticket.
The extravagant award is the biggest jackpot ever won in Quebec and comes during Loto-Quebec's 50th anniversary celebrations.
This is the second time in less than two months that a $70 million jackpot was at stake. The last draw was won on Jan. 7 in Ontario.
During this last draw, eight additional $1 million prizes were also won in Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and Atlantic Canada.
-- with files from CTV News' Basem Boshra and The Canadian Press.