After playing the same lottery numbers for 20 years that came to her husband in a dream, a 57-year-old Toronto woman is $60 million richer.
“All the hardship is over now,” Deng Pravatoudom said through a translator while accepting her giant cheque on Monday.
Pravatoudom immigrated to Canada from Laos in 1980, along with her 14 siblings.
“My family was sponsored by a local church and because we had nothing, I am thankful for the great support they provided us over the years,” she said.
“My husband and I have worked long hours as general labourers for over 40 years, trying to save what we could for our family.”
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the mother of two adult children and grandmother to two grandchildren was laid off from her job last spring.
While unemployed and praying her luck would turn around, Pravatoudom continued to play the same lottery numbers she had been for the past two decades, which she said came to her husband one night in a dream.
Then, one day after leaving her temple she went to a nearby mall on Yonge Street in North York for some errands and checked her latest Lotto Max ticket. She found out she had won a “Free Play” ticket and decided to add “Encore.”
“I couldn’t believe a few days later that free ticket would be worth $60 million,” she said.
And, it was her husband who got to tell her the great news.
“I went to line up at the bank. I gave the ticket to my husband to check. After I came out to the car, that’s when he told me,” she said.
Pravatoudom said she was “ecstatically happy and crying at the same time” when she found out she won the $60-million jackpot from the Dec. 1, 2020 draw.
“I have always prayed for a blessing that my family would be taken care of.”
With the big winnings, Pravatoudom said her and her husband plan to move out of their apartment and buy a house, pay off some bills, help out their family, and travel once it is safe to do so.
“With this money I will be capable of helping my children out more, whatever they want I will be able to buy it for them, a car and new clothes,” she said, adding “not like before when I was unable to help them out as much.”
As a special treat, Pravatoudom added she will also be buying herself some diamonds.