Canadian man claims record $64 million Lotto 6/49 jackpot right before it expires

Home » Canadian man claims record $64 million Lotto 6/49 jackpot right before it expires

Region’s biggest lottery prize almost fades away

By Kate Northrop

POKEMOUCHE, Canada — A record-breaking $64 million (US$47.26 million) Lotto 6/49 jackpot was claimed by one Canadian man just mere weeks before the winning ticket expired.

Atlantic Canada’s largest lottery prize almost went unclaimed, but the lucky winner stepped forward with the ticket with just 19 days left on the clock.

Merel Chiasson of Bas-Caraquet, New Brunswick, had a winning lottery ticket worth $64 million in his bedroom dresser drawer for 347 days and had no idea. If it weren’t for his monthly routine, he might have missed out on collecting a lifechanging amount of money.

He visited the Atlantic Lottery’s headquarters in Moncton, not only laying claim to the winnings, but the record for the largest lottery prize ever won in Atlantic Canada. He told the Lottery about how he had been hearing talk about the unclaimed jackpot from the April 15, 2023 Lotto 6/49 Gold Ball drawing, but he never imagined a single time that he could be the winner.

Despite nearly waiting a full year to step forward with the winning ticket, Chiasson said he was never really concerned about missing out on the prize.

It’s not uncommon for lottery players to wait for a pile of tickets to accumulate before checking them –some wait a week, others a month. Chiasson collects his unchecked tickets and, once a month, checks those that are just about to expire.

“I’ve always done it like that, and I never thought I would win big, so I leave the tickets there and didn’t worry too much about it,” he told the Lottery.

He added there could be another winner in the stack just waiting to be collected.

“It’s possible,” Chiasson laughed.

When he finally checked the ticket at a local retailer, Chiasson recalled that he looked at it and couldn’t tell if he had won $64,000 or $64 million.

“There was a lot of zeros, so I wasn’t sure,” he related.

His partner, however, took a look at the ticket knew right away that he was the winner everyone was looking for. But Chiasson said he wouldn’t believe it until he heard it directly from Atlantic Lottery officials.

With his winning Lotto 6/49 ticket validated by the Lottery and a $64 million prize in tow, the crab fisherman of 40 years said he can retire for good from his current job at a local fish plant. Not only that, but the $64 million jackpot will allow him to help support his family in ways that weren’t possible before.

“I don’t want anything big,” he assured. “It’s not going to change me, I’m still the same person.”

One thing that definitely won’t change is his lottery habits. A regular Lotto 6/49, Lotto Max, and Set for Life fan for years, he’ll keep playing. He even bought some more tickets after validating his jackpot-winning ticket.

Chiasson had bought the winning ticket at Depanneur Pokemouche on NB-11 in Pokemouche, N.B. The retailer will receive a one percent commission for selling the winning ticket.

The winning numbers in the April 15, 2023 Lotto 6/49 drawing were 1, 20, 30, 35, 36, and 44, with Bonus ball 48. Chiasson won the jackpot in the Gold Ball drawing with digits 9331474-01.

Every Lotto 6/49 ticket includes one Classic Draw selection of six numbers in the regular drawing and a 10-digit computer generated Gold Ball Draw number. While the Classic Draw top prize is always fixed at $5 million, the Gold Ball jackpot starts at $10 million and can grow beyond $60 million.

There is a guaranteed winner in every Gold Ball drawing. If a white ball is drawn, the winner takes home $1 million, or if the Gold Ball is drawn, the winner lands the growing Gold Ball jackpot. Since the Gold Ball was drawn on April 15, 2023, Chiasson won the $64 million jackpot.

Lotto 6/49 drawings take place every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:30 pm EST. Tickets cost $3 each. All winning numbers, odds and prize amounts can be found on Lottery Post’s Multi-Province Lottery Results page.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *