A Canadian woman who lost her job amid the coronavirus pandemic won $60 million by using a lottery ticket with numbers her husband dreamed up 20 years ago.
Deng Pravatoudom, 57, has been playing the same numbers for the past two decades ever since they came to her husband in a dream one night, Ontario Lottery and Gaming said in a news release.
In December, her dedication to those numbers finally paid off, as she won $60 million (equivalent to about $47 million U.S. dollars) on a Lotto Max ticket.
"I left my temple after prayers, went to a nearby mall for some errands and to check my LOTTO MAX ticket. I won a Free Play ticket and added ENCORE. I couldn't believe a few days later that free ticket would be worth $60 million!" Pravatoudom said.
It was her husband who ultimately told her that her ticket was a big winner, as he was the one who checked the tickets while she was at the bank paying bills.
"He was serious, not joking, so I knew he was telling the truth," she said. "I started to cry. I have always prayed for a blessing that my family would be taken care of."
Pravatoudom — who has two children and two grandchildren — immigrated to Canada from Laos in 1980 alongside her 14 siblings, and her family was sponsored by a local church to help them get by, the release said.
"My husband and I have worked as general laborers for over 40 years, trying to save what we could for our family," she said. "Due to the pandemic I was laid off last spring, so this money will certainly help make our lives much easier."
Her two children were just as excited about the windfall as she was, as Pravatoudom told OLG that their response was, "Mom and dad, you have worked so hard for 40 years and made many sacrifices, so you deserve this happiness!"
She and her husband plan to move out of their Toronto apartment and buy a new house, pay bills, help immediate and extended family, and eventually travel the world.
"Except for when I came to Canada from Laos, I have never really traveled, so I want to see Europe, Texas, Hawaii," she said. "I am excited to see the world!"
The announcement of Pravatoudom's big win comes as a lucky ticket holder in Michigan became the lone winner of the $1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot on Friday.
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