A Filipino-Canadian family is now $60 million—P2.26 billion—richer as they claimed the biggest lottery jackpot prize in the history of Manitoba, a province in Canada.
John Chua won the Lotto Max jackpot on Jan. 22 but did not realize his win until he got an email the next day, from the online site where he buys tickets.
He admitted he was jealous when his wife woke him up on Jan. 23 to tell him someone in Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, had won a $60-million jackpot.
“My mind just went blank,” he said. “We can’t think of anything like this is real. Maybe this won’t be real until we actually contact them, get the check.”
Chua’s mother, Angie, said she was also in disbelief.
“He was pointing to something that I didn’t understand,” she said.
“You’re pranking me again.”
Chua, together with his family, claimed his prize at the Winnipeg office of the Western Canada Lottery Corporation on Feb. 2.
As for Chua’s plans for the jackpot, he said he intends to be cautious.
“I just wanna be wise,” he said. “I have kids right now. I’m thinking for the future”
He says he thought it was maybe a free play, but it turned out to be the entire windfall — the largest lottery jackpot ever awarded in Manitoba.
Chua is sharing the winnings with his wife, Jhoana, mother Angie, and his uncle Ben Lagman.
His mother says she didn’t believe him when he first told her of the win because he always plays jokes.
But she says that changed when the family was filling out the paperwork to claim the prize: “Now we’re not just dreaming any more.”
“It’s a huge blessing,” Angie Chua said in a release Tuesday. “We just needed a little bit and we got a lot.”