WARMINGTON: $48M lotto a win-win for Garden River teen

The 18-year-old from Sault Ste. Marie hit the jackpot on her first ever lottery ticket

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First time lucky is just one the firsts in this happy story.

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There is a first time for everything and in Sault Ste. Marie it was the first time Garden River First Nation resident Juliette Lamour ever purchased a lottery ticket.

It was also the first time she ever won a lottery prize – big or small. It was also the first time an 18-year-old has ever won a major lottery jackpot before. But the winners in this story will also be her community.

“Juliette Lamour is the youngest person in Canadian lottery history to win a jackpot of this size,” said a news release from the OLG. “While there have been other 18-year-old lottery winners across Canada in recent years, no one has won as much as Juliette” who “won the multi-million-dollar jackpot on her very first lottery purchase.”

The rumour of this big win has been around for weeks. So has the mystery.

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As I wrote on Jan. 13, there was a buzz around Steel Town that someone had one the $48-million 649 Golden Ball jackpot and while there were many guesses, including that it was a teen girl buying her first ticket, no one knew for sure.

The mystery has been solved.

“I just turned 18 and my grandfather suggested I buy a lottery ticket for fun,” Juliette said during a winner’s celebration at OLG Headquarters in the very same Sault Ste. Marie.

“When I went to the store, I wasn’t sure what to ask for because I had never bought a ticket before, so I called my dad who told me to buy a LOTTO 6/49 Quick Pick,” she explained. “I still can’t believe I hit the GOLD BALL jackpot on my very first lottery ticket!”

Juliette Lamour, 18, of Sault Ste Marie, Ont. with her cheque for $48 million.
Juliette Lamour of Sault Ste Marie, who at 18 is the youngest person in Canadian lottery history to win a jackpot of this size. OLG

It seems not only did the university student not know how to play the game, she also didn’t know how to check the ticket.

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“Juliette forgot about the ticket until news started to spread that the winning LOTTO 6/49 ticket worth $48 million was purchased in the Soo,” said the OLG. “She was at work with her colleagues when they told her the winning ticket was sold in the city. That’s when she remembered she had a ticket for the draw.”

She bought the ticket at the Circle K store on McNabb St. but works part-time at a pharmacy.

“Her co-worker offered to check her ticket on his OLG App” and after scanning the ticket the ‘Winner/Gagnant’ jingle started to play, and ‘Big Winner’ was displayed on the phone.”

Juliette was in shock.

“My colleague fell to his knees in disbelief. He was yelling, in fact everyone was yelling that I won $48 million! I didn’t understand what was going on at first. I couldn’t process this news. We kind of made a scene in the store that day.”

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When she called home, her mom told her to finish her shift. But that was tough and they came to get her.

“I was crying – happy tears – of course,” said Canada’s newest multi-millionaire. “My mom couldn’t understand what was going on. Thankfully my dad was able to piece together that I won the lottery jackpot. I knew I couldn’t focus on work and my boss told me I could go home.”


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She could actually now buy the drug store. And the Soo Greyhounds OHL team.

So what is she going to do with all of that money?

“Once school is done, my family and I will pick a continent and start exploring. I am not a “sit-on-the-beach” type of person. I want to experience different countries, study their history and culture, try their food, and listen to their language.”

But her bigger plan is to make sure she takes this good fortune and helps her community. The young woman now joins the ranks of famous people from Garden River First Nation, the majestic reserve just minutes east of the Sault that is the proud home of legendary NHL coach and player Ted Nolan and his two pro hockey sons Brandon and Jordin.

The Stanley Cup has been to Garden River and now the community has a lottery jackpot winner.

“I really want to come back to this area as a doctor so I can give back to my community,” Juliette said.

Seems like this is a win for everybody.

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