Anyone who plays the lottery regularly knows the chances of hitting the jackpot is pretty slim, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible — and there are many local winners who are proof that sometimes luck is on your side.
Since 2019 alone, Barrie residents have boasted more than $60 million in lotto winnings, including a January 2022 Lotto 6/49 jackpot of more than $36 million.
The biggest local winner to date is Yvonne Sauve, who purchased a Lotto 6/49 on Jan. 12, 2022 and recently stepped forward to claim her prize of $36,449,852.60.
Sauve is still waiting to be awarded her life-changing winnings as the prize falls within Crown agency's definition of an "insider win," given her sister is employed by an authorized OLG retailer.
As of March 1, OLG officials noted Sauve had completed the first of a two-step process related to insider wins, which included enhanced scrutiny of the prize claim.
To complete the prize claim, the prize will be held for a 30-day waiting period as part of OLG's scrutinization in order for OLG to publicize the win. If there are no additional claims on this prize, it will be paid to the claimant on March 31, 2022.
Attempts to track down Sauve for comment were unsuccessful.
The manager at the Shoppers Drug Mart store on Wellington Street, where the winning ticket was purchased, said all media inquiries were required to go through the company's head office.
A similarly “big” win in Barrie was the Jan. 8, 2020 Lotto 6/49 prize of $25.1 million, which was won by Kenneth Beatty and Mona Gibson, who learned of their win on the OLG Lottery App.
OLG also doled out a $1 million Lotto Max prize on July 31, 2020 and July 7, 2021. Multiple half-million-dollar prizes have also been awarded since 2019, as well as several “smaller” amounts: one $300,000 prize was won in November 2019 and three $250,000 prizes between November 2019 and February 2022.
There were also 12 other prizes claimed that were valued between $100,000 and $200,000 from 2019 to March 2022 in Barrie, OLG spokesperson Tony Bitonti said.