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N.B. man wins $64 million from Lotto 6/49

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A New Brunswicker will go to bed Thursday night much richer than he was Wednesday after collecting on a winning lottery ticket he let sit on his bedroom dresser for nearly a year.

According to a news release from Atlantic Lottery, Merel Chiasson from Bas-Caraquet won $64 million from Lotto 6/49 on Thursday, claiming the massive prize only 19 days before it was due to expire.

The winning Gold Ball Jackpot was drawn on April 15, 2023, but Chiasson didn’t expect he was the winner, keeping his ticket with a collection of others at home.

“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 said in the release.

Atlantic Lottery recently filmed a commercial in the Gloucester County area featuring a golden town crier urging people to check their tickets. 

“We didn’t give up hope that we were going to be able to meet them," Molly Cormier, director of brand and communications with Atlantic Lottery, told CTV News Atlantic. "We put out public awareness. We were constantly trying to remind the public to check their tickets. We’re just so over the moon excited that it’s concluded in this way."

If Chiasson hadn't collected the prize, the money would have gone back into Atlantic Lottery's prize pool. 

Atlantic Lottery players buying tickets at a Kiosk at CF Champlain mall were amazed by the story.

“I don’t know how he felt, but I would cry my eyes out. I would have balled and just fell to my knees,” said Rene Legere.

Rob Anston thinks luck was on Chiasson’s side.

“I think he’s probably lucky twice in his life,” said Anston. “The other big question on my mind is how much interest did he lose in one year?”

Murielle Gagne-Ouellette would think of her family first if she had won $64 million, but perhaps not right away.

“First of all, I’d hide, but then after that, well of course the family would receive some chunks, but also I would open a foundation. A foundation either for children or for low-income housing for people,” said Gagne-Ouellette.

Chiasson, a crab fisherman for 40 years, said he’ll use the money to fully retire and help out his family.

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

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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