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10th Feb 2023

Five-year-old who emptied piggy bank to donate to charity wins $48 million lottery 13 years later

Steve Hopkins

The teen bought the ticket while getting her granddad ice cream

Karma came back around in the best way possible for a Canadian teenager who as a kid helped the victims of an earthquake by emptying her piggy bank.

She won a $48 million (£29.7m) lotto jackpot in Canada – with the first ticket she ever bought.

Juliette Lamour was just five years old when she and her sister Sophie emptied the contents of their shared piggy bank for a branch of the Canadian Red Cross, which had set up a table to help raise money for Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake that claimed 220,000 lives.

The sisters handed over $61.38 (£37) – an impressive deposit for kids – and Juliette went about her days with no idea what good fortune would come her way 13 years later.

Earlier this month, Juliette, now 18, was revealed as the winner of Canada’s Gold Ball draw which took place on 7 January, making her the youngest ever Canadian to win such a big prize,

Now a student of Algoma University student, Juliette had been on her way to take her grandfather for some ice cream when she decided to buy her first ever lottery ticket.

Recalling the series of events, Juliette said: “I called him on the phone asking what kind of ice cream he wanted. And he said to me: ‘You just turned 18, go buy a lotto ticket, test your luck.’ So I did.

“I got to the corner store and I’m in my car — and I didn’t know how to buy it. So I had to call my dad. I said: ‘Dad, Grandpa wants me to buy a ticket. How do I do it?’ He’s like: ‘Oh, just go inside and get a QuickPick’.”

And she won big.

Juliette called her mum first: “She answered the phone and I was like: ‘I won the lottery!’ She’s like: ‘No you didn’t!’ ”

While Juliette now has enough money to do just about anything, she plans continue with her four-year university program – without the need for a loan-  and hopes to attend the Northern Ontario School of Medicine before coming back to practice in Northern Ontario.

“Once school is done, my family and I will pick a continent and start exploring,” she was quoted as saying by BBC shortly after her win. 

“I want to experience different countries, study their history and culture, try their food, and listen to their language.”

Juliette’s dad, financial advisor Kevin, is sure to help his daughter make the right choices, though it seems the money is in the right hands.

“We’re definitely going to keep friends and family in mind. And tonight, I’m still a university student so I’m planning on finishing my biology report.”

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