September 7, 2022
Longtime friends from N.L. share $15.6M Lotto 6/49 jackpot thanks to family birthdates
ST. JOHN’S (N.L.) – Doug Ellsworth and Lawrence Russell have been friends for more than 30 years, but only began playing the lottery together three years ago when they thought combining efforts might be to their advantage.
The decision to play together has paid off for the friends, who won the Aug. 27 Lotto 6/49 jackpot worth $15,686,467.90.
“I looked at the ticket and ticked the numbers off one at a time and saw all six of our numbers,” Ellsworth said. “Then I put the ticket in my briefcase and everywhere I went, I took it with me until we went to validate the ticket Monday morning.”
Ellsworth and Russell, who used family birthdates to pick their numbers, went to validate the ticket together at a local convenience store.
“I pulled the owner of the store aside and asked her ‘How would you like to validate a $15.6-million ticket?’” Ellsworth said. “She just started screeching and crying and said, ‘You didn’t buy it here, did you?’ and I said ‘Yes, I did.’”
Ellsworth and Russell both agree that a win of this magnitude has been difficult to process.
“The feeling comes and goes, I think ‘No, it can’t really be that much,’ and then reality strikes,” Russell said. “It’s starting to sink in more, though, day by day.”
Ellsworth plans to buy a new vehicle and build a custom home, while Russell intends on purchasing a new pickup truck and RV so he can travel across the country. Both friends said the main priority for their prize money will be to help friends and family and contribute to charitable causes close to their hearts.
Ellsworth is also planning a family reunion to bring his entire family together for the first time since before the pandemic began.
Ellsworth purchased the winning Lotto 6/49 ticket at Water Street Variety in Bay Roberts, N.L. The retailer will receive a one per cent seller’s prize worth $156,864.
- 30 -
Atlantic Lottery Public Relations Strategist
506-867-5800 ext. 5840
Backgrounder: About Lotto 6/49
• Lotto 6/49 holds draws every Wednesday and Saturday.
• Each draw offers a Guaranteed Prize draw for $1 million in addition to the main jackpot. The jackpot starts at $5 million and grows until it is won.
• For $3, you can select 6 numbers or choose Insta Pik and the numbers will be randomly generated for you. Each Lotto 6/49 play is comprised of 1 selection of 6 numbers from 1 to 49 plus a Guaranteed Prize draw selection (a computer generated 10-digit number).
• For $1 each, players can add TAG and Atlantic 49. These add-on games give you additional chances to win and are only available in Atlantic Canada.