Big bucks in the Big Smoke

What a way to ring in the New Year! There is just one winning ticket for the $50 million New Year’s Eve Lotto Max jackpot — and it was sold in the Greater Toronto Area.

TORONTO — What a way to ring in the New Year!

There is just one winning ticket for the $50 million New Year’s Eve Lotto Max jackpot — and it was sold in the Greater Toronto Area.

Sarah Kiriliuk of Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. says since Lotto Max launched in 2009, it’s the first time the $50 million has been won by a single ticket in Ontario.

She says it’s the sixth time a $50 million jackpot has been won by Lotto Max players across the country.

Kiriliuk says the jackpot winner should go to a retailer and validate the ticket or call OLG’s customer service line, but she notes the prize centre is closed on Monday for the holidays.

There were also 21 MaxMillions up for grabs Friday night, and eight of the one-million-dollar prizes are being claimed.

Three winning MaxMillions tickets were sold in Ontario, and three were purchased on the Prairies.

Two MaxMillions prizes will be split by ticket holders in Ontario and B.C., with each of the four tickets worth $500,000.

The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Jan. 7 will be an estimated $23 million.

There is a winner’s handbook the OLG provides that suggests winners find a financial manager to help them put their money in a safe spot, said Kiriliuk.

A couple from Vancouver won the $50-million lottery jackpot from Oct. 29.

An Ottawa man split the $50-million jackpot on Aug. 13 with a group of 10 people from Lac St. Jean, Que.

A Saskatchewan couple won half of the $50 million Lotto Max jackpot on June 25. The other winning ticket was from Happy Valley Goose Bay, N.L.

Last February, one ticket each in Quebec and B.C. split a $50-million Lotto Max draw while Marie Fontaine of Pine Falls, Man., won the $50-million jackpot in November 2009.

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