When Maria Carreiro checked her lottery ticket, the Canadian woman was overjoyed to find that she had won $40,000.
Turns out she was wrong. When the 51-year-old grandmother showed her Lottery Max ticket to her daughter, the young woman went online to double-check the amazing win and discovered her mother's prize contained a few more extra zeros.
Rather than $40,000, Carreiro had won $40 million.
Carreiro, a former factory worker who helps care for her five grandchildren, initially couldn't grasp her good fortune.
"I couldn't believe it. I was shaking and just couldn't believe that it was real. We were all excited when we thought it was only in the thousands but then in disbelief when we discovered I was a millionaire!" Carreiro said at an April 8 press conference of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission, where she appeared thrilled to accept an oversize check for her prize money.
Carreiro was ecstatic as she spoke at the press conference. "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!" she cried, while doing a happy dance and blowing kisses into the air.
She had been playing the lottery for years, but had always used her three childrens' birthdays as the numbers, according to the CBC. This time, she let the computer choose the numbers for her.
Mario Carreiro, her husband, and her daughter, Manuela, were by her side at the press conference. Her daughter was overwhelmed.
"It still hasn't sunk in," she said, breaking down. "My dad works so hard and we've been struggling so much … ."
Not anymore. Mario Carreiro has already quit his job, and his wife has big plans for her family.
"The first thing I'm going to do is look for a nice big new house. And then I'm going to pamper myself - buy new clothes for myself and my husband and buy things for my kids that I couldn't buy before," she said. "Now it's time to relax together with my husband. We never had a honeymoon, 30 years ago, so now it's time. We're going to Hawaii."
Canadian citizens do not pay any taxes on lottery winnings.
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