Are These the World’s Most Down-to-Earth Lottery Winners?

Canadian lotto millionaires Ann-Marie Francis and Ian Warcup may be staggeringly rich – but they’re even more extraordinarily grounded. Join us as a we tell the happy tale of the world’s most down-to-Earth lottery winners.

When Ann-Marie Francis bought a Lotto Max ticket from the Provigo grocery store in Sherbrooke, Quebec last summer, she could not have imagined that she was about to become rich to the tune of € 32 million ($55 million).

Well, her numbers came up, and she did!

Source: MSN

When asked how she felt at a press conference held to mark her jackpot win, Francis responded, “Disbelief. I still don’t believe it, and I’m here.”

She described how she checked her winning numbers online the day after the draw.

“I looked at the numbers, and I looked again, and it took about five times before I went “Oh, I have the numbers!””

Her partner Ian Warcup was cleaning their pool at the time.

“I wasn’t sure what was happening,” said Warcup, before adding drily, “She said to come in the house, because she had something to show me, and I went in and I stopped cleaning the pool.”

So how were they going to spend the money?

Now here’s where the story gets really down-to-Earth – when Warcup was asked how he and Francis intended to spend their phenomenal windfall.

Would they be buying a sportscar? A mansion? An exotic pet, perhaps? Warcup had this to say:

“Right now it’s really hard to say for sure. We’re not going to live the same way we did before. We might buy some better food, more expensive food.”

“It’s hard to say, right now,” he added. “We still don’t believe it’s actually happened.”

Keepin’ it real, Ian! You’ve just beaten odds of 28,633,528-to-1 and you’re content to simply eat some fancier food. That’s the kind of grounded attitude that would help a person avoid spending a lottery jackpot in the wrong ways.

And whilst this likeable couple didn’t quite have it all figured out when they went public with their win, they clearly had some ideas forming about what else they might do besides putting something nicer in the fridge. When pressed on the subject of the couple’s post-jackpot living arrangements, Francis replied, “We might either modify [our current home] or we might buy a new house, we don’t know yet.

“We’re just taking it easy and coming to terms with what just happened.”

The winners also revealed they were both likely to retire from their jobs in the promotional merchandise industry.

And they hadn’t even told the kids!

It’s always sweet when a big family wins a lottery jackpot – there are more people to share the wealth!

With five grown-up children and three grandkids, Warcup and Francis’ win certainly fit into this category – but remarkably, no-one in the younger generation knew about it until it was national news.

At a ceremony celebrating the jackpot win, held a full three days after the event, Francis revealed she and Warcup hadn’t told their family friends or even their children about the good news. She said:

“They’re finding out with everybody else. They don’t know. Everybody is finding out at the same time.

“It’s a surprise for everybody,” Warcup. added “You’re not expecting to win. You always want to win but you’re not expecting to win.”

Francis and Warcup’s jackpot win wasn’t just great news for them and their family – it’s also going to do great things for the grocery store where Francis bought her winning ticket. Under Lotto Max rules, the vendor of a jackpot winning ticket will receive a payout worth 1% of the amount paid to the ticketholder. That may be a small percentage, but it amounted to a humungous payout of $550,000!

How Francis won the jackpot

We’re going to start making a habit of finishing off articles like this one with some notes on how the lucky winners chose their numbers and played the game.

In Francis’ case, this was a matter of perseverance paying off. The Quebecoise described herself as a frequent player, and we’re not surprised – for obvious reasons, most winners tend to be regular players.

There were no fancy tricks to how Francis picked her numbers. In fact, they were chosen at random by a machine. As proven by all lotto history to date, this will have helped ensure a lower risk of having to share the prize with another winning ticketholder.