North America

Canadian man finds million-dollar lottery ticket in old coat

Gregorio De Santis claiming his prize Source: LOTO-QUÈBEC

A man in Canada says his "heart almost stopped" after finding a million-dollar lotto ticket in the pocket of an old coat.

A Montreal man cleaning out a closet at his sister's insistence received a shock when he found, in the lining of a jacket, a lottery ticket purchased 10 months earlier.

The sisterly advice proved most profitable: The man, named as Gregorio De Santis, on Friday pocketed winnings of Can$1.75 million (A$1.9 million). 

"When he went to have the ticket validated, he thought the number on the display screen was Can$1,750," Loto-Quebec said in a statement about De Santis's big day. 

"When he realised how much he had won, he says his heart almost stopped!" 

De Santis's sister had told him it was time to sift through his bulging closet and donate unused old clothing to a charity.

That's when he stumbled upon the lottery ticket, which he had originally purchased in December, 2017. 

"I would never have looked in that closet without her!" he said, according to Loto-Quebec.

De Santis, who has played the lottery since the 1970s, scored a smaller win of Can$4,000 in the early 2000s.

He plans to use his new winnings to bolster his retirement account. 

Being Canadian, he said he might also take his nephew to some hockey games. 

Perhaps it was the excitement of the moment, but De Santis made no reported mention of any thank-you gift for his clever sister.

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