Are you feeling lucky, Sarnia?
Well a handful of area residents sure are, after taking home more than $7.5 million in lottery winnings dished out over the past five months.
But according to OLG spokesperson Dita Kuhtey, there’s nothing magic in our blue water. It’s all just the luck of the draw.
“We definitely see trends sometimes — little pockets of wins,” said Kuhtey, pointing to similar winning streaks in Mississauga and Guelph in recent years. “And while it does seem that there may be a lucky streak going on in the Sarnia-Lambton area, it really comes down to the numbers.
“No region or city is any luckier than any other. Every ticket has the exact same chance to win.”
The jackpot luck began in September, when Scott Maidman purchased a winning $100,000 Instant Extreme Millions Lottery ticket at Courtright Variety.
Later that month, a Sarnia trio — Jane Tiggelaar, Terence Tiggelaar and Laurie Fach — split the $336,760 jackpot from their winning Lotto Max ticket, purchased at the Petro Canada station on London Road.
Winning November draws included Sarnia couple Cathay and Bryan Silverthorne, who raked in $5 million with a Lotto 649 ticket bought at Greer’s Variety and Lottery Centre on Indian Road; and Forest’s Robert Huctwith, who waited until last week to claim his $50,000 prize drawn on Nov. 25.
Also in November, Sarnia’s Glenn MacKinnon won $72,000 on a ticket purchased at the Pioneer station on Confederation Street.
In December, Sarnia’s Wesley Davidson’s Ontario 49 ticket (purchased in Mississauga) won him $2 million, and Stanley Krawetz struck double the luck with a $100,000 winning Lotto Max Encore ticket purchased at Milk Marc Variety on Murphy Road — a decade after his $250,000 OLG win.
“It’s rare, but it definitely does happen,” Kuhtey said of two-time winners like Krawetz.
But the city’s biggest win in recent history happened in 2011, when retired Nova Chemicals worker Jon Hines won $16.6 million.
When it comes to the two big national lotteries — Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max — about 66% of those tickets are sold in Ontario, and coincidentally, 66% of all lottery winnings go to Ontario players, Kuhtey said.
“So, wins do correspond with sales. The more tickets are sold, the more chances to win.”
Still, the chances of winning are slim, according to Moneysense.ca, which points to one in 14 million odds of winning Lotto 6/49, and one in 28.6 million odds for Lotto Max.
Even the chances of winning a $250,000 Lottario prize in Ontario are about one in four million.
“Every community across Ontario, at some point, has probably had a win,” said Kuhtey. “It’s just as likely the next jackpot will come from a big city like Toronto, or a small town like Forest.”
Top 5 Lottery Wins in Sarnia
April 2011 – $16.6 million
Nov. 16 2015 – $5 Million
June 4, 1986 – $4.98 Million
May 7, 1996 – $2.54 Million
Nov. 25, 1987 – $2.5 Million