Three buddies share big prize


Three friends and former coworkers are sharing a $100,000 prize they won in the December 9 Lotto Max draw. James Rapp, Jean Leblanc and Zak Leblanc of Sturgeon Falls matched the last six of seven Encore numbers on a ticket they purchased together at a North Bay outlet.

The three, who work in construction, said they have been playing the lottery together since June 2022. “We always play the same numbers – a combination of our ages, dates of birth and number of kids we each have,” shared Jean while at the OLG Prize Centre this week.

James was the one who checked their ticket, but he thought they only won $100, which he was happy about. “When I handed it to the cashier, and OLG called, I found out we won $100,000! I went over to Zak’s right after.” Zak continued, “I asked him if it was real, even though I knew it was. I was just so happy and excited!”

James and Zak then headed to Jean’s work to share the good news with him. “I thought they were joking at first – then we went for beers to celebrate!”

The trio said their spouses were so happy when they told them about their windfall, but it took some convincing before their wives realized they weren’t joking.

They all know exactly what they will do with their portion of the win. “I will pay some bills, take a trip to Cuba and do something fun with the kids,” said Jean. “I will pay bills and put some on my mortgage,” shared James, and Zak will use his towards home renovations.

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