Kamloops woman says she screamed and started shaking after winning $35M Lotto Max prize

Kamloops, B.C.s Rhonda Malesku says she’s going to build her dream home after winning $35 million playing the Lotto Max Jackpot.

Malesku purchased the ticket at a Walmart on Hillside Drive while shopping for beach towels and didn’t anticipate that she would match all seven numbers along with a ticket purchased in Alberta to split the $70-million jackpot for $35 million apiece, according to a statement from the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC).

Malesku says she was at home when she discovered her massive win the morning after the draw.

“I let out a huge scream and kept saying, ‘I won 35 million dollars!” I opened up the back door and started screaming it outside to my husband Sam, and we both started shaking,” she said in the cheque presentation ceremony at the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s headquarters in Kamloops on Thursday.

Malesku, who has been a regular lottery player for the last 40 years, says she did not anticipate finally bagging the jackpot when she bought the winning ticket at Walmart on Hillside Drive.

Rhonda Malesku arrived with members of her family at the B.C. Lottery Corporation office in Kamloops on Thursday to receive a cheque for $35 million presented by the corporation’s CEO Pat Davis. (BCLC)

She says she plans on building herself, her son and her daughter their dream homes, plans to give other family members some money, wants to buy a travel trailer and a truck and will do some travelling.

“I’ve always dreamed of being able to design my dream home and also set my family up, so now I can do both,” said Malesku.

The Lotto Max winner says she will use her new travel trailer and truck to explore the East Coast with her loved ones. 

Malesku’s prize is B.C.’s third-highest Lotto Max win this year, according to BCLC CEO Pat Davis.

Lotto Max is Canada’s biggest lottery game, with a jackpot that reaches $70 million. The biggest single Lotto Max prize in B.C. is Christine Lauzon of Burnaby, who won  $70 million in September 2021. 

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