Kathryn Jones: The Luckiest Canada Lotto Max Winner Ever?

Have you ever lost a lottery ticket and then wondered constantly about whether or not that ticket could have been the winning ticket? If so, then you are similar to Canada Lotto Max winner Kathryn Jones, whose fantastic win we will explore in this article—as well as the circumstances that eventually led to her claiming her massive win.

Lotto Max Winner Kathryn Jones Holding Oversized ChequeWho Is Kathryn Jones?

At the time of her win, Kathryn was a typical hardworking Canadian mother. She was married to her husband, Richard, and worked as an engineer in Cambridge. The couple had two children, who were both in university, and Kathryn dreamed of visiting Australia and New Zealand to discover other corners of the world.

The Winning Ticket Purchase

One day on her way home from work, Kathryn stopped by at a Shoppers Drug Market to purchase a few things. While getting the items she wanted, she decided that she would also purchase $16 worth of Lotto Max tickets. She was a relatively regular player of this great lottery and used the opportunity to get ahead in purchasing her tickets for the next draw.

One thing that was unique about the way that Kathryn purchased her tickets that day, however, was that she did not pay cash. Usually, when purchasing her tickets, Kathryn admits that she does pay with cash. Thankfully, on this fateful day, she decided to pay using her credit card. At the time, she thought nothing of it because it was mainly due to the additional items that she was purchasing—not knowing that this simple action would come back to benefit her in a massive way.

What Happened Next?

Armed with her tickets for the November 30, 2013, Lotto Max draw, Kathryn continued with her busy schedule and did not give any thought to the tickets again. In fact, the draw came and went, and Kathryn did not even give a second thought to checking her tickets to see if she had won. Unbelievably, not only did she not worry about checking her tickets, but Kathryn lost her tickets completely—having no memory of where she put them or whatever happened to them.

Kathryn continued her life as she did every other day—not knowing that one of those missing tickets would change her and her family’s lives forever.

Kathryn Jones with OLG RepresentativesA Surprising Visit

Fast forward almost a year, and Kathryn was at home awaiting the arrival of a cab that was scheduled to take her to the airport for a business trip. Unbeknownst to her, officials from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation would arrive at her house first.

When the OLG officials first arrived and asked to speak to her, Kathryn did not believe that the individuals were who they said they were and insisted on seeing their identification before allowing them inside to talk to her.

During her visit, Kathryn managed to answer a few questions that the OLG officials asked, such as what her lottery ticket purchasing habits were and whether or not she still had her ticket for the draw that took place almost a year earlier. Unfortunately, before she could answer any more questions, her cab arrived, and she had to leave for the airport.

However, before leaving, Kathryn discovered the reason for the visit from the OLG officials. According to them, one of Kathryn’s missing tickets from almost a year ago was the sole winning ticket of a massive $50 million jackpot.

The Investigation

The day after her visit by the OLG officials, Richard and Kathryn confirmed that a single ticket won the $50 million prize and that it was yet to be claimed. Upon further communication with the OLG, the full story of Kathryn’s identity being known and her visit from officials began to make sense, and the couple realised that things would never be the same.

After the massive prize was not claimed for several months, the OLG began an investigation into the winning ticket. Knowing where the ticket was purchased, they started at the store in which Kathryn had bought the ticket. From there, while working hand in hand with the store, the OLG managed to gain the credit card receipt from when Kathryn purchased the ticket.

After approaching the bank that completed the transaction, the OLG finally discovered the identity of their mystery winner—Kathryn Jones. After verifying that it really was Kathryn that purchased the ticket by viewing the CCTV footage from the date and time that the ticket was purchased, the OLG contacted Kathryn.

This investigation that resulted in finding the missing winner of the fortune made history as the first time ever that the lottery had sought out a winning player rather than the other way around. Needless to say, however, Kathryn was thrilled when realising that it was not all an elaborate hoax and that she had, in fact, won the massive jackpot.


Even though Kathryn managed to claim her $50 million prize almost a full year after she had won the lottery—and also just before her claim window was about to expire—her story is a fantastic testimony of how Canadian lottery operators love to go out of their way to change lives. It’s also an important lesson to the rest of us that losing a lottery ticket might be one of the worst things to ever happen in our lives. Just ask Bob Palese or Martyn Tott, who also lost his UK Lotto ticket but was never able to claim his prize, despite proving to the UK National Lottery that he had actually purchased the ticket and having the media—including Oprah Winfrey—on his side.

The simple act of using a different method to pay for her lottery tickets on a day where she was not even concerned about where she put her tickets allowed the OLG officials to track Kathryn and make sure that she could claim her prize. This act of determination is something that Kathryn states she is eternally grateful for. Considering billions of dollars in tickets go unclaimed each year, she is one of the luckiest lottery winners we have ever heard of.

After her win, Kathryn retired while her husband continued to work at his place of employment. The two did express their mutual desire to realise Kathryn’s dreams of travelling and will luckily never have to worry about the cost of jetting around the world (or anything else for that matter).

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