|Senior Vice President of Lottery at OLG Greg McKenzie, left, presents Rene and Suzanne Longpre of Limoges with a cheque for $11.5 million at the OLG Prize Centre Thursday. The couple won the LOTTO 6/49 jackpot prize after purchasing a ticket for the February 25, 2012 draw. (OLG Winners)
OTTAWA — Rene and Suzanne Longpre didn't have any idea they were sitting on a winning ticket.
News broke earlier this week that a winning lottery ticket, valued at $11.5 million, was purchased in the Ottawa area, but no one had claimed the prize.
But Tuesday afternoon, Lady Luck favoured the couple from Limoges, located just east of the city.
"We were in Walmart and I had a basket full of stuff, then my husband told me and I abandoned my basket, and just grabbed my husband's hand, took the ticket, put it in my purse and said, 'Let's go home,'" Suzanne said.
"You know when you see on TV when people jump up and down and scream? Not that. We were totally stunned," she said.
The retired couple headed home to call their two sons, and told them to come over for dinner with their children.
"We ordered pizza, and by the time we told them nobody ate. We were too excited," she said.
The Longpres were in Toronto on Thursday to pick up their winnings, then planned to take the train back home to celebrate with their family.
"We're going to be setting up trust funds for our three grandchildren, and of course our two sons are going to benefit from our windfall, and we'll do some travelling," Suzanne said.
She said it's been her dream to vacation in Hawaii. As luck would have it, their big win coincides with their 45th wedding anniversary.
"So guess where we're going?" she said.
Apart from sharing with their family and taking a vacation, the Longpres don't have many plans yet for their winnings.
Rene said he might buy a new truck.
The Longpres played the lottery every week for years but had only won free tickets and $20.
They never really imagined winning big, but always knew that their family would benefit if they did.
"We're not wild and crazy people, at least not up until today," Suzanne said, laughing.
The Longpres are the second big lottery winners in the Ottawa region this week. A Hawkesbury couple picked up their $50-million prize Wednesday in Toronto.