Pictured are (back, from the left): Deanna Nearing, Michael Dolan, Shawn Frizzell, Christopher Mauger, and Donald Deveaux. (Front, from the left): Cynthia Embree, Arman Bombio, and Louise Valiquette.

DARTMOUTH: A group of eight coworkers from Dartmouth, including a former Isle Madame resident, has lots to celebrate this holiday season.

The group came up winners in the November 29 Lotto 6/49 draw, matching the Guaranteed Prize draw numbers and sharing the $1,000,000 prize.

“We’ve played pretty much every week since 2005,” said Christopher Mauger, a 1993 graduate of Isle Madame District High and spokesperson for the group. “We pitch in $3 per person a week and I keep track on a spreadsheet. Every Friday, I stop and pick up a Combo 3 and Combo 4.”

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Mauger got the good news Friday night when he made his weekly ticket purchase and checked the previous tickets. The clerk told him he would have to call Atlantic Lottery.

“The machine said Major Prize Winner. The clerk didn’t look at the slip so I guess she didn’t see the amount. When she set it down I said, ‘I have an idea of what’s going on: that says $1,000,000.’”

Mauger drove home and immediately started making calls to his coworkers. Not many people were picking up on a Friday after work but he managed to get the news out to all group members.

“There was a lot of disbelief and some people even called back to double check. I think it was the longest weekend in history, and probably the first time everybody ever showed up early Monday morning,” he said.

For safekeeping Mauger kept the winning ticket in a fireproof box, admitting he only took it out a few times to show it.

Each of the group members will receive $125,000 and each has some different ideas for how they will enjoy their winnings.

“We have one member who will retire, another is planning a trip to Italy and putting a down payment on a home. One member didn’t wait for her cheque and spent the weekend browsing the stores and indulging a little. Mauger says he plans to pay bills, speak to a financial advisor about some possibilities for investment, and perhaps purchase a new quad vehicle.

Members of the group also include Donald Deveaux, Shawn Frizzell, Arman Bombio, Deanna Nearing, Michael Dolan, Cynthia Embree, and Louise Valiquette.

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A St. FX graduate and native of Arichat, Jake Boudrot has been the editor of The Reporter since 2001. He currently lives on Isle Madame.