TORONTO, Ont. – It was one wonderful way to be woken up.
Clutching a winning lottery ticket worth $50 million, Linda Ingram rushed into the bedroom of her apartment in Oshawa, Ont., to wake her husband of 36 years.
“Don, wake up, wake up. Get up. Get up. We just won $50 million,” Linda Ingram yelled.
“Shut up and prove it to me,” a groggy Don Ingram retorted.
The couple of 36 years picked up their winnings at lottery headquarters in Toronto on Thursday, their heads still spinning.
Words like shocked, overwhelmed and overjoyed tumbled from their mouths.
“I can’t sleep because I’m so excited,” said Linda Ingram, 59. “I’m just so overwhelmed.”
Their first goal, they said, will be to retire from the cooking jobs they have had at a local restaurant, but not quite yet.
“I told my boss I’d probably work for another week or two,” said Don Ingram, 53.
The couple said they want to finally give up apartment living and buy a big “comfy house” by a lake.
They also want to make sure family, including two grown children, are taken care of.
We want to “make sure everybody is happy with no money problems,” Linda Ingram said.
A regular player, Ingram said she went down to the convenience store Saturday morning to check her ticket.
“Boom! It came up ‘big winner’ and I just freaked,” she said.
Lottery authorities had to find a way around the fact that Linda Ingram had no photo ID.
Actually, the cheque the couple was handed was worth $50,000,002 — because of a $2 win the couple had playing the Encore game in conjunction with their big ticket draw.
The grandparents, who finish each other’s sentences, said they are still blown away by their change in fortune, still not quite used to the idea.
The couple has also had a steady stream of neighbours and other well-wishers at their door.
“Some ask for $1-million loans,” Don Ingram quipped. “It will calm down eventually.”
As they exchanged hugs and passed back the oversize novelty cheque, the pair said they appreciated the support and attention, but made it clear they hoped it would pass.
“After today, we would appreciate our privacy and just be left alone so that we can take it all in and try to calm down,” his wife said.