James Colin Aiken and Claude Léger were work friends with a weakness for lottery tickets. For the past few years, the pair, who come from Montreal and Montérégie, respectively, "had gotten into the habit of participating in every Lotto Max draw," says Loto-Québec. Then came May 5.

That was the day their persistence and luck finally paid off and now they'll be splitting a $6.5 million jackpot.

They bought their winning ticket online on the Loto-Québec website

"The sun was just starting to peep when James Colin found out that they were both newly minted multimillionaires," a statement reads.

He of course called his friend as soon as he could.

"I got his call at five in the morning and it was the best wake-up call of my life!" Léger recalled in the press release.

Aiken said he plans to use his winnings to buy his wife the house of her dreams. He also said he can finally afford to retire.

Léger said he plans to "buy a new car and spoil his two daughters."

As a result of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, Loto-Québec has temporarily suspended in-person prize claims, which means the winning pair could miss the opportunity to receive their winnings in a giant novelty cheque, though they’ll presumably be able to afford their own.

Loto-Québec notes that owners of winning lottery tickets that are set to expire between March 17 and September 17 of this year have an extra six months to claim their prizes.

“We advise them to hold on to their ticket(s); they'll be able to claim their prize when things get back to normal,” said the release.

Last year Loto-Québec paid out 88 jackpots of at least $1 million. 23 "lucky winners" are receiving a guaranteed monthly cheque for the rest of their lives thanks to the Gagnant à vie and Grande Vie lotteries.

A list of winners can be found on Loto-Québec’s website.

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