Leamington man scores with $100K Encore win

John Phan of Leamington picks up his $100,000 Encore cheque at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto, July 6, 2020. Photo provided by OLG.

A Leamington man is glad that he said yes to playing the Encore feature from Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG).

John Phan matched the last six of seven digits in exact order during the April 10, 2020, Lotto Max draw, winning $100,000. Phan picked up his prize this week at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto. He said he was checking his ticket at a local store when the lottery terminal froze.

“The next thing I knew, I was on the phone with OLG. I started to cry. I was so excited,” said Phan. “I called my mom and dad, and they were so excited for me that they started to cry too.”

The 38-year-old restauranteur plans to use the money to pay off his mortgage and invest in his business, which he said has been a casualty of COVID-19.

“This win took me by surprise. I didn’t think winning the lottery would happen to anyone I knew, much less myself,” said Phan.  “It’s such a huge blessing at a critical time for my business, which has been hit hard with the pandemic restrictions.”

Phan bought his winning ticket at Sam’s Snack N’ Go on South Talbot Street.

The OLG recently resumed in-person prize claims at its Toronto Prize Centre, which had been suspended due to pandemic control guidelines. At this time, prize claims are being handled by appointment only for those with winning tickets of $50,000 or more.