Kathryn Jones of Hamilton, Ontario, said she never bothered to check the numbers for the Lotto Max draw on Nov. 30, 2012, the Hamilton Spectator reported. At a news conference Tuesday, she said she and her husband, Richard, did not know what was going on when Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. officials showed up at their house in late November.
In fact, the couple made the lottery employees show identification before they let them in. Jones then had to leave on a business trip because her taxi had arrived.
Jones was certified as the winner of the $50 million Canadian ($46.7 million U.S.) jackpot Nov. 28.
In addition to evidence her credit card was used to purchase the only $16 ticket sold at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Cambridge, Ontario, that day, officials say the store security cameras show her buying the ticket at the same time the winner was sold.
Jones is the first winner of an unclaimed prize to be tracked down by the lottery. Mike Hamel, head of corporate investigations, said it might not have been possible if she had paid for the ticket with cash, as she usually does.
The couple hope to live a normal life, at least through Christmas. They told their children, both university students, about the ticket last weekend.
"My son gave me a lecture on being responsible," Jones said.