TORONTO — A Toronto-area teacher who backpacked through Europe and slept
on couches this summer was unaware he had a winning $21-million Lotto
Max ticket stuck to his fridge at home.

Craig Henshaw, 42, said Tuesday he bought the ticket at a gas station in
July, pinned it to his fridge with a bunch of other tickets and left
for Europe a few days later.

He forgot about the tickets over the summer. But once school started again, he realized he had a stack to check through.

``I had no idea I had $21 million sitting on my fridge at home,’’ he said after being presented with an oversized cheque.

 

``I wouldn’t have been living out of a backpack for two months if I’d known (about the money)’’ he added.

Clad in a Hawaiian print shirt, Henshaw said he was ready to travel some more.

He plans to take his whole family on a trip and return to Europe with
his girlfriend. But this time they won’t be sleeping on any couches, he
said.

Henshaw said he spent a day walking around with the winning ticket in
his pocket before checking it at a grocery store on the way home from
work.

Initially believing he had won $21,000, he dropped his phone when a
lottery official told him the ticket was in fact worth $21 million.

The wood shop and technology teacher called in sick Tuesday before
claiming his prize at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming prize centre in
Toronto.

``Surprise! I’m not really sick,’’ he joked in front of TV cameras.

``There’s no checkmark or box in the absence form that says ’lottery winner,’’’ he explained.

``It just says ’personal illness’ or ’funeral’ — and this is way better than a funeral.’’

The lucky numbers — a random ``Quick Pick’’ combination — left Henshaw the only winner of the July 8 jackpot.

Henshaw said he’ll use some of his winnings to pay for his nieces’ and
nephew’s post-secondary education, and possibly to get married to his
girlfriend.

He plans to take a year off from teaching, but said he enjoys it too much to imagine a future without it.

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