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Two Kitchener residents part of group that won $60 million

The winning ticket was purchased in Guelph
Group of 9 LOTTO MAX
Photo supplied by OLG

A group of nine people, who work in Guelph, have stepped up to claim the $60 million prize from the LOTTO MAX draw on December 21.

The group includes two residents of Kitchener, they all work at an auto parts manufacturer in the Royal City.

They collected their winnings at the OLG prize office in Toronto on Thursday morning.

And talk about luck, they have only been playing the lottery together for about six weeks.

"We’re a very close line - closer than any of the other lines," shared group leader and Kitchener resident Ala Hirmiz. "We always talk and joke and celebrate each others’ birthdays. And now we get to celebrate this unbelievable win together!"

The winners range in age from 21 to 57. OLG said they have 17 kids between them; eight of them are immigrants, hailing from parts of the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.

"I almost didn’t hand over my $5 when it was time to buy our ticket," exclaimed group member, Mercedes Granadino. "But I had this sixth sense, like some spirit sitting on my shoulder telling me to play!"

Fernando Meneses was the first to find out about their big win. "Mercedes called me very early on Saturday morning "I was still sleeping!" chuckled Fernando. "She said she heard on the radio that a winning ticket was sold in Guelph and urged me to check our ticket."

Meneses scanned it on the OLG Lottery App to discover that they were the big winners.

Most plan to purchase new vehicles, homes and take trips, as well as slowly retire from factory work.

The group members are: 

Ala Hirmiz of Kitchener 
Fernando Meneses of Guelph 
Bassam Abdi of Kitchener 
Ella Nicole Cabrera of Guelph 
Mercedes Granadino of Guelph 
Mussie Kelete of Guelph 
Sampath Pathiraja Mudiyansel of Guelph 
Steven Rush of Guelph 
Tariku Birru of Guelph 

The winning ticket was purchased at Little Short Stop Store on Silvercreek Parkway in Guelph. 


Blair Adams

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