Ronald Brownlee of Balmertown started off his new year in the best way possible, by winning Ontario 49’s top $2 million prize in the January 1 draw, off of a $1 ticket.

"I've been a regular lottery player for over 40 years," said Brownlee, while at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto to pick up his winnings. "I won a LOTTO 6/49 Free Play, so I used the money I was going to spend on that ticket to purchase this ONTARIO 49 ticket!”

Brownlee, an outdoorsman, was checking his ticket at the store when he discovered his big win. He made the purchase at Madi’s Milk on Margaret Avenue in Wallaceburg.

"I said, 'Holy cow!' and the customer next to me asked me if I won. All the customers in the store were so happy for me. We cried tears of joy together," he smiled.

He then drove to his parents to share the good news. "They didn't believe me at first!"

Brownlee, who works in the tourism industry, says it's been a tough time for his business during the pandemic.

"This win is an unbelievable blessing," he said. "I plan to invest most of it. I want to put some into my business to make sure it's viable for the future. I will also treat myself to a new fishing boat!"

Ontario 49 is $1 per play and the draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday