London winners of $17.4 million jackpot leaving town
Kathy Rumleski, CTV London
Published Wednesday, May 1, 2013 2:29PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 1, 2013 2:34PM EDT
The London winner of Saturday’s $17.4 million Lotto 6/49 jackpot says her life is quickly changing and she doesn’t want it to.
Audrey Gill, 60, who won the money after buying a ticket at the last minute, is heading out of the city soon with her partner Malvin Knight, 73, to escape.
“We’re leaving town for a while. There’s been a lot of attention. We just want to absorb it,” Gill says.
It is the advice of the retired couple’s financial adviser.
“It’s been non-stop phone calls,” she says, and no sooner gets the words out than a neighbour is at the door offering congratulations.
Gill says as soon as the pair returned home from collecting their jackpot Tuesday night, they were the centre of attention.
“When they saw that we were home, the neighbours came running down the street.”
She loves her east end neighbourhood and is planning a party there once things settle down.
She also wants to help out her 10 brothers and sisters with her winnings. Gill is a native of Newfoundland, where seven of her siblings still live.
“Can you hear my accent?” she asks. “When I get excited my accent comes out.”
And she has been wound up.
“I can’t eat or sleep.”
Gill bought her winning ticket at Mac’s Convenience on Trafalgar Street.
She checked the numbers on TV Sunday morning and started to scream.
Knight came running in, fearing Gill was hurt, she says.
“I said, ‘Check those numbers. Is it right?’”
They travelled to Toronto Tuesday to pick up the cheque.
“It’s going to change our life, but we don’t really want it to. We’re down to earth people,” Gill says.
“I'm just ecstatic. It's just unbelievable. It’s not sunk in.”
Another thing that’s unbelievable - nobody has asked for money yet.