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The nearly millionaire collector ... the lottery tickets

The nearly millionaire collector … the lottery tickets

Plainville | A North Shore enthusiast has amassed nearly a million lottery tickets, a collection that includes practically all models issued in Quebec in the past 50 years.

Jean-Gay Lerett is not a compulsive gambler, but a “compulsive gambler,” as he himself laughs.

“A day without playing on my ticket is almost endless,” he launched the group that started his collection in 1972, two years after launching Lotto Quebec.

In a small room in his basement, nearly 925,000 precious scraps of paper are carefully stored in narrow floor-to-ceiling cardboard boxes.

Each series of lottery tickets are listed in chronological order, numbered and then entered into an Excel sheet.

Copies of the May 1989 mini Bonjour Printemps event in Victoriaville.

Nora T.’s photo. La Montagne

Copies of the May 1989 mini Bonjour Printemps event in Victoriaville.

“When you start out, you put it in a little box, but at some point it confuses memory capacity,” he says to justify his inventory befitting a seasoned archivist.


Jean-Jay Lerett is far from scratching every single piece of his gorgeous collection. In fact, he only buys two Minis per week and Lotto Max from time to time, until he “loses”.

However, a retiree can count on a company in the sector to give him used tickets for his clients, and this is from its very beginnings.

“Most people, when they don’t win, tear up the ticket and put it in the trash. It’s a massacre,” the 70-year-old business collector sighs.

Today, Mr. Lirette estimates that he owns a copy of about 99% of all lottery tickets issued by Loto-Québec.

“There are a few winning tickets among the many, but I don’t force myself to pick any of them.”

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Excited, appears register Quebec’s first “gratteux,” a Valentine’s Day special that produced the scent of cinnamon on scratch, and some great Louisiana lottery tickets.

40 hours a week

There was time when he exchanges with a hundred international correspondents and devotes 40 hours a week to his free time, in addition to his full-time job in communications.

With age, congiariophiliste, as lottery ticket collectors are called, decided to focus on Loto-Québec.

But why all the effort to accumulate lottery tickets in particular?

“Of course we can say that these are tacky pieces of paper that we pick up to look at. But it’s like money or stamps… they have a certain value,” he pleads.

  • Jean-Guy Lerett will be exhibiting part of his collection at the Salon des grands collectionneurs de Québec in September.

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