How far can one per cent go? Family-owned N.B. business celebrates $640K seller’s prize

While New Brunswickers spent 11 months wondering if the $64-million Lotto 6/49 Gold Ball Jackpot winner would come forward to claim their prize before it expired on April 15, 2024, lottery retailers in Gloucester County were wondering if it could be their store that would collect the commission for the sale. 

The anticipation was high among retailers in the area, as Atlantic Lottery pays their retail partners a one per cent seller’s prize on winning tickets. The seller’s prize in question from this major win was worth a whopping $640,000. 

Then, one Tuesday night, just 19 days before the ticket was set to expire, Merel Chiasson walked into Chantal Mazerolle’s store, Depanneur Pokemouche in Pokemouche, N.B. and scanned the winning $64-million ticket. 

“I received a text message from my daughter that said, ‘Mom, there is a man who just came in to validate his ticket and won $64,000,’ and I thought it was too bad it wasn’t the $64 million,” Mazerolle said. “Then, the next day, she called me to tell me it really was the $64 million and I was in shock. I told her not to joke around like that and started to cry while we were on the phone.” 

The store has been in Mazerolle’s family for 40 years, previously sharing ownership between herself and two others who have retired in recent years. Since then, she has given half of the business to her daughter, Katy Mazerolle, who will take over completely when she soon retires. 

Mazerolle has been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and kind words from those around her since finding out that Depanneur Pokemouche sold the $64-million ticket. 

“The reaction and comments from other retailers surprised me, how they’re so happy for us because of how we have worked here for quite a while. I didn’t realize how much the other retailers recognize us,” Mazerolle said. “My messenger, emails and phone were all blowing up non-stop, even my bank wished me luck.” 

Molly Cormier, Atlantic Lottery’s director of brand and communications, said the one per cent seller’s prize is paid directly by Atlantic Lottery as part of the retailer commission structure. It does not affect the prize winner’s payout in any way. 

“Atlantic Lottery’s retail partners are not only an important part of our business and success, but they are also a very important part of our local communities,” Cormier said. “It gives our organization great pride to extend the benefit of major wins beyond just the prize winner and see the positive impact they can have on others and throughout our region.” 

Mazerolle said the prize money will help ensure the store’s long-term success, as well as helping her ensure financial stability in her retirement. Then, she can use the funds remaining to help her daughter and son. 

“It’s been a really emotional ride since I found out. I was planning on retiring and handing the business over to my daughter,” Mazerolle said. “Now, I am going to retire with this extra gain and it will help the company reorganize and secure itself for the future.” 

Read the story on Merel Chiasson’s $64-million Lotto 6/49 Gold Ball Jackpot prize that led to this retail win here.