A Windsor couple is celebrating after an anniversary gift turned into a big winner.

Lauri and Charles Caron won a top prize with Instant Cash For Life. The couple chose the lump sum payment of $675,000.

“I’ve been playing the lottery for about 30 years,” said Caron, while the pair was at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto to pick up their winnings. “I enjoy playing Instant Tickets, Lotto Max, Lottario and Lotto 6/49, with the same numbers each week. Charles only plays Lotto Max – this was the first INSTANT ticket he’s ever played.”

The Instant Cash For Life ticket was a gift from Lauri to Charles on their third wedding anniversary.

When Charles Caron, a 60-year-old retired automotive industry worker, played the ticket and noticed there were three ‘Life’ symbols, he asked Lauri what they meant.

“She said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’” he said.

“I knew instantly it was a big winner,” said Lauri Caron, a 54-year-old registered nurse. “It feels surreal. We all dream about winning but we don’t ever expect it to happen. It’s a fantasy that’s come true!”

The couple plans on using their winnings to pay some bills, remodel their home, and explore Arizona on their motorcycles.

“This win gives us the freedom to go south for the winter,” said Lauri Caron.

The winning ticket was purchased at Wings Variety on Totten Street in Windsor.