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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Patient Canadian Waits Year to Claim $23M Lottery Prize

TORONTO -- A Canadian who waited nearly a year to claim a lottery prize of 30 million Canadian dollars ($23 million) because he didn't want to "do anything rash" is being described as the most patient man in the country.

Raymond Sobeski won the biggest single jackpot in Canadian history last April but only stepped forward to claim his prize a mere 12 days before the ticket's expiry date.

"It was the first time that a winner's waited this long," said Kathy Pittman, a spokeswoman for the Ontario Gaming and Lottery Corp. "We thought it must be lost because how can someone sit on it for this long?

"After meeting him, it's perfectly clear to me. He is a gentleman who takes his time, care and caution to make any decision. He's a very patient, laid-back man."

The 47-year-old self-employed computer repairman tucked the winning ticket away in a safety deposit box -- not even telling his family -- and got to work putting his affairs in order.

"I didn't want to do anything rash," Sobeski told reporters late last week when he claimed his prize. "I thought it was in my best interest to keep it to myself until I had everything all sorted out."

Sobeski, who called himself "happily unemployed now," said he had known since shortly after the April 11, 2003, draw but wanted to get professional and financial advice first.

Sobeski, who grew up on a farm, plans to travel and share the money with his parents and siblings. He said he might also buy a farm.

"He hopped on a plane yesterday evening. Golfing somewhere by today, I'm sure," Pittman said Friday.