A well-known figure in Ottawa’s real estate and non-profit scene may be $22-million richer, but says he’ll use his lottery winnings for the benefit of the broader community.
Paul Hindo, a former senior vice-president of Cushman & Wakefield LePage in Ottawa, hit the $22-million jackpot in last week’s Lotto 6/49 draw.
“The day after the big draw I glanced at the Lotto 6/49 sign and saw that the jackpot had dropped back to $5 million and I thought to myself, ‘Good for that person who won.’ I walked into the store to check my tickets, ready to throw them into the trash,” Mr. Hindo said, according to a press release from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.
After using the self-serve ticket scanner, Mr. Hindo said he just stared at the screen.
“I kept thinking, ‘This cannot be. This cannot be.’ I scanned the ticket again and could clearly see ‘Grand prize winner’ and $22 million. I immediately left the store,” he said. “I pulled out my phone and checked the numbers online and they all matched up. That moment was unreal for me.”
Prior to this month’s draw, Mr. Hindo – a previous OBJ Forty Under 40 award recipient and Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year – said he had plenty of dreams about how he’d spend the money if he ever won the lottery, such as buying a fancy sports car and taking a year off work to travel.
Now, however, “that all seems frivolous,” he said.
“This win can really do so much more.”
Mr. Hindo was born in Iraq and immigrated to Montréal in the early 1970s. He said his father impressed upon him that citizenship is a privilege, not a right, and that his lottery win is an opportunity to further honour his father’s words.
“I want to be wise and thoughtful with this money and continue to give back to Canada, which has been phenomenally generous to me and my family,” he said. “Winning the lottery is freedom to make amazing choices for the betterment of my community, my family and my friends.”
Mr. Hindo spent nearly 20 years at Cushman & Wakefield before joining the Nautical Lands Group, which focuses on developing and operating retirement and adult lifestyle communities, in 2010. In late 2013, he moved to commercial real estate services firm JLL as senior vice-president of business development.
He’s extensively involved in community organizations and currently sits on the board of the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival. He’s previously served on the board of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, among many other charitable and economic development organizations, and was the inaugural Chair of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
He’s also the honorary colonel of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, a Canadian Forces infantry reserve unit, and the provincial chairperson for Ontario on the Canadian Forces Liaison Council.