Group of childhood friends wins $1 million in lottery

Jami Lynn Viveiros and her three friends won $1 million playing Lotto Max. (OLG)

A small group of Ontario women who have been friends since elementary school is splitting a big lottery win.

Four women who have been friends for 27 years have won one of the Maxmillions $1 million prizes in the June 11 Lotto Max draw.

While they all live in different cities now, the women started playing the lottery as a group about six months ago.

Jami Lynn Viveiros, a mother of two who lives in Stouffville, Ont., picked up the group's winnings at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto.

"Everyone was in shock and disbelief when we discovered our win," Viveiros said. "We're still going to play together!"

She is splitting the jackpot with two women from the northeast region– Dara Lavoie of Val Caron in Greater Sudbury and Natasha Howard of Huntsville. The fourth member of their group is Angie Martin of Fitzroy Harbour.

The friends are planning a group vacation with their families at a cottage in the next couple of weeks, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation said in a news release on Thursday morning.

OLG said the winning ticket was purchased online.