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In Canada, 28-year-old immigrant wins lottery -- twice

© Western Canada Lottery Corporation/AFP | Mehlig Mehlig, 28 -- shown in this picture provided by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation -- won $3.5 million (US $2.7 million) in two scratch-off games

MONTREAL (AFP) - 

A young west African immigrant who moved to Canada two years ago has hit the lottery jackpot -- twice.

Melhig Melhig, 28, won two scratch-off games in the space of five months. Total winnings? CAN $3.5 million (US $2.7 million).

"I want to improve my English and communication. And I want to learn something useful, like carpentry," Melhig told the Western Canada Lottery Corporation when asked what he would do with the money.

Melhig, who hails from west Africa but did not specify the country, moved to Winnipeg two years ago.

In April, he bought a ticket and won $1.5 million. Last month, he bought another ticket -- and won another $2 million.

With his first payout, he bought a new home for his wife and children. With the second windfall, he hopes to buy a business -- maybe a car wash or a gas station, he says -- and "go to school."

Melhig had a one in 900,000 chance of winning the first time, according to lottery officials. The second time, his odds were one in 1.3 million.

So what are the chances of someone winning two major jackpots in such a short period of time? Difficult to calculate, the Western Canada Lottery Corporation says.

Lottery officials say everything about his twin wins is legit.

"We didn't find anything out of the ordinary and we are happy for him," lottery spokeswoman Andrea Marantz told AFP.

© 2018 AFP