Jean-Guy Lavigueur lost his wallet while he was getting out of his car. The winning ticket was in it and it was brought back to his home by William Murphy. Yves, his son, opened the door and did not understand Murphy, who himself did not speak French. Yves told him to go away.
When Jean-Guy heard about this, he told his son that maybe the man was bringing back his wallet. Murphy eventually came back with someone that could be used as an interpreter. Murphy didn't know at first he had found a winning ticket but knew it was a winning ticket when he gave it back to the Lavigueurs.
The Lavigueurs eventually became the laughing stock of Quebec stand-up comics. île aux Pruches, where Lavigueurs bought a 22-room residence of $850.000, became known as île aux Cruches (the idiots' island). The Lavigueurs eventually sold the île aux Pruches residence to the Hells Angels. It caught on fire in 2000 and articles were written on this in the newspapers.
What happened to the winners and other people
In 1989, the media sent cameraman film the opening of Sylvie's hairdressing salon.
Yves started to have a cocaine addiction.
In 2000, Yves published Les Lavigueur : leur véritable histoire with Daniel Bertrand. He is also an adviser on the series about his family that should air in 2008. In the book, Yves does not retell what is left of his share of the money.
Louise was the only member of the family who did not put money in the ticket. In 1986, she sued her father to get a part of the prize. Louise died in 1991 from a heart condition and never had a share of the money. She was aged 22.
Jean-Guy Lavigueur was the Lavigueurs father. He had just lost his job at the united Bedding company and had been unemployed for one year and a half when he won the grand prize. Jean-Guy Lavigueur didn't known how to count, read or write. His daughters Manon and Nancy had died at a young age from a heart condition. In 1983, Jean-Guy's wife, also died from a heart condition.
Jean-Guy died of emphysema in 2000. He was aged 65.
Michel was 14 when the grand prize was won by his family.
In 2004, Michel, aged 32, committed suicide. His partner found him dead in their home in Longueil when she came back from the stores. In the morning of that same day, Michel was visited by a squad of anti-biker policemen from Outaouais. It was reported in Le Journal de Montreal, although not officially by the police that Michel Lavigueur might have been a real-estate figurehead. Claude Poirier confirmed that Michel Lavigueur had connections with criminal bikers.
Michel Lavigueur was the father of two children, the younger one was a 2-month old girl. Michel wanted his privacy to be respected to protect his children from the media.
Jean-Marie Daudelin was Jean-Guy's brother-in-law. He helped raised Jean-Guy's four children until 1986, when the grand prize was won.
William Murphy was a man from Vancouver who had recently established in Montreal. He did not speak French, while the Lavigueurs did not speak English at all. Before Murphy won the grand prize, he was unemployed.
The Lavigueurs in popular culture
- The French Canadian version of Flodder (Les Lavigueurs déménagent) is mistakenly believed to be related to the Lavigueur family. This is actually a Dutch movie that has nothing to do with the 1986 grand prize winners, as opposed to what people usually think. This does not necessarily mean, however, that Lavigueurs were not the inspiration for the title of the French Canadian version of the movie.
- In 2008, a series should air on Radio-Canada about the Lavigueurs.
- Les Lavigueur : leur véritable histoire, Yves Lavigueur et Daniel Bertrand, 2000.