OLG shocked to discover dozens of people will claim to be owed $12.5 million

OLG shocked to discover dozens of people will claim to be owed $12.5 million

A tip for the next time our provincial lottery finds itself walking around yelling “Anybody think they’re owed millions of dollars?”: hire a call centre first. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has found itself handling more than 20 times the usual number of calls ever since it and the OPP announced that a family running a Burlington convenience store had illegally claimed a winning ticket.

The Toronto Star reports:

OPP investigators say the store’s manager in 2003 and his father actively stole lottery tickets from customers. In this particular case they didn’t tell the customer he or she had the Lotto Super 7 jackpot for Dec. 26, 2003.

Two months later, the manager’s sister claimed the prize, police said. When questioned by the OLG, she allegedly said she had no connection to her family members. The prize was paid out in December of that year.

While the alleged fraud took place seven years ago, the case was cracked recently using a new computer tracking system. And now police and the OLG are trying to track down the cheated winner.

It’s worth saying that “more than 20 times” the normal call volume still isn’t huge; of the more than 130 calls the OLG has received in the past 24 hours, only a few dozen have been forwarded to the OPP for further investigation. If the idea of fraudulent convenience stores has soured us on our common man, the fact that so few Canadians have tried to get in on this racket is a little bit cheering.

• $12.5M lottery ticket stolen; police seeking rightful winner [Toronto Star]
• Flurry of calls for allegedly stolen jackpot [Toronto Sun]
• Dozens claim ownership of $12.5M lottery ticket [CTV News]
• Warmington: Lotto fraud allegations show money can’t buy class [Toronto Sun]
• Ontario police search for rightful winner of $12.5-million lottery [Globe and Mail]