The man whose legal battle with Ontario Lottery and Gaming brought about an investigation and wholesale changes to the Crown corporation lost his fight with cancer Monday.
Bob Edmonds, from the central Ontario town of Coboconk, died in hospital at age 83. His son, Bob Edmonds Jr., said his father's struggle began years ago and grew more acute as the cancer spread.
"The cancer spread from the bowel to his liver and pancreas and eventually claimed his life," Edmonds said in an interview.
Despite fighting cancer, Edmonds sued the lottery corporation in 2002, alleging he was duped out of a $250,000 cash prize.
The CBC's "The Fifth Estate" documented Edmond's case, alleging that a lottery retailer kept the winning ticket for herself.
The OLG settled with Edmonds in 2005, paying him $200,000.
When asked to confirm media reports that his father received $50,000 in legal fees and an apology from the OLG three days before his death, Edmonds declined to comment.
"This is a real bad time, the whole family's here," he said.
Edmonds Sr.'s lawyer, Alan Rachlin, told the CBC that his client was aware of the final letter but that he never got to read it.
Edmonds endured a painful five-year legal battle, but his win was significant.
The day after the CBC report aired, Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin announced an investigation into the lottery corporation.
The ensuing report, released last Monday, was scathing in its conclusion that Edmonds was far from alone in his struggles with the Crown corporation.
Marin said the corporation is "fixated on profit rather than public service" and that its "fatal flaw" is "coddling" retailers.
"It is too close to its retailers, who are not just its front line sales staff but some of its best customers. It has lost sight of the fact that it is supposed to be the guardian of the trust of the public," he said.
He called the corporation's customer complaints department "rude and inept."
Duncan Brown, the CEO of the corporation, quietly stepped down the Friday before the release of Marin's report. Opposition parties suggested Brown was forced out by the government and was merely the fall guy. They were also calling for the resignation of the minister responsible for the lottery corporation, David Caplan.
Caplan told the legislature last Tuesday that Edmonds's problems with the lottery agency started in 2001, under the previous Conservative government's watch, and said he had taken responsibility by agreeing to implement the ombudsman's recommendations.
"I cannot provide any insight to this house for what actions were taken or not taken . . . who made the decision to drag Bob Edmonds through the courts and treat him so disrespectfully," he said.
"Taking responsibility means rolling up your sleeves and fixing the problem — unfortunately, that we inherited from previous governments — and that's what I and this government are doing."