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Lottery tracks down $50 million winner who lost ticket

Canada Lotto MaxCanada Lotto Max: Lottery tracks down $50 million winner who lost ticket
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Credit card purchase key to tracking down winner

An unbelievable set of circumstances have come together for Kathryn Jones, who won $50 million from an unclaimed Lotto Max prize drawn a year ago — a win for which she lost the ticket and never checked the numbers.

The Hamilton woman had absolutely no clue she could be a winner when Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation officials showed up at her door a while back wanting to talk to her, she said Tuesday at a news conference at the OLG headquarters in Toronto.

Jones said she and her husband, Richard, weren't sure they even wanted to let the officials into the house until they showed identification and convinced her they were the real deal.

"I honestly thought, 'You've got the wrong person,'" she recalled.

They asked her about her buying pattern for Lotto tickets, whether she still had her ticket, and a few other questions before she had to rush out and leave them to talk further with her husband. She had to leave for a business trip and the cab taking her to the airport had arrived, she said.

It wasn't until the next day, when she spoke to Richard, that she learned he had checked the OLG website and learned there was an unclaimed prize of $50 million from around the time she bought her ticket at a Shoppers Drug Mart on Dundas St. in Cambridge, where she works as an engineer.

"I kept thinking: This is unreal. It must be a mistake," said Jones, 55.

She still doesn't know where the ticket is, though she has since searched her house thoroughly. "It's not there."

The OLG found her after investigating a claim they had received for the unclaimed $50 million prize. That months-long investigation led them to Jones.

They knew exactly where, what day, and at what time the ticket was purchased. They also knew it was the only $16 ticket purchase that day at the Shoppers Drug Mart, and that the $16 ticket contained the winning jackpot numbers from the Nov. 30, 2012, Lotto Max draw.

Equally important, they knew it was paid for with a credit card. That's how they found Jones, who said she normally buys Lotto tickets randomly, and with cash. But that day, she had purchased a few other items at the drugstore and decided to pay the full bill by credit card, she said.

Investigators also obtained the store's video surveillance, which shows Jones buying the ticket at the precise time the winning ticket was purchased.

Since the announcement of the winning ticket on Nov. 30 of last year, 435 people inquired about the prize, but Jones never did.

Had she paid with cash, they might not have found her, said Mike Hamel, head of OLG's corporate investigations. Using a credit card "made it a lot easier" to find her, he said.

It is the first time OLG has approached a lottery winner instead of the other way around.

On Thursday, Nov. 28, lottery officials certified Jones as the winner.

It also conducted an independent review after learning Jones' sister owns a retail outlet in Ottawa that sells OLG lottery tickets.

There are no issues preventing a prize payout to Jones, other than a 30-day waiting period for OLG to publicize the claim to make sure no one else comes forward. If there are no additional valid claims in the 30 days, Jones will receive her prize in January.

She is still in disbelief and said she hasn't thought about what she might do with the money or whether she'll quit her job.

She was joined after the OLG news conference by Richard Jones, 54, also an engineer, who works in Hamilton.

"It's been a great story... who would have thought?" he said. "It's only been the last few days we've known for sure."

Kathy Jones said the couple told their two grown children — both in university — on the weekend about the win. "My son gave me a lecture on being responsible," she said. But other than that, he's more concerned about getting through exams right now, she said.

She said she is "extremely appreciative and very thankful" of the OLG investigation. "It's incredible."

She also said the family would like to live as normally as possible over the next month and through the Christmas holidays.

Rod Phillips, OLG's president and CEO, when asked if there's something peculiar about Hamilton to produce as many lottery winners as it has lately, jovially said, "We've been wondering that ourselves. Must be the clean living . . . I think they're just lucky."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Hamilton Spectator

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55 comments. Last comment 8 months ago by iwantthejackpot.
Page 1 of 4
mypiemaster's avatar - peace
He who dies with the most toys WINS!!!.

United States
Member #141039
April 2, 2013
665 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 5, 2013, 10:18 am - IP Logged

Credit card purchase key to tracking down winner

An unbelievable set of circumstances have come together for Kathryn Jones, who won $50 million from an unclaimed Lotto Max prize drawn a year ago — a win for which she lost the ticket and never checked the numbers.

The Hamilton woman had absolutely no clue she could be a winner when Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation officials showed up at her door a while back wanting to talk to her, she said Tuesday at a news conference at the OLG headquarters in Toronto.

Jones said she and her husband, Richard, weren't sure they even wanted to let the officials into the house until they showed identification and convinced her they were the real deal.

"I honestly thought, 'You've got the wrong person,'" she recalled.

They asked her about her buying pattern for Lotto tickets, whether she still had her ticket, and a few other questions before she had to rush out and leave them to talk further with her husband. She had to leave for a business trip and the cab taking her to the airport had arrived, she said.

It wasn't until the next day, when she spoke to Richard, that she learned he had checked the OLG website and learned there was an unclaimed prize of $50 million from around the time she bought her ticket at a Shoppers Drug Mart on Dundas St. in Cambridge, where she works as an engineer.

"I kept thinking: This is unreal. It must be a mistake," said Jones, 55.

She still doesn't know where the ticket is, though she has since searched her house thoroughly. "It's not there."

The OLG found her after investigating a claim they had received for the unclaimed $50 million prize. That months-long investigation led them to Jones.

They knew exactly where, what day, and at what time the ticket was purchased. They also knew it was the only $16 ticket purchase that day at the Shoppers Drug Mart, and that the $16 ticket contained the winning jackpot numbers from the Nov. 30, 2012, Lotto Max draw.

Equally important, they knew it was paid for with a credit card. That's how they found Jones, who said she normally buys Lotto tickets randomly, and with cash. But that day, she had purchased a few other items at the drugstore and decided to pay the full bill by credit card, she said.

Investigators also obtained the store's video surveillance, which shows Jones buying the ticket at the precise time the winning ticket was purchased.

Since the announcement of the winning ticket on Nov. 30 of last year, 435 people inquired about the prize, but Jones never did.

Had she paid with cash, they might not have found her, said Mike Hamel, head of OLG's corporate investigations. Using a credit card "made it a lot easier" to find her, he said.

It is the first time OLG has approached a lottery winner instead of the other way around.

On Thursday, Nov. 28, lottery officials certified Jones as the winner.

It also conducted an independent review after learning Jones' sister owns a retail outlet in Ottawa that sells OLG lottery tickets.

There are no issues preventing a prize payout to Jones, other than a 30-day waiting period for OLG to publicize the claim to make sure no one else comes forward. If there are no additional valid claims in the 30 days, Jones will receive her prize in January.

She is still in disbelief and said she hasn't thought about what she might do with the money or whether she'll quit her job.

She was joined after the OLG news conference by Richard Jones, 54, also an engineer, who works in Hamilton.

"It's been a great story... who would have thought?" he said. "It's only been the last few days we've known for sure."

Kathy Jones said the couple told their two grown children — both in university — on the weekend about the win. "My son gave me a lecture on being responsible," she said. But other than that, he's more concerned about getting through exams right now, she said.

She said she is "extremely appreciative and very thankful" of the OLG investigation. "It's incredible."

She also said the family would like to live as normally as possible over the next month and through the Christmas holidays.

Rod Phillips, OLG's president and CEO, when asked if there's something peculiar about Hamilton to produce as many lottery winners as it has lately, jovially said, "We've been wondering that ourselves. Must be the clean living . . . I think they're just lucky."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

I already started a thread about this incident yesterday.

Seekand ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

    Slick Nick's avatar - Lottery-035.jpg
    Rochester
    United States
    Member #103285
    January 1, 2011
    550 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: December 5, 2013, 10:29 am - IP Logged

    A happy ending for them, that's great! Yes Nod

    Money is a terrible master, but a great servant...Smile

      rdgrnr's avatar - walt
      -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
      Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
      United States
      Member #73904
      April 28, 2009
      14903 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 5, 2013, 10:31 am - IP Logged

      Seem like nice people.

      God Bless 'em.

        whiteballz's avatar - Lottery-015.jpg
        Nutley, New Jersey
        United States
        Member #131063
        August 1, 2012
        774 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: December 5, 2013, 10:41 am - IP Logged

        I love Canadians.

        .

          myeyes2020's avatar - phant
          toledo, ohio
          United States
          Member #108833
          March 31, 2011
          63 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 5, 2013, 10:42 am - IP Logged

          435 people inquired about it. SHE PAID BY CREDIT CARD. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. showed up @ her door.  CONGRATULATIONS MRS JONES.

          keep campaigning you will get elected

            Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
            Los Angeles, California
            United States
            Member #103816
            January 5, 2011
            1530 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 5, 2013, 10:46 am - IP Logged

            I already started a thread about this incident yesterday.

            Yeah, but the credit card purchase is the key.

            That is a direct electronic link between a person and the ticket. That's the difference in this news story compared to what you posted in the forums. It makes sense now.

              BuyLow's avatar - palm tree.jpg
              Florida
              United States
              Member #61435
              May 22, 2008
              775 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 5, 2013, 10:52 am - IP Logged

              Yeah, but the credit card purchase is the key.

              That is a direct electronic link between a person and the ticket. That's the difference in this news story compared to what you posted in the forums. It makes sense now.

              I Agree!

                plumsage's avatar - leaf

                United States
                Member #132464
                September 4, 2012
                115 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 5, 2013, 11:03 am - IP Logged

                Wow!  Congrats!  i love happy stories like this.

                  imagine's avatar - WINGS

                  United States
                  Member #85048
                  January 7, 2010
                  102 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: December 5, 2013, 11:24 am - IP Logged

                  I already started a thread about this incident yesterday.

                  The credit card isn't the key.
                  http://www.lotterypost.com/thread/239531

                    rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                    -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
                    Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                    United States
                    Member #73904
                    April 28, 2009
                    14903 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: December 5, 2013, 11:47 am - IP Logged

                    I love Canadians.

                    The service industry people in Florida hate 'em cuz they don't tip.

                    My only complaint is that their bacon is in the shape of a hockey puck.

                    And they call their french fries hot chips.

                    And they talk funny.

                    Outside of that, no problem whatsoever.

                      myeyes2020's avatar - phant
                      toledo, ohio
                      United States
                      Member #108833
                      March 31, 2011
                      63 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: December 5, 2013, 11:50 am - IP Logged

                      The credit card isn't the key.
                      http://www.lotterypost.com/thread/239531

                      had she paid with cash they might nothave found her.  using a credit card  made it a lot easier.

                      keep campaigning you will get elected

                        Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
                        Los Angeles, California
                        United States
                        Member #103816
                        January 5, 2011
                        1530 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: December 5, 2013, 11:50 am - IP Logged

                        The credit card isn't the key.
                        http://www.lotterypost.com/thread/239531

                        The credit card isn't the key. 

                        Huh??? Are you just being contrarian? I don't get it, it's the first line in the story:

                        Credit card purchase key to tracking down winner

                        Please explain why it isn't the key, and what's really the key.

                        But as far as your very valid link about not posting news stories to the forums, most long time members already know that. I've even told people not to do it before. I even hinted at it here with my wording but didn't say it outright: "...difference in this news story compared to what you posted in the forums"

                          mypiemaster's avatar - peace
                          He who dies with the most toys WINS!!!.

                          United States
                          Member #141039
                          April 2, 2013
                          665 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: December 5, 2013, 11:53 am - IP Logged

                          BSThis investigator's line of thinking is analogous to that of one  Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto. Lord knows what else they have in common....a crack pipe?.

                          Seekand ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

                          Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

                            Avatar

                            United States
                            Member #122329
                            January 29, 2012
                            61 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: December 5, 2013, 11:55 am - IP Logged

                            What's interesting about this story is that she paid by credit card as they certainly don't allow that to go on in any state I've played.   I wonder if they meant debit card but it could be different in Canada.