More than five years after Bob Edmonds called the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to complain that he may have been defrauded out of a winning Super 7 ticket, he has an apology and the right to speak freely.
But he still doesn't have the full $250,000 he originally won in the August 2001 draw.
The 82-year-old cancer survivor and resident of Coboconk, Ont., only ended up with a total of $202,000, after a lengthy legal proceeding against the lottery corporation.
The details of the settlement with the lottery corporation could be made public Friday, after the lottery corporation formally released Mr. Edmonds from a confidentiality agreement signed in March 2005.
The agreement was signed just as a jury was to begin deliberating in an Ontario Superior Court trial in the dispute between Mr. Edmonds and the lottery corporation.
The lottery corporation paid Mr. Edmonds $100,000 to settle his claim. Another $25,000 was paid in interest and $75,000 toward his legal costs, Mr. Edmonds' lawyer Alan Rachlin confirmed Friday.
Mr. Edmonds had previously received $150,000 in an out-of-court settlement with Scott and Phyllis LaPlante, the variety store owners who allegedly defrauded him out of the $250,000 winning ticket in 2001.
The legal bill for Mr. Edmonds' more than three-year-legal battle against the Ontario government agency was more than $140,000, leaving him with just over $200,000.
The lottery corporation retained an outside law firm and its total legal bill was over $420,000, according to information released last year following a freedom-of-information request.
Mr. Edmonds was threatened with a lawsuit earlier this year said Mr. Rachlin, if he violated the confidentiality agreement, once the lottery corporation learned the CBC program the fifth estate was planning to report on the dispute.
Mr. Edmonds was scheduled to be in court on Monday, at a hearing to determine what he could say publicly.
The day after the fifth estate program aired, the chief executive of the lottery corporation, Duncan Brown, called up Mr. Edmonds and personally apologized, said Mr. Rachlin.
The Ontario lottery corporation also issued a news release on Thursday evening that said it was releasing Mr. Edmonds from the confidentiality agreement.
Mr. Edmonds was travelling with his family from Toronto to Coboconk and was unavailable for comment Friday.
Mr. Rachlin said his client is happy with the apology and the fact he is not facing a potential lawsuit if he talks about the case.
But the Toronto lawyer said there remain a number of unanswered questions about the conduct of the lottery corporation.
An internal lottery corporation e-mail in January 2002 suggested that Mr. Edmonds may be the rightful owner of the Super 7 ticket, yet it fought a legal battle for more than three years before agreeing to a settlement.
"They still have not given a plausible explanation for why they did what they did, or who made the decision to put Bob Edmonds through the ordeal of a trial," said Mr. Rachlin. "The public is entitled to know."