With widespread corruption — or at least permissiveness of corruption — coming to light in Ontario, lottery players don't know who to turn to when there is a problem.
Take, for instance, the case of a player who realized his lottery ticket was mis-printed.
Thomas Hong always does what the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. asks him to do — check your tickets.
And that's what he did on the recent March 16 Super 7 draw, but there was one hitch, he was missing four bonus lines on one ticket and one line on a second that could have been worth $18 million.
"I just checked the top of the ticket to see I paid $11 for the numbers and the Encore," said Hong, who works as a technician at a precision balancing company in Scarborough.
"I just put the tickets in my wallet when I bought them," he said. "So how do I know whether I won more?"
"I don't know if the bar code they scan, at the bottom of the ticket reads the numbers if they aren't printed."
Hong said he phoned the lottery office and was told him to mail the tickets to the lottery head office in Sault Ste. Marie, but was reluctant after the recent scandal about unscrupulous retailers stealing prizes.
"The lottery woman told me she has never heard of this happening before," Hong said. "I told her I would mail in the photocopies of the tickets, but she wanted the originals."
Lottery spokesman Teresa Roncon said yesterday she spoke with a prize office supervisor who had only heard of a glitch like this happening twice in the past year.
Hong should bring the tickets to the lottery's Toronto office on Dundas St. W. to be checked, she said.
The bar code at the bottom of the ticket will be able to read the numbers even if they are not printed. Roncon said, and a larger bar code above the bottom one also contains the information.
"It is a misprint. It happens from time to time," she said. "If it happens you can ask (the retailer) for a reprint of your tickets."