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$50M Ontario lottery winners face scrutiny

Canada Lotto MaxCanada Lotto Max: $50M Ontario lottery winners face scrutiny
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OTTAWA — An Ontario, Canada, couple who won a $50 million Lotto Max jackpot last week said they expected to have trouble collecting their winnings.

Jo Ann and Gaetan Champagne have received a barrage of questions from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission: Did you buy the Lotto Max ticket? How did you come up with the numbers? Where did you get the ticket from?

The Champagnes said they aren't fazed. "We know the rules," said Jo Ann.

"I remember leaving the convenience store and we both looked at each other and said, 'Oh no. They're going to be checking us now.'"

The Champagnes are what the OLG calls "insider winners" — a category that includes OLG employees, employee family members and Lotto retailers.

The couple owned and operated Jo's Depanneur, a Hawkesbury, Ont., convenience store that was licensed to sell Lotto tickets. They sold the business Oct. 31. Jo Ann continued to work there, but quit the day they won the cash prize — on New Year's Eve.

OLG spokesman Tony Bitonti says the investigation is "standard procedure."

Any prize above $1,000 is automatically investigated. Because the Champagnes are insider winners, there's an extra level of scrutiny.

"We want to make sure that we pay the right prize to the right person every time," Bitonti said.

The win meant two investigations: one by the OLG — which wrapped up Wednesday —and another by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Bitonti expects the second investigation to take a few days to a few weeks.

"More than likely, we'll receive a notice saying everything is good," Bitonti said. "They followed OLG rules."

It's not over after that, though. Following the questioning is a mandatory 30-day wait period. Under OLG policy, this gives people a chance to call in if there are any concerns. After the 30 days, if there are no concerns, the OLG will give the Champagnes their prize money.

If the Champagnes had bought and validated the ticket at their own convenience store, they would have been ineligible for the cash prize. Jo Ann said this is why she's bought Lotto tickets from other corner stores for more than a decade.

The couple said they are untroubled by the delay. "I don't see why we shouldn't get it, we didn't do anything wrong," said Jo Ann. "We're sure we're going to get it."

The Champagnes had bought the ticket at a small convenience store in Hawkesbury. They plan on using the money to help their two sons, aged 27 and 30. They also want to purchase a new home and donate some of their winnings to the hospital and the local food shelter, which was robbed on Christmas Eve.

"We have too many plans," Jo Ann Champagne said. "Soon we'll be broke."

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11 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by sully16.
Page 1 of 1
Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
S.E.Iowa
United States
Member #120504
December 21, 2011
534 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 6, 2012, 8:44 am - IP Logged

If they sold their business BEFORE they won the lottery,why are they still considered "insider winners"?

Congratulations to the lucky couple!

Pay them their prize money.

    LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
    British Columbia
    Canada
    Member #116101
    September 4, 2011
    4033 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: January 6, 2012, 8:47 am - IP Logged

    If they sold their business BEFORE they won the lottery,why are they still considered "insider winners"?

    Congratulations to the lucky couple!

    Pay them their prize money.

    I think it's because she still works parttime at the store she used to own

    "You have to be in it to win it!"

      LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
      British Columbia
      Canada
      Member #116101
      September 4, 2011
      4033 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 6, 2012, 8:50 am - IP Logged

      I think they will get their money in a month or two

      but they'll get their money.

      Congrats to the winners! Smash

      "You have to be in it to win it!"

        Avatar
        Orlando, FL
        United States
        Member #115785
        August 28, 2011
        259 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 6, 2012, 12:10 pm - IP Logged

        just pay the people. they have the ticket, don't they??????

          s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
          Hard Luck, Ak
          United States
          Member #23472
          October 13, 2005
          275 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 6, 2012, 1:14 pm - IP Logged

          just pay the people. they have the ticket, don't they??????

          They should be good to go. She knew the rules and brought the winning ticket from a differrent store around the corner. It's just a matter of time before they receive their money. Congrats to the winners! Even if she did buy the ticket from the store where she worked they sold the business back in October so she is just an employee and not the owner.

          "We make a living by what you get, You make a LIFE by what you give!"

                                                                         Sir Winston ChurchillSun Smiley

            haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
            Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
            United States
            Member #112968
            June 29, 2011
            3854 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 6, 2012, 2:44 pm - IP Logged

            other store owners take a lesson.

            buy your tix at another store.

            good thinking.

            now olg cough it up!

            Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

              Boney526's avatar - NjlpLogo
              New Jersey
              United States
              Member #99032
              October 18, 2010
              1439 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: January 6, 2012, 4:59 pm - IP Logged

              other store owners take a lesson.

              buy your tix at another store.

              good thinking.

              now olg cough it up!

              Not every jursidiction would have those rules.  I believe in NJ they are allowed to by online tickets where they work - even while they're working.  They have to (or rather, are supposed to) wait until they're shift has ended to buy any scratch offs at the store where they work.  At least that's what a couple of clerks who seemed to know the rules told me.

                haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
                United States
                Member #112968
                June 29, 2011
                3854 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: January 6, 2012, 5:05 pm - IP Logged

                Not every jursidiction would have those rules.  I believe in NJ they are allowed to by online tickets where they work - even while they're working.  They have to (or rather, are supposed to) wait until they're shift has ended to buy any scratch offs at the store where they work.  At least that's what a couple of clerks who seemed to know the rules told me.

                not saying its a rule.

                or even  should be.

                just a good idea.

                Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

                  savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                  adelaide sa
                  Australia
                  Member #37136
                  April 11, 2006
                  3300 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: January 6, 2012, 7:57 pm - IP Logged

                  maybe there where other tickets bout in the same transaction., at the same store, maybe they need to state what scratchers they also bought with thew lotto ticvket., what other lotto toickets they also bought.

                  if they get all that right, then yeah i spose they get the money, if they cant name the store or what other purchases whenre named., then too bad its jail time.

                  2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

                  keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

                    Avatar

                    United States
                    Member #24503
                    October 23, 2005
                    159 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: January 8, 2012, 5:43 am - IP Logged

                    just pay the people. they have the ticket, don't they??????

                    Tickets may be bearer instruments, but investigations are good.  It helps find fraud, like all those cases where someone had the ticket who should not, because they were store employees scamming the true winners (usually the elderly) out of their winners by claiming that the tickets were duds, or giving out 'free tickets' for tickets worth a substantial lot of money (like that case in Canada a few years back).

                     

                    There's no rush to getting the money.

                      sully16's avatar - sharan
                      Ringleader
                      Michigan
                      United States
                      Member #81740
                      October 28, 2009
                      40339 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: January 8, 2012, 9:36 am - IP Logged

                      I wonder if it was a qp ?

                      Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

                      For a lead role in a cage?

                       

                                                                  From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"