An Alberta court has upheld a decision ordering the Western Canada Lottery Corp. to award Calgarian Valerie Murphy $100,000 after she lost her winning ticket.
According to an Alberta Court of Appeal ruling, Ms. Murphy lost the ticket when her wallet was stolen. She still had a photocopy of the original, but that wasn't good enough for the lottery corporation, which rejected her claim.
The lottery corporation admitted the copy of the front side of the ticket was genuine, but argued the two different photocopies of the back -- one of the signed ticket and one of the unsigned ticket -- were invalid.
Ms. Murphy won her case in a lower court, backed up by two witnesses who testified they had seen the original ticket. In 2003, a judge ordered the lottery corporation to pay Ms. Murphy $100,000 plus interest of $7,718.50, and legal costs.
That ruling was stayed to await an appeal by the lottery corporation. But the appeal court judges dismissed the appeal, ruling the lottery corporation admitted the photocopy was a true copy of the original ticket.
No other person came forward with a claim of winning.
Ms. Murphy had made the photocopy in 2000 after discovering she had won, but waited months to claim the prize because poor health kept her from travelling to lottery headquarters in St. Albert, north of Edmonton.
The appeal court judges said the unique circumstances of the case mean it should not be considered precedent-setting, agreeing with the ruling of the original judge.