Lottery jackpots have a way of changing people’s lives that could best be defined as miraculous and unexpected. There are also occasions, such as a recent one in Montreal that could also be defined as controversial.
Giuseppe Focarazzo became eligible for a windfall of CA$30,016 with the purchase of a Banco gaming ticket and he bagged the cash, but what remained unknown up until now was his relation to the Italian Mafia.
Crown corporations overseeing provincial gaming field are on a constant pursuit of new gaming offerings and granting their player substantial cash prizes on a regular basis.
A winning ticket must have its cash prize claimed within the mandatory period or it expires. This condition has been taken into account when Mr. Focarazzo bagged his cash prize, but the Crown corporation had no authority to conduct a background check of the individual.
Mafia Links Discovered
Loto-Quebec is the lottery and gaming giant of Quebec and as such, it has rather restricted investigative powers. This means that when a lottery jackpot has been won by a ticket, Loto-Quebec has the right to check its database and pinpoint the exact location where the winning ticket has been purchased prior to the draw.
However, the Crown corporation is unable to really investigate the individual eligible for the cash prize, which could lead to situations such as the most recent one.
Marisol Schnorr, Head of Public affairs at Loto-Quebec, confirmed that this is the case and there is nothing that could be done. His Banko ticket makes it mandatory that he is paid CA$30,016.
What should be taken into account is that he has been associated with illegal activities in the past. The 43-year-old individual hailing from Lanaudiere has been involved in police investigations in the past but that is not all. His name is also listed in criminal record mentioning extortion, death threats or other injuries taking place in the early 2000s.
Winner Attended Hells Angels Wedding
According to information associated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, he has been aiding the process of money collecting for the Rizzuto clan. In addition to that, his name was also previously linked to criminal activities linked to organized groups such as the Hells Angels.
Mr. Focarazzo was also among the guests of Martin Robert and Annie Arbic’s notorious wedding bringing organized crime members at Montreal’s Windsor Ballrooms. People linked to the Montreal Mafia and Rizzuto clan were among the guests of this high-profile wedding ceremony that raised many eyebrows. Mr. Focarazzo has also been associated with several numbered businesses, one of which apparently collected loans with 57-percent annual interest.
Even though he has been linked to such activities and individuals, he is still eligible for the cash prize and has the legal right to obtain it. June 25 brought the special Banco draw with the numbers 02, 07, 10, 12, 20, 24, 25, 28, 29, 35, 36, 39, 42, 43, 48, 49, 54, 65, 68, and 69.
The ticket could amount to up to CA$ 10 for one selection. In the meantime, the province has some CA$5,420,193 in unclaimed lottery prizes, some of which have already expired without being bagged. Every winner has 52 weeks to bag their prize before it expires.