A Lotto Max jackpot from Ontario worth CA$70,000,000 is again making the headlines, as an Ontario woman gets in legal trouble because of it. This was reported by the Ontario Provincial Police and now the 33-year-old North Bay woman will face criminal charges for filing a fake claim for the prize to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
At the start of June 2023, OLG started a campaign to find the missing winner of a Lotto Max ticket worth CA$70 million dated to June 28, 2022. Its initiative saw plenty of individuals submitting claims about the mega jackpot. The ticket was sold last year in Toronto, but its winner never came forward meaning that the ticket could have been lost.
Currently Not Related to the Missing Jackpot Winner
However, it has not been confirmed to be directly linked to the expired jackpot from June 28, 2022. In the middle of July 2023, the Ontario Provincial Police reported that members of the OPP’s investigation and enforcement bureau, related to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario got information from OLG about a ticket claim for the mega jackpot.
After that, the North Bay woman was charged by the province with attempting fraud over CA$5,000, forgery and uttering a forged document. It was also reported that the woman has now been released from custody but she is not yet out of the woods as she is set to appear in court at a later date and hear her verdict from a judge.
It should be noted that the OLG or the police have not confirmed that the false claim made by the woman has been in connection to the unclaimed CA$70-million Lotto Max prize sold on June 28, 2022. OPP’s Bill Dickson said he cannot confirm if that was the case, as anything so specific will become evidence in court. Meanwhile, the investigation is still underway.
Jackpot Remains Unclaimed
According to provincial lottery protocols, a player has up to 52 weeks from the date printed on a ticket to cash out a prize. The deadline for the jackpot worth CA$70,000,000 from the June 28, 2022 draw arrived a year later. However, according to the OLG, the ticket was never validated at one of its OLG terminals across the province.
Shortly after its campaign to find the big winner, OLG revealed that after its announcement about the unclaimed ticket, it received more than 1,100 calls from people who claimed to have lost the ticket. The Crown corporation noted that it was committed to finding the correct ticket holder and to always awarding the correct prize to its players.
It also noted that due to the high number of lost ticket claims, one of its dedicated teams of lottery investigators would need to take the necessary time to review all of the made claims before the deadline of June 28. After a thorough process of assessment has been conducted by its experts, the Crown will provide further updates on the winning.
Source: Rocca, Ryan “Woman claiming to have won $70M Lotto Max prize facing criminal charges: OPP” Global News, August 9, 2023