Hamilton resident one step closer to claiming outstanding $50 million lottery prize

OLG's President and CEO Rod Phillips (centre) and Mike Hamel, OLG's Director of Corporate Investigations, announce Kathryn Jones of Hamilton as the identified winner of the the outstanding $50 million LOTTO MAX jackpot from the November 30, 2012 draw. (CNW Group/OLG Winners)

TORONTO, Dec. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Kathryn Jones of Hamilton, Ontario is one step closer to claiming the outstanding $50 million LOTTO MAX jackpot from the November 30, 2012 draw. This announcement follows an exhaustive investigation and prize claim review by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).

"The case of this outstanding $50 million LOTTO MAX jackpot is one of the most unique in OLG's history," said Rod Phillips, OLG's President and CEO. "I am pleased that we are one step closer to awarding this multi-million dollar prize."

OLG received more than 435 inquiries regarding the $50 million LOTTO MAX jackpot since the draw on November 30, 2012.  OLG reviews every inquiry and claim made regarding a lottery prize and will escalate it for further review, if warranted.

In the course of investigating one of these 435 inquiries, OLG examined information which led to the decision to approach Ms. Jones as a potential claimant.

OLG has significant investigative tools and techniques to help determine if a prize claim is valid. Some of the resources OLG uses include:

  • A review of transactional data that provides OLG with the exact time, date and location of the purchase, as well as the amount of the winning ticket.
  • OLG's Investigations Team, which is comprised of many former law enforcement officials with decades of valuable investigative experience. They conduct extensive interviews with our claimants and if needed, with anyone else connected to the claimant. They also help validate information gathered in these interviews.
  • The use of OLG's Data Analysis and Retrieval Technology, known as DART. With DART, OLG is empowered with the ability to help confirm legitimate winners and help identify potentially fraudulent behaviour and claims. DART holds detailed information and history of every ticket sold and validated by OLG since 1999.
  • When required, OLG will ask for assistance from lottery retailers, which could include proof of purchase or, if available, access to video from store security cameras.

OLG's investigative tools and techniques pointed to Ms. Jones as the identified winner of the outstanding $50 million jackpot prize. OLG was able to verify that Ms. Jones purchased the winning ticket at the precise time and precise location confirmed by our transactions database. The ticket was purchased at Shoppers Drug Mart on Dundas Street in Cambridge.

OLG also obtained surveillance video which clearly showed the identified winner purchasing the winning ticket at the retail location.

Ms. Jones was not able to find her ticket so OLG followed its formal Lost Ticket Prize Claim Process to further verify her as the identified winner.

In interviews, Ms. Jones answered questions with information that was consistent with the findings of OLG's investigation.

She was also able to produce proof of purchase information, including a credit card statement, that showed that she bought a lottery ticket in the amount of $16 at the time and location where the winning ticket was sold. OLG confirms there was only one LOTTO MAX ticket sold for $16 that day at the retailer. That $16 ticket contained the winning jackpot numbers from the November 30, 2012 LOTTO MAX draw.

"By using our extensive investigative resources, we conducted a comprehensive prize claim review and collected indisputable proof to determine Ms. Jones as the identified winner," explained Mr. Phillips.

During OLG's interview of Ms. Jones, it was determined that her sister owns a retail outlet in the Ottawa area which sells OLG lottery tickets. Even though the winning ticket was not purchased at the Ottawa area store but in Cambridge, this information triggered an additional review of her claim by an independent third party as required by OLG's regulator, The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

As of today, the additional independent review is complete and no issues preventing a prize payout were identified. However, as per OLG policy, the prize will be held for a minimum of 30 days in order for OLG to publicize this claim. If there are no additional valid claims on this prize during this period, it will be paid to the claimant.

"We look forward to awarding this $50 million LOTTO MAX jackpot," said Mr. Phillips. "We must follow all the processes to ensure the integrity of our lottery games and to pay the right prize to the right person - every time. That's OLG's guiding principle."

"I am still in shock and very grateful OLG approached me regarding the outstanding $50 million prize," said Ms. Jones. "I completely respect OLG's rules and processes. I now anxiously anticipate the end of the wait period."

An OLG Backgrounder on the Lost Ticket Prize Claim Process is attached and also posted on OLG.ca.

OLG is a provincial agency responsible for province-wide lottery games and gaming facilities. Since 1975, OLG has provided nearly $38 billion to the Province and the people of Ontario. OLG's annual payments to the Province have helped support health care; education, research, prevention and treatment of problem gambling; amateur sport through the QUEST FOR GOLD program; and local and provincial charities.

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BACKGROUNDER

OLG LOST TICKET PRIZE CLAIM PROCESS

Customers, who believe they lost, discarded, destroyed or had a lottery ticket stolen that potentially won a prize, are asked to call OLG at 1-800-387-0098 to file a report.

OLG has a formal process to review these lost ticket prize claims. This process includes significant investigative tools and techniques to help determine if a claim is valid. Some of the resources OLG uses include:

  • A review of transactional data that provides us with the exact time, date and location of the purchase, as well as the amount of the winning ticket.
  • OLG Investigations Team, which is comprised of many former law enforcement officials with decades of valuable investigative experience. They conduct extensive interviews with our claimants and if needed, with anyone else connected to the claimant. They also help validate information gathered in these interviews.
  • The use of OLG's powerful Data Analysis and Retrieval Technology, known as DART. With DART, OLG is empowered with the ability to help confirm legitimate winners and help identify potentially fraudulent behaviour and claims. DART holds detailed information and history of every ticket sold and validated by OLG since 1999.
  • When required, OLG will ask for assistance from lottery retailers, which could include proof of purchase or, if available, access to video from store security cameras.

This process creates additional controls to ensure the right prize is paid to the right person - every time. This includes a requirement that the earliest time the prize can be paid out is after the one year period for making a prize claim has passed.

(Disponible en français)

SOURCE OLG Winners

Image with caption: "OLG's President and CEO Rod Phillips (centre) and Mike Hamel, OLG's Director of Corporate Investigations, announce Kathryn Jones of Hamilton as the identified winner of the the outstanding $50 million LOTTO MAX jackpot from the November 30, 2012 draw. (CNW Group/OLG Winners)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131203_C7143_PHOTO_EN_34277.jpg

For further information:

OLG Media Relations, 1.888.946.6716, www.OLG.ca