London pub staff and group of customers win big LOTTO SUPER 7 jackpot
TORONTO, Aug. 25 /CNW/ - A group including the owner of a popular London
pub, some family members, staff, and four regular patrons has a lot of good
cheer to toast today. The group of 11 is sharing the $15 million LOTTO SUPER 7
jackpot from last Friday night's draw (August 22, 2008) and claimed their big
win this afternoon at OLG's Prize Centre in Toronto.
The group's leader, Michael Freeman, who "likes beer" and is a long-time
patron of the Victoria Pub - known affectionately at the Vic Tavern on South
Street - says the group was only recently formed, and the jackpot-winning
ticket was a free play that was won with the group's first-ever purchase. Each
member will receive approximately $1.363 million.
Michael says the group is "extremely happy and quite thrilled" and that
the big win "comes along at a great time" in his own life. Michael called the
group together first thing on Saturday morning following the draw. The group
members have a variety of plans for the winnings with some planning for a new
home, and others thinking about a new car, paying off mortgages and investing.
The group also includes the head bartender and the chef of the well-known
100-year old establishment. Everyone plans to keep working at the pub, at
least for the time being. Owners of the pub are group members Peter and Susan
Members of the group, all of London, are:
Protecting Lottery Customers
OLG has taken significant action toward protecting lottery customers from
theft and fraud. To date, the following safeguards have been put in place:
- The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is now Ontario's
lottery regulator. Insider and suspicious wins will be investigated
by OPP officers assigned to the AGCO. All calls regarding potential
fraud or theft are routed directly to Investigations.
- Improved training and procedures for OLG investigations of prize
claims made by the general public are now in place.
- It is now mandatory for customers to sign their lottery tickets. If
tickets are not signed when validated by a retailer, the retailer
will ask the customer to sign them. Retailers cannot validate tickets
that are not signed. The front of lottery tickets includes a
signature box and a message further reminding customers to sign their
tickets. New signature lines are now beginning to appear on INSTANT
- A news release is issued for every lottery winner over $10,000 and
the information is posted on OLG's website, OLG.ca, for approximately
30 days. For Insider wins, described as people who have a perceived
influence over the lottery scheme, and people who sell, redeem and
distribute lottery products, or family members (spouse, children,
parents, siblings as well as any other relative not described here
who resides in the same household) of Insiders, a news release is
also distributed and posted on the OLG website for approximately
30 days and payment of the prize is withheld for that 30 day period
to give anyone with concerns about the win, an opportunity to come
- Ticket Checkers are available at all lottery terminal retailers for
customers to check their own lottery tickets (all on-line games such
as LOTTO 6/49 and SUPER 7). At present, customers cannot use the
Ticket Checkers to check INSTANT lottery tickets (scratch and win
games). We expect to introduce this feature later this year.
- The lottery terminal 'freezes' when a winning ticket worth $5,000 or
more is validated. The freeze sends a signal to OLG data centre,
prompting an OLG representative to immediately call the customer at
the retail outlet to confirm the win with the retailer and the
customer by telephone.
- Enhancements to the lottery terminal Customer Display Screens
- Whenever a ticket is checked by a retailer at a lottery terminal,
customers will see a video message on the Customer Display Screen
and hear a winning or non-winning jingle with a voice-over
message. These alerts will tell you whether you have a winning
ticket or not.
- Jingles and videos play for a longer time when a winning ticket is
validated, and winning/non-winning messages appear in a larger
- A new video, jingle and voice-over message plays for winning
tickets worth $5,000 or more along with a display indicating "BIG
- All on-line lottery tickets are branded along the front, left-hand
side as winning or non-winning when validated through the terminal.
- OLG has conducted public education campaigns to remind people to sign
and check their tickets and to call our hotline if they have any
- Our Customer Excellence Centre provides service 7 days a week, from
OLG is a provincial agency responsible for province-wide lottery games
and gaming facilities. Since 1975, OLG lotteries, Casinos, Slots, and Resort
Casinos have generated more than $23 billion for the benefit of the Province
of Ontario. Gaming proceeds support Ontario's hospitals, amateur sport,
recreational and cultural activities, communities, provincial priority
programs such as health care and education, and local and provincial charities
and non-profit organizations through the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Know your limit, play within it!
THE ONTARIO PROBLEM GAMBLING HELPLINE 1-888-230-3505
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For further information:
For further information: Media Contact: OLG Public Relations, (705)