Seven Co-Workers Win Almost $9 Million on Lotto 6/49
TORONTO, July 7 /CNW/ - It was midnight Saturday night when the calls
started to fly around. Kartik Silvaraman, IT Manager for Coilpac Inc., and the
lottery group's leader left messages typical for his very calm demeanour.
"Hello. We won $1.3 million each. Please give me a call back."
The seven colleagues from this steel storage and processing plant in
where else - Hamilton - are splitting Saturday's LOTTO 6/49 jackpot of
$8,741,372.00. Each share is worth exactly $1,248,767.00. "Enough to change
your life!" said Jason Thomson, the Plant Manager.
The group which has been playing together for one year, reacted with
complete disbelief. "Kartik just called and said we won! Is this true?" said
Quality Consultant Bob Sinclair as he started to place calls. At 64, Sinclair,
is the only member of the group considering retirement. "We've had a lot of
fun playing the lottery together, we pick on each other about paying for the
ticket, and of course when Kartik called we thought he was playing a joke on
Silvaraman describes his personal experience as surreal. "I saw we got
the first 3 numbers. I thought, 'well that's the proverbial $10 win'. Then I
saw we got 4 numbers, 'I thought okay better than 10...', then 5
numbers...'must be having a vision problem', 6 numbers, 'I definitely need to
get my eyes checked!"
"This couldn't come at a better time," added Thomson. "We lost 50 per
cent of our employees in the last six months. The anxiety alone has been
terrible. Then to hit a jackpot of $9 million, it's incredible."
The group's plans for the money pretty well mirror what most people dream
about doing. Paying off mortgages, saving for their children's education,
taking trips, and overall, just enjoying the financial freedom. All plan to
keep on working, and except for a couple of boats, no one has given much
thought to any other special treats.
The list of winners is:
Jason Thomson, 39, Plant Manager, married.
Timothy Swartzenburg, 42, Machine Operator, married.
Bill Gulis, 56, Clerk, single.
Kristopher Perry, 27, Clerk, married.
Bob Sinclair, 64, Quality Consultant, married.
Kartik Silvaraman, 55, IT Manager, single.
Brent Levey, 50, Machine Line Coordinator, married.
The winning ticket was purchased at Mac's Convenience on Garth Street in
Protecting Lottery Customers
Over the past 12 months, 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.
- A news release is issued for every lottery winner over $10,000 and
the information is posted on OLG's corporate 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 forward.
- Self-Serve Ticket Checkers are available at nearly all lottery
terminal retailers for customers to check their own on-line tickets.
- The lottery terminal 'freezes' when a winning ticket worth $10,000 or
more is validated. The freeze allows an OLG representative to
immediately call the store to confirm the win with the retailer and
the customer by telephone.
- Enhancements to the lottery terminal Customer-Facing Display Screens
- Jingles and videos that play for a longer time when a winning
ticket is validated, and winning/non-winning messages appear in a
larger print font
- all prize amounts up to $1000 appear on the screen
- prizes over $1000 but less than $10,000 will display a message
instructing the winner to obtain their ticket and claim
- a new video, jingle and voice-over message plays for winning
tickets worth $10,000 or more along with a display indicating "BIG
- All on-line tickets are branded along the left side as winning or
non-winning when validated through the terminal.
Effective January 28, 2008 customers must sign their lottery ticket
before it can be validated by the retailer. The front of on-line tickets
includes a signature box and a message further reminding customers to
sign their tickets.
- Public education campaigns to remind people to sign and check their
tickets and to call our hotline if they had any concerns.
- Our Customer Excellence Centre is now open 24 hours a day / 7 days a
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 nearly $26 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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