Article published on 5 January 2011

Canadian Lotto Max Jackpot Payout Delayed

$50 Million Lotto Max jackpot being delayed
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A group of co-workers who won a recent $50 million Lotto Max jackpot in Canada have to wait a little longer before they can enjoy their newly-won windfall, due to an unusual delay.

According to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, the group won't be able to cash out their winning just yet because other so-called winners have come forward wanting to claim their share.

It seems the delay stems from the fact that other Bell staff members associated with the co-workers are claiming that they are also part of the syndicate, and are thus owed a share of the lottery jackpot.

Now it is the responsibility of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to validate that all the claimants are in fact part of the winning syndicate - and not just claiming to be - before they can release the cash.

Said OLG spokesperson, Tony Bitonti, 'We'll conduct a rigorous review process before any prize money is handed over. This involves interviewing the claimants to assess if their claims are indeed valid.'

The winning ticket was reportedly purchased by a group of Bell Canada employees who work in a call center in Scarborough. According to the OLG, they only formed a lottery syndicate a month ago.

Bell employee Natalie Damianidis says she has the original list of 19 lottery syndicate members, all of whom contributed to buy the winning ticket, and that anyone not on the list has no right to claim a share.

The jackpot was won from the December 31st draw, and is the first time in Canadian history that a single winning ticket scooped the entire $50 million Lotto Max jackpot. Friday's Lotto Max jackpot is an estimated $23 million.
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