$50M Lotto Max prize investigated for insider winnings
An eastern Ontario couple who won a $50-million Lotto Max prize is being investigated as insider winners by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
OLG is investigating the couple because Jo-Ann and Gaetan Champagne used to own a convenience store in Hawkesbury called Depanneur Jo's where they sold lottery tickets. They sold the store in October 2011 and Jo-Ann continued working there for 30 hours per week until recently.
The couple got the winning $50-million ticket from a Pharma Prix store in Hawkesbury. They had previously won a free ticket and redeemed it at the Pharma Prix store for the lottery ticket that won them the jackpot.
On New Year's Eve, the former convenience store owners said they checked their winning numbers on a drive to Ottawa.
Since Jo-Ann and Gaetan have both worked as lottery retailers within the past year, OLG must review their prize as an insider win.
The prize claim will be reviewed by OLG and the province's lottery regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
The $50-million jackpot will be held for 30 days while the investigation takes place, allowing anyone with concerns about how the prize was won to come forward.
OLG brought in a new policy in 2009 for insider winners which states OLG retailers cannot purchase, check or redeem their own tickets at their place of employment. Lottery retailers, though, are allowed to play the lottery at other retail locations.
Anyone who has a concern about the winning lottery ticket is asked to contact OLG at 1-800-387-0098.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's John Hua