A dispute over a $50-million jackpot in Ontario has a legion of lottery hopefuls rushing to make sure their pools are clean.
Andrea Marantz of the Western Canada Lottery Corp. says the organization’s website has been flooded with people searching for the agreement offered to people who buy tickets in groups.
The web page where the document is available for download had more than 6,000 hits last week, more than three times the amount of people that accessed the page in the entire month of December, Marantz said.
The corporation’s hotline, which only gets one or two calls a month about lottery agreements, got more than 85 last week.
The jump came after a group of 19 Bell Canada call-centre employees came forward to claim a $50-million Lotto Max win, only to be told that the payout would have to wait because an unspecified number of colleagues had come forward with a claim that they were also entitled to a share.
The group-buying agreement offered by the Western Canada Lottery Corp. is aimed at preventing those types of disputes by having members of a lotto pool sign up and then laying out the terms of each member’s participation.
While there have been disputed jackpots in the past, Marantz said she thinks the size of the Lotto Max prize has really caused people to take notice.
“It’s just been really something that has brought this idea to the forefront of people’s minds, which is always a good thing,” she said.
“I am sorry it had to be at the expense of this group in Ontario, but it is good that people are thinking about this and just wanting to be sure that their group is properly organized.”
Ontario Lottery and Gaming is currently trying to figure out who at Bell is entitled to a share of the winnings.
If 19 people share the jackpot, they would each pocket $2.6 million. That would fall to $2.5 million if there were 20 winners and $2.3 million if there were 21.