July 25, 2017

Scandal-plagued OLG sells the dream — but collecting can be a nightmare

David MenziesMission Specialist

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission loves to sell the dream. But what if that dream turns into a nightmare when a consumer runs afoul of a fine-print rule many aren’t even aware of? 

What if the lottery corporation decides it’s not going to hand over your rightful winnings – at least not without a court fight?

Watch as I present my sordid saga, that began when I was lucky enough to win a modest lottery prize of $1,082.40 in the Pick-3 game.

When I couldn’t remember precisely where I had purchased my winning ticket, the OLG refused to pay my rightful winnings, not once, but twice. 

This story involves me resorting to suing in small claims court and in one instance, calling the police.

I’m told the OLG pays out $1.6B in winnings annually but after my experience, I’m curious about how how much they’ve clawed-back from rightful winners.

The moral of this story is, if you take part in the idiot tax that is the purchase of lottery tickets, keep track of precisely where and when you buy those tickets or ask for a receipt, because the OLG loves to take your money but they’re not too keen on paying out.

Slick ad campaigns promising the good life aside, it seems you’re really not supposed to win.

And this crown corporation justifies its monopolistic existence based on the proviso of “social responsibility”?

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commented 2017-07-25 16:10:48 -0400
The ticket has a code which tells the time and location of the purchase. Even if it did not, so what? You have the ticket, it is signed, and because it is an OLG ticket it was obviously bought in Ontario.

Its just bureaucratic hoops that you are expected to jump through.

I buy tickets when I stop at On Route on the 401, Barrie, Innisfil, Richmond Hill, Vaughn, New Market, in pharmacies, Walmart, corner stores, and so on. How can the OLG expect me, or anyone, to remember when and when I bought the ticket, never mind the address.

Isn’t this a contractual agreement that you give a voluntary tax with the expectation that your ticket may win, and that all you need do is produce the ticket to collect your prize?

David, small claims is the route, and ask for costs and damages (wasting your time, et cetera). Perhaps let this get out and if enough people contact you try for a class action suit. That will definitely get the OLG’s attention.

As for the ex RCMP and former police inspectors, it probably costs more to do the investigation than the payout.

The bureaucracy is worse than in Quebec, n’est pas?
commented 2017-07-25 12:20:17 -0400
I do understand the need for some of the regulations. Someone finds a ticket unsigned signs it and collects your winnings. Still it’s easy to forget the longer you wait until you check your ticket and it’s not always handy to check your ticket when you are on a busy schedule. In court he should ask can any of you remember where you were two weeks ago today? There has got to be a way to improve this.
commented 2017-07-25 11:55:00 -0400
What a shocking set of circumstances, OLG seems to hire incompetents! I guess the thing for everyone to remember is, if you have to present yourself at OLG headquarters, take a photo of the winning ticket before an employee defaces it.
David, I hope it doesn’t take too long to get your winnings.
commented 2017-07-25 11:18:44 -0400
I believe that they ask for the receipt of a winning ticket over $1000 in Alberta as well.
commented 2017-07-25 10:32:52 -0400
I hope you sued them for picking on the decrepit. Joking. Joking.
commented 2017-07-25 10:13:34 -0400
commented 2017-07-25 09:59:46 -0400
Menzies, You should have worn your burka. You could have claimed your prize no questions asked.
commented 2017-07-25 09:54:23 -0400
Nothing the liberals are in charge of is on the up and up! They want our money and will use any scam to get at it. They are scoundrels of the first order.
commented 2017-07-25 09:36:32 -0400
Irrespective of ones response as to where the ticket was purchased they know damn well where it was purchased. Each vendor has a code that is scanned or typed into the lottery computer at time of sale.
commented 2017-07-25 09:32:44 -0400
Basically, it sounds as if the OLG is run by the descendants of crooked carnies of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Good to have the warning to not buy tickets next time I’m in Ontario, trying to imagine having to personally show up from Alberta to collect winnings: another method, obviously, to avoid a payout.
commented 2017-07-25 09:31:52 -0400
Since possession is 9 tenth of the law. All the OLG needs is your name and address to make out the check. Example say I won 20 million and I have signed the ticket and I take it to the lottery center I’m standing in front of the window with the signed ticket in my hand and I say make the check out to Fraser McBurney that’s all they need to know. When I won a lottery over $1,000.00 in Quebec I went to the collection center presented my ticket and within 15 minutes I had the check in my hand I think all I showed was my driver’s licence but I’m not sure if they asked me for it.