VANCOUVER – A British Columbia man is taking the province’s lottery agency to court, saying he is the rightful winner of a $50 million jackpot handed out earlier this month.
George Wilson-Tagoe filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court this week, saying that he purchased the winning Lotto Max ticket from a gas station on his way to work on March 11, 2014.
He said he scanned the ticket, noticed an unusual pattern, and then lost it, possibly throwing it in the trash with old tickets.
“I looked everywhere for the ticket. Couldn’t find it,” he is quoted in the court documents.
Wilson-Tagoe said he called the B.C. Lottery Corporation and told them what happened.
The allegations contained in the lawsuit have not been proven in court
Angela Koulyras, a spokeswoman for BCLC, said she could not comment on the specifics of the case, but that the agency will be filing a defence against the allegations.
The agency awarded the massive prize to Friedrich Mayrhofer on Dec. 15, nearly two years after the March 2014 draw.
Mayrhofer said earlier this month that the delay in coming forward was due to his family being private and concerned they wouldn’t be able to handle the money.
He could not be immediately reached about the legal action against the lottery corporation.
The BCLC received 739 inquiries about the winning ticket and reviewed every claim thoroughly before handing over the $50 million prize to the people verified as the rightful ticket owners, Koulyras said.
“Throughout this process BCLC was guided by maintaining the integrity of the lottery system, which we uphold by ensuring prizes are paid to the right people,” she said.