Hundreds of people have come forward to claim they could be the winner of the expiring $70 million Lotto Max prize.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) told CTV News Toronto they are now in the process of vetting more than 760 calls from the public ahead of the June 28 expiry date.
This would be the largest lottery prize in Canadian history to go unclaimed if the winner from the June 28, 2022 draw isn’t found by the deadline.
“When people call in claiming they have lost their ticket, an OLG employee will ask a few questions to determine if the person is on the right track,” OLG spokesperson Tony Bitonti said Friday. “If not, they are not part of the process. But if they can answer some questions that lead us to believe they may be the owner of the ticket then they go into the queue for further review.”
The ticket was purchased at a retailer in Scarborough, though the OLG is not naming the store in order to protect their validation process.
Bitonti said while people have come forward to the OLG, there still has been no activity on the ticket since it was purchased last June.
“We have not had anyone check this ticket on their app, or at the self check,” Bitonti said.
Bitonti said there are a number of possibilities about what could have happened to this ticket, but it’s impossible to know until a winner comes forward.
“It could be they lost the ticket and don’t know. They could have checked the ticket manually and do know, but haven’t come forward yet,” Bitonti said. “Worst case scenario, they passed away and their executor doesn’t know this ticket exists.”
The winning numbers for the Lotto Max draw are 8, 19, 22, 41, 42, 46, 47 Bonus 1.
WHAT HAPPENS IF NO ONE COMES FORWARD?
The winner has one year from the draw date to claim their prize, which is now roughly three weeks away.
If the $70-million ticket holder does not show up before the deadline, the unclaimed money will be returned to players through future bonus games or promotions.
While there are a number of reasons a winning ticket doesn't get redeemed, the OLG said it’s usually because it’s been misplaced or forgotten.
According to Bitonti, about one per cent of winnings goes unclaimed each year.