Is 7 seconds enough to block man's $27 million lotto win?
Published Wednesday, January 28, 2015 7:38PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 28, 2015 11:47PM EST
The Supreme Court of Canada may decide Thursday whether a Quebec man gets to redeem a $27-million lottery ticket he received seconds after the draw’s deadline.
Joel Ifergan bought two tickets for the night’s Super 7 draw at 8:59 p.m., about one minute before the 9 p.m. cut-off time. One ticket popped out with the date, May 23. The other came out seven seconds after the draw closed, and was dated for a week later. The latter ticket had the seven winning numbers for the $27-million jackpot draw.
That happened back in 2008. The ensuing legal fight has been winding its way through the court system ever since, and now it’s reached the Supreme Court.
Ifergan blames the seven-second delay on a processing lag, and says Loto-Quebec owes him half of the $27 million jackpot, which was awarded to someone else.
“Formation of the contract was made before 9 p.m., and keeping the two tickets proved the fact that the request was made before 9 p.m., it was entered into the system,” Ifergan told CTV News.
Loto-Quebec has refused to pay, and won’t comment on the case ahead of the Supreme Court decision.
In the past, the lottery organization has said that its computers register one ticket at a time and there can be a delay of up to 10 seconds.
Convenience store owner Mehernosh Iranpur sold Ifergan the ticket. He says Ifergan knew right away they were for different draws.
“I asked him, ‘It’s for next week – do you want it or not? Or I’ll cancel it.’ He says, ‘No, I’ll keep it.’”
Ifergan’s attempt to lay claim to $13.5 million in prize money has so far cost the accountant $100,000 in legal fees, but he insists it’s worth the fight.
“I’m right, I know that the contract was formed (before the deadline),” he said.
With files from CTV News’ Vanessa Lee