Ontario lottery retailers cheating unsuspecting winners

CBC Fifth Estate has such a strong investigative team that the results of its investigation often become news on national news. You think that lottery is a game of chance? Well, you will be wrong if you play lottery in Ontario, Canada.

The things that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC) and its legal department have done were totally despicable and OLG is a provincial government agency!

The OLG fought

“82-year-old Bob Edmonds whose $250,000 winning Encore lottery ticket was stolen by clerks he trusted in the small town of Coboconk, Ontario in the summer of 2001. The clerks had taken his ticket and convinced the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation that they were the winning ticket’s rightful owners.”

Here is a link to the Fifth Estate investigative reports about this lottery fraud and you will find the full-length (40 minutes) original report and the 21 minutes update. Kudos to the Fifth Estate team for a great job well done.


March 26 update: Lottery agency’s close ties to retailers ‘fatal flaw’: Ontario report

19 Responses to Ontario lottery retailers cheating unsuspecting winners

  1. mb says:

    the long and the short of it is no one should have the ablility to touch a potentile multimillion dollar ticket without first being bonded, or just say to hell with illiterate speaking people especialy independent ‘s who have nothing better to do all day then figure out some kind of scam and they are out there folks! LOTTERY TERMINALS,should be regulated like wine and beer stores for those without internet access and with cameras watching 24/7 with no erasable vidieo or hard drive for 2 yr’s as much as i dont like gas stations it’s probably your safest bet as they always have security cameras for robbery . bottem line to hell with small indepents let them starve , soon enough stats will come out as to the worst offenders are ,remember you were worned


    Hi mb,

    Thanks for your feedback. I see you point. In fact, one key to the matter is the areas that may reveal if a ticket is a winning one or not should be concealed before the ticket is purchased. (e.g. sealed behind a piece of paper or something.

    I think the Lottery Terminals are already regulated somewhat. I think the system needs to be improved such that stop short of buying the ticket and play it, one should not be able to tell if the ticket is a winning one.

    I hope the lost in faith and decrease in sales of lottery tickets will send a clear warning signal to the various governments (Ontario being one of them) to fix this serious breach of fairness in a game of supposed “chance”.


    P.S. It sucks big time to see the cheaters still running free. And keeping their winnings because the Ontario Lottery corporation decided to settle out of its own embarrassment.

  2. […] Lottery ticket sellers are 10 times luckier than expected, Atlantic Lotto says. “There are no evidences of wrong doings.” Hmmm, I don’t think so. Looks like the Lottery scandal in Canada deepens. Here is an update of the lottery scandal/mess in Ontario. note: CBC has reports in videos. Also see a previous blog entry. […]

  3. Josh says:

    I don’t know who to talk to , or how to go about this….but this is what my beef is…the date is the 21st of march and the results for the prol-line pro-picks are in. there were 14 games total. according to the olgc there were 449 winners, paying each one $241.80 . I’m one of the winners. so sure i’m disappointed but how do you know that thats the actual amount of winners? A couple of weeks ago there were 12 games and the payout was approx. 15K each 7 winners. Who’s to say the olgc has just said that there are that many winners to lesson the payout. who’s to say that there are only 10 winners and in fact they should get $10, 856.82 do you have any advice as where to go to start a page asking the winners to reply……as a way to prove that in fact the amount of winners stated by the olgc is true.
    Hi Josh,

    Thanks for leaving a comment here. First of all, I feel really sorry to hear your lost of confidence with the OLGC and in particular whether Pro*Picks is fair.

    I see your point – who is to say OLGC did or didn’t change the number of winners to reduce the payout? As you said, and I agree, $10, 856.82 sure sounds a lot better than $241.80. (smile). Like you said, “who’s to say that there are only 10 winners and in fact they should get $10, 856.82”.

    You asked my help in two ways and I will try to address them in turns,
    #1) do you have any advice as where to go to start a page asking the winners to reply
    #2) as a way to prove that in fact the amount of winners stated by the olgc is true.

    For #1, you can use tools like WordPress.com or other blogging tools to start a blog like mine. One can learn the basic (eg. posting a new entry, managing entries, etc.) relatively quickly. And it is free. Oh, also pick and create a blog name that you like or feel catchy or whatever. “What’s your beef with OLGC?” or something that you like. It is your blog.

    To get the blog read and notice by people may take a little time. But if there are enough people interested in the same problem/issue as you, your audiences will find you. Of course, in your case, the winners have to be thinking that they may be cheated somehow for them to look around. By the way, I am not a lawyer (I don’t even play one on TV (smile)), but you need to be careful in wording things and don’t get yourself libeling against OLGC or anyone. Just my 2 cents.

    As for #2, If only 5 winners out of 449 winners reply to a blog posting about a particular game, you still can’t claim OLGC is not fair. On this thing, OLGC must have an audit trail of all the winning tickets. I don’t know how they keep their winners or winning audit public, but I think this is something OLGC should be keeping a good record of.

    Lets not forget OLGC, try calling their public relations department and voice your concern. Try checking CBC Fifth estate page for any helpful stuff, or emailing the CBC team. If you feel the game of chance is unfair, voice your view. It is really sad that the OLGC and other lotteries corp now seem to have so much problem.

    Finally, and I am in no way discouraging you, the audit trails of winning gamers and game cards should be a very basic thing to keep track of. And it will surprise me very much if OLGC is not doing that. But I don’t have any inside knowledge. And it is up to OLGC to gain back the lost confidence. And I don’t know the Pro*Pick game enough to know if there is a way for the retailers to “game” the system by pick only winning tickets to play as the Fifth estate team shown in some other supposedly “game of chance” game which the security check gave the winning tickets away.

    Anyway, I am no expert in this but I do hope my comments may actually help you in some way.

    Best of luck,

  4. Josh says:

    one more thing……i have won 3 out of the last 4 weeks on pro-picks and the games in my opinion are not getting easier you still have the longshot in amongst the mix. but what I have noticed is that the amount of winners is steadily increasing. i’m sure i’m not the only one who has thought about this……there has to be a way to find out if the winners are actually getting thier fair share
    please reply even if you can’t point me in the right direction….i would like your opinion on this

    thanking you in advance
    Hi Josh,

    I left you a detailed reply in your last comment. Please take a look and I hope that help.

    Best Regards,

  5. Ted says:

    I really don’t think this is a big deal. If you are too dumb to check your tickets before you go to validate it or you are unable to sign the back of the ticket than you would be better off playing Bingo at home. The machine tells you if you are a winner and if you took the time to see the printout results which I have received every time I validated a ticket than the possibility of cheating is highly unlikeley. The retailer of these tickets are dealing with lotteries everyday the chances would seem to be much greater that they would win in a greater proportionate number of times. ( LOL every time I buy the 50cent charity tickets the store owners (wife) always takes out $2.00 for herself in tickets……and I am not the only customer in the day …so really to say that store owners are cheating the system is ludicrous. Naturally the 12 millon dollar win by one individual puts the amount claimed to illegally got high. But she had a computer generated ticket which was not illegally gotten or hey “maybe that was the ticket I lost”

    Hi Ted,

    Have you seen the old gentleman Bod Edmond’s story on CBC? I highly recommend you watch the great report done by CBC. And I am sadden to see you would rather insult honest Canadians like Bob as “too dumb to check your tickets before you go to validate it or you are unable to sign the back of the ticket”.

    In Canada, I hope we are dealing with honest people but from this CBC story, looks like that particular lottery retailer wasn’t. And many other retailers were winning other scratch and win card games much more than they statistically should.

    Your statement “EVERYONE HAS THE SAME EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO WIN OR LOSE” might seem right until you have seen the CBC program and realized what the tricks were available and known to cheat the system.

    Again, the full CBC program video is available online and I encourage you to watch it to understand the story further.

    And this, of course, has nothing to do with any elections as this story broke long before any election talk.

    Thanks for your feedback even I don’t agree with your view,

  6. Ted says:

    By the way if you are concerned with the winner results of pro-line the number of winners are computer generated and are available at the OLC. Do you really think they add and subtract entry winners to reduce the payout ? We can attribute all of this to a virus being disseminated by the opposition political parties…hey I am really more concerned about the environment why take my mind off of something more important …simple minds want to believe there is a conspiracy…..LOL BUY A TICKET AND DON’T WORRY YOU WILL BE IN THE SAME BOAT AS THE REST OF US AFTER THE DRAW A FEW DOLLARS LESS IN OUR POCKETS …… GOOD LUCK !
    Hi Ted (again),

    I don’t think calling anyone “simple minds” will help any fair minded discussions. Lets focus on the main issue here which is the lost of confidence of the public in the basic fairness of the lottery system in Ontario and other Canadian provinces.

    In the case of Ontario, the province’s ombudsman has already spoken out on the topic and I believe he is not out to get anyone but presenting some basic findings.

    It seems to me that you are really passionate about this problem and I highly recommend you to read the ombudsman’s report. The 6 pages executive summary should be a good start.

    I think a meaningful discussion may be better grounded on facts and actual details. I wish we had a fair lottery system in Canada, but I can’t say we have a fair system across Canada at the moment. At least not in Ontario and other provinces that had reported unexplainable statistical bias for lottery retailers winning different supposedly “fair” games of chance.


  7. […] some people win the impossible lottery, they will buy a boat or travel the world, etc. For me, I am a simple man, I want to get […]

  8. Ontario Highway Traffic Act says:

    “82-year-old Bob Edmonds whose $250,000 winning Encore lottery ticket was stolen by clerks he trusted in the small town of Coboconk, Ontario in the summer of 2001. The clerks had taken his ticket and convinced the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation that they were the winning ticket’s rightful owners.”

    It is a sad day when elderly are become victims to such immoral crimes. But last I heard he did get his money back!

  9. kempton says:

    Dear Reader,

    Thanks for your comment re: Mr. Bob Edmonds. It is true that he got his money after a lot of fight. It is sad that he has since passed away.


  10. Andrew Gibson says:

    I was curious what the odds were for the Olg Instant christmas packs. I purchased more than 5 packs for my family this year and there was not a winner in the whole lot.
    Also I spoke to numerous other family members and friends who purchased the same tickets and not one of theirs were winners????? looks like I am donating to a good cause next year cause I would rather see my hard earned money go to someone in need then some greedy fat cat. I can’t stop everyone from buying your tickets but I sure as hell can pursuade everyone I know to stop buying them and maybe they will warn a friend or two or an entire family. words for the wise save your money or go to a casino at least you get to leave your house and make an evening out of being ripped off

  11. kempton says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I don’t have any inside knowledge of what are the odds of people winning in the Instant Christmas packs. But like any lottery products that are designed to make money for the issuers, the odd should favour the issuers (no surprised here).

    I personally don’t like Casino because it is just too smoky for my taste and don’t really enjoy increasing the risk of getting lung cancer as an added bonus of my visit.

    May be for next Christmas, you and your family and friends can consider pooling a few dollars to put up a loan at places like http://kiva.org/ . I think you might enjoy the year round “fun” of seeing some unknown stranger’s life being positively changed from half-way around the world.

    Now, coming back to OLG, it has some terrible credibility problem these days. It is sad to see you feel being ripped off by OLG.

    Thanks for taking time to share your views and experience.


  12. Hi Kemptom..

    Did you know that because of him the new law…actually not real law but the OLG law I guess, will now require you to SIGN each WINNING ticket BEFORE getting paid for.

    I am sorry to hear of this death. I hate people who scam the elderly. That is just awful man! It’s like how would you feel being scammed at an old age, where you are not young anymore and life is tougher….I am sad for his death…..he was a nice man…I saw his interview on TV.

  13. kempton says:

    Hi TTHiO,

    I am aware of some changes to OLG regulations, etc. But I think lot more can be done for sure to ensure what happened to Bob doesn’t happen again.

    Bob was a nice, decent, and a principal man. I think many Canadians (myself included) look up to him and wish we have his kind of will at his age. Too bad he left us too soon and didn’t have too much time to enjoy his winnings thanks to the delay and $*&##! of OLG.

    Best Regards,

  14. […] Ontario lottery retailers cheating unsuspecting winners […]

  15. Yvonne says:

    On April 1st I gave my ticket of Millionaire Life (7Selections and plus 3 Extras to the retailer after got $2.00. He kept my ticket. On April 2nd I found out the newspaper of Millionaire Life match numbers. I did not have my ticket since the retailer had my ticket. One is winning in Saskatchewan, I don’t know if I win. It is early bird draw that I drew on March 7th. I wish I have my ticket to check to match with Millionaire Life numbers list in the newspaper. I think every retailer should give ticket after getting $2. to confirm he won’t use it. It is very doubt if I win or not.

  16. kempton says:

    This is strange. When you paid your money, the lottery ticket is yours to keep. There is no reason for them to keep it.

  17. Yvonne says:

    What should I do? Is my fault given my ticket away? Guess the retailor got advance of me for a beginner.

  18. kempton says:

    I doubt much can be done. But you can always try giving OLG a call to see what will they say. Anyway, I don’t know much about the OLG complain process and I guess there is always no harm calling to find out more.

    OLG’s website: http://www.olg.ca

  19. rsvp7 says:

    In response to OLG’s PROLINE, I too am concerned regarding the number of winners on propicks. Sometimes it’s 1 or 2 winners, sometimes it’s over 100 winners,
    I think that it should be posted fro winners under a $1,000 dollars because lately the pools have increased to BIG POTS overnight and so have the amount of WINNERS.
    I could understand if the amount of winners doubles because the pots have doubled, but IT’S VERY UNUSUAL…………to see the amount of winners increase to over 100……………

%d bloggers like this: