REAL LIFE

Lottery nightmare – How seven seconds cost me $27 million

Luck just wasn't in his favour.
lottery fail

Joel Ifergan was buying himself an ice-cream one day, when the lure of a $27 million jackpot prompted him to also purchase two lottery tickets.

Although both tickets were inserted before the 9pm cut-off for the draw that night, a processing delay meant that Joel’s second ticket wasn’t printed until seven seconds after the deadline, making it eligible for the following draw.

Both Joel and the store-owner were confused by the discrepancy, but Joel still accepted the ticket and thought no more of it. That was until all the numbers on his second ticket were drawn for that night’s jackpot!

lottery fail

‘It felt great for about 10 seconds, then I realised the date,’ Joel told CTV News.

The entire $27 million was paid to someone else.

Outraged, and believing he was entitled to half the winnings, Joel, an accountant, spent the next seven years and $100,000 in legal fees fighting the decision.

His case was dismissed by The Quebec Superior Court, the Quebec Court of Appeal and finally The Supreme Court of Canada. He was also ordered to cover Loto-Quebec’s legal bill of $150,000.

‘Loto-Quebec never argued the fact that my request for the two tickets was in their system at 8.59pm and 47 seconds,’ a frustrated Joel said.

Read more in this week’s issue of that’s life, on sale now.

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