A group of Scarborough Bell Canada call centre employees who won a $50 million Lotto Max jackpot almost two years ago finally received their full shares on Friday, Nov. 9, after a dispute ended in their favour.
The office pool of 17 women and two men at the Brimley and Ellesmere roads building won the prize from the Dec. 31, 2010 draw, and the winning ticket was checked two days later at a Victoria Park and McNicoll avenues gas station.
However, the group didn’t celebrate for long as nine other call centre employees claimed a share in the win the day after the ticket was verified. The claim froze the payout until the dispute could be resolved.
According to reports, the nine claimed several of the Bell 19 had been part of an informal weekly office pool of about 40 people since February or March 2010.
By breaking away to form a more structured group, they acted in “bad faith”, according to the lawyer representing the claimants.
On Valentine’s Day last year, OLG granted a partial payout to the group of 19 at almost $1.7 million each, handing the rest to the courts until the dispute could be resolved.
A binding arbitration ruling dismissed the claim to portions of the winnings by nine other co-workers and ordered the release of the remaining $18.4 million held by the courts.
Walking into the Victoria Park and McNicoll avenues gas station Monday, Jan. 2, 2011, around 8:45 a.m. - three days after it was announced the largest single ticket jackpot in Ontario lottery history had been won - a woman, accompanied by a man believed to be her brother, walked out with the winning $50 million ticket.
“I checked the ticket in the machine and it said ‘big winner’,” Esso employee Kumar Arumugam previously told Toronto Community News. “The (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation) then called and said to check the ticket again. Then it came up $50 million.”
According to the OLG, the $50 million jackpot has been won in other regions across Canada, but this marked the first time there had been a single, winning ticket for the jackpot in Ontario.