Lottery Pool Winners Wait For Weeks While Lotto Max Check Dispute Rages On

This group of Canada Revenue Agency staffers won $32 million in Lotto Max. They didn't have any problem cashing the check, but some other winners did.

It's a story that every lottery player should be aware of... what happens when two or more players win from the same lottery syndicate.

It started when a group of Victorians won $8,474 in Lotto Max in April, and went to collect their winnings, reports Jack Knox of the Times Colonist.

Dan Smith, 53, from the group, drove the woman who does the ticket-buying to the casino where larger wins can be collected.

Cashiers at a casino in Cincinnati pay out customers. PHOTO: AJC

"Did you win as an individual or as a group?” she was asked.

"Group,” she replied. So the casino issued a cheque in her name with the words “in trust” underneath. That wording is standard practice at lotteries across Canada.

The idea is to guard the lottery corporations against being dragged into disputes over the division of winnings.

Except when Smith drove the ticket-holder to her bank, it wouldn’t cash the cheque, saying it didn’t know the identity of the others in the trust.

So the pair tried Smith’s credit union, but got turned away. Two other financial institutions rejected them too.

B.C. Lottery Corp. headquarters.

Not even B.C. Lottery Corp. could get the banks to budge, but eventually after several weeks - by which time some of the pool members had gone on spending sprees with money they did not yet have - Smith finally found one that reluctantly took the check.

B.C. Lottery Corp. spokesperson Laura Piva-Babcock. PHOTO: The Province.

The B.C. Lottery Corp. say stories like Smith’s are rare. The corporation has been issuing 'in trust' checks for years without a problem — until now.

Our advice is to always have a financial advisor look at your winnings beofre you do anything with them.

SOURCE: Times Colonist

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