Lottery officials: Rightful winners of '03 jackpot getting paid
January 27th, 2011
11:14 PM ET

Lottery officials: Rightful winners of '03 jackpot getting paid

Canadian lottery officials say they’ve finally awarded to the correct people a 2003 multimillion-dollar jackpot that authorities say was fraudulently claimed by a lottery retailer’s relative.

Seven men who played Canada’s Super 7 lottery together in December 2003 were awarded a $12.5 million jackpot plus $2.35 million in interest after being declared the rightful winners, the Toronto Star reported. Each will receive $2.1 million.

“It’s a little surreal,” one of the men, Joseph Reaman, 35, of Ridgeville, Ontario, said at a news conference introducing the winners, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. “I got a baby on the way, and he’s pretty much set for life.”

The correction comes after three members of a family - two of whom worked for a Burlington, Ontario, lottery outlet – were charged last year on suspicion of stealing the winning ticket, according to the CBC.

An investigation by lottery officials and provincial police revealed that one of the seven rightful winners bought a Super 7 ticket at a store in October 2003 in St. Catharines, Ontario. The buyer redeemed the ticket later at the outlet in Burlington and wasn’t told that he won a free ticket, investigators determined, according to the CBC.

That ticket went on to win a $12.5 million jackpot. It was claimed by Kathleen Chung, sister and daughter of men who worked at the outlet.

A lottery investigator learned that Chung was a relative of retailers Kenneth Chung and Jun-Chul Chung, but the lottery paid her because it couldn’t prove wrongdoing, the CBC reported.

After the CBC’s “Fifth Estate” program profiled Chung – with Chung claiming not being able to remember where she bought the ticket - provincial police investigated the case and determined that the outlet didn’t give the free ticket to its rightful owner, leading to last year’s charges, which include theft and fraud, according to the CBC.

Further investigation led authorities to determine the prize belongs to the seven men who were awarded Thursday. The men were co-workers in the construction business in 2003, the Star reported.

“After more than seven long years, the right prize is going to the right people,” a beaming Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission chair Paul Godfrey said Thursday, according to the Star.

The Chungs are free on bail as they await trial, the Star and the CBC reported.

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Filed under: Canada • Crime
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. CrazyCanuk

    I just watched on CNN a blurb about the men finally being awarded their winnings. Good for them! My comment, however, is not about the winnings but the two CNN women anchors discussing what they would do with their winnings. Buying hockey tickets and Timbits eh (3 ehs actually)? As a Canadian, I personally don't partake in watching hockey, nor do I indulge in Timbits. I buy Timbits for my dog. Could they stereotype anymore? Canada is beyond Bob and Doug Mackenzie in its rich culture and culinary tastes. I guess when I spend my well earned Canadian dollars in the Southern States for two weeks in March, all I can look forward to is watching a bunch of rednecks shoot guns or drive fast cars in circles. Shame on you Kiera!

    January 28, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. wildcardk

    OK, not sure if any of you math wizards are correct, the dog year to human years have changed, it now goes by how much a dog or cat weighs that determine their age, as a dog or cat weighing 1 10 lbs is about 4 years in human years, the heavier they weigh and their age determines the human years, yes I know it sounds strange, but some vets decided that it was easier that way.

    January 28, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Andre

    The anti-Asian racism on this board makes me glad to be here in Canada. People are people, yeesh.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. wildcardk

    Not sure if any of you math wizards are in the 21st century, the 7 years to 1 of ours no longer is true, they now go by how much your pet weighs and how they are, for example a dog weighs 15 lbs and you had him for 1 year, he is now 5 to 6 year in human years, that goes for cats too! lets get with it people.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Moody

    yawn...

    January 28, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. american1

    sidney crosby canadian national hero is like 5'5..hahahhahahaha some athlete..would love to see him and payton hillis go at it...canada is pansyland

    January 28, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Tastycles

      NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

      BAD FELLOW AMERICAN, BAD.

      January 28, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • CanadianErin

      You still sound sore that we won gold at the winter Olympics, again.

      January 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmeriChina

      How tall was Barry Sanders?

      January 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • corebela

      Um I am a Canadian in Canada and didnt even know Sidney Crosby existed until he started appearing is some commercial a couple months ago. By the way i just looked it up and he is 5' 11". Im sick of seeing such exaggerations for effect. This is clearly a trivial argument that dont matter but people use exaggerations for effect far too often for serious things.

      January 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DasLeezard

    Who cares about dog years, or this p1ssing contest between Canadians and Americans?

    Someone got busted for being in the wrong. The rightful winners get their justice. Nice.

    I'd rather drink with Americans and Smoke with Canadians.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. cregis

    Do these people get the money? The article says it was paid to the sister but I didn't see if she still had any money to give the rightful owners. To me that's the important part of the story.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Trojan

      The Lottery corporation is paying them immediately (plus the interest accrued since the prize should have been awarded), and the Lottery Corporation is suing the Chungs to recover the money wrongfully awarded to them, in conjunction with the criminal theft and fraud charges.

      January 28, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. _aleph_

    I wonder if the winners had to pay taxes on the interest.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      I am sure, yes.

      January 28, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • KDW31

      Well they don't have to pay taxes on the original prize. If this is being given as part of the prize sum I would say no. Not sure though.

      January 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Josh

    I wonder what money did they use to post their bail?

    January 28, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. Tastycles

    "I got a baby on the way, and he’s pretty much set for life.”

    Not hating or anything but in all likeliness his baby will grow up to be a horrible person unless he uses his money wisely.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. rky84

    Putting in my two cents:

    1 human year equals 7 dog years
    1 dog year DOES NOT equal 7 human years

    Therefore, CNN and half of the respondents were incorrect.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. CanBear67

    Shouldn't the winners take some responsibilty for this? If you are going to play the lottery, CHECK YOUR OWN DAMN NUMBERS before you take your tickets into the retailer. I realize some people buy hundreds of tickets every week but if it's too much work to check it yourself then don't play so many tickets.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  14. Eric

    How did they figure out who owned it? Did the agent confess and he knew who owned it?

    January 28, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. Eric

    This story is incomplete. How did they figure out who owned the original ticket?

    January 28, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • CanBear67

      The machines keep records. So first you have to take the winning numbers and find out which terminal dispensed the ticket. Next you have to see if there was a credit/debit card associated with that purchase. If they paid cash, then I have no idea how they would find out.

      January 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
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