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. Stan the Man

    Greed runs through all nationalities.

    January 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mydogskip

    Did the retailer have a pattern of intentionally holding back bonus tickets if the customer didn't know to ask? If that is the case, then they should be prosecuted. But, if it is an isolated incident – a mistake by the retailer – what were they supposed to do once they realized they had an extra ticket on hand? Shred it? Send it to the lottery headquarters?

    January 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • kickstand

      Yes, they should have reported it. People who keep property that is not theirs are thieves.

      January 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Becca

      Well If these retailers would have scanned the ticket right they would have known it was a winner of what ever cash or a free ticket while the person who puchased it was in the store. Well at lest that is how it is here in the U.S. These people knew exactly what they had done or they would not have given it to a relative of theirs to cash in. So they deserve what they are getting here. No wonder this world is the way it is today! It seen it is an awful place to be any more.

      January 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin


      you seem to think greed, scams, and nastiness are new. The world has ALWAYS been an awful place. Stealing lottery tickets is really not that awful, compared with many atrocities that have been committed in the past and are being committed even now.

      January 28, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan J

      There's been a huge scandal over the last five years involving the OLG, who oversees the lottery in Ontario. Basically, retailers had been hoarding winning tickets without the rightful owner knowing, then cashing it themselves. This incident was just the tip of the iceberg.

      January 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |

    someone called?

    January 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • brian


      January 28, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. RinTinTin


    January 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Top shelf

    Sidney Crosby is 23 yrs old,that should make him 161yrs old in dog yrs.

    January 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve W.

      Hockey reference lol, that sport matters NOT

      January 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Hockey does matter, unless you're a basketball pansy or one of those lazy football players. 5 sec of work, then a minute off? Blah. All other sports are whiny lil beaches compared to brutal, beautiful hockey.

      January 28, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Stupid is as Stupid does

    $2.1 million is not a "set for life" situation for someone who is 35 and has a child on the way. The only way that is true is if he works hard and doesn't spend a dime of that winning. People see money lumped together like that and think it's a lot, but it goes fast...especially when you have the mentality that it is a huge sum of money. If you get paid an average of $50,000/year, that's about how much a person makes in a 42 year career. So if you start working when you are 22 and work until you are 64, you've made a total of $2.1MM. That's not taking taxes in to account...wonder how high taxes are on winnings like that in Canada.

    January 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canada

      NO tax on lottery winnings in Canada for any amount!!!!!!!!! About the only thing we dont get taxed on!!!!!!!!

      January 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Us Canadians dont pay taxes on lottery or game show winnings. And we get free healthcare.

      January 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canadian101

      Actually lottery winnings are not taxable in Canada so he will get to keep the entire 2.1M

      January 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • scottt

      Canada does not have tax on lottery winnings.

      January 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ighut

      Stupid is as Stupid does
      No income taxes have to be paid to Canadian authorities on lottery winnings in Canada
      Generally, Canadian tax authorities do not consider lottery winnings to be taxable for Canadian income tax purposes.

      January 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Northern Lights

      There isn't any tax on lottery wins in Canada.

      January 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrea Long

      Stupid as Stupid Does. Your way off teh Mark If you new anything about compound interest than you would know that Yes, $2.1 million can set a person or family up for life. Your math is not right because you have no understanding of how a $500,000 can turn into $600,000 in 2 years. So I assure you if he play his cards right $2.1 million will set his family up for life. Will set mine up as well. I can show you how if you would like.

      January 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      TAX free
      Except that Income earned (such as interest you earn when you invest lottery winnings) is taxable.

      January 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sherri

      In Canada we aren't taxed on our lottery winnings. He will recieve the full amount and can put it in the bank and earn interest on it.

      January 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sherri

      Jeff, we may not pay taxes on lottery winnings but we do pay health tax that pays for our health care. So our health care system isn't free, it is paid by our taxes.

      January 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • interest

      No tax on winnings. But, Andrea Long, if a person is 35 and invests 90% of the 2.1 mil, he can live comfortably from the money he gets from the investment (interest) but not as dramatically as you put it. The interest is income earned so he will be taxed. Close to 40 cents for every dollar.

      January 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calgary 73

      Stupid as Stupidity does
      Your username is really appropriate
      Your argument is based on a false premise that lotto winnings are taxable in Canada as there is no

      January 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |

      With the $2.1M CDN he could buy an annuity paying about $8,882 per month for the rest of his life. Inflation will erode the value in later years, but he will have money to send his kid to a US college, have a secure retirement, and some extras.

      I do not mean to show any disrespect to Canadian universities. I attended McGill University and was impressed by the quality of the education and its affordability. The winner could probably afford to send his child to college without winning the lottery which is something we Americans find difficult.

      January 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maurice

      Lottery winnings are not taxed in your reference to the equivalent of $50,000 per year does not apply. $50K per free is almost the equivalent of $100k per year. I'd call that set for life.

      January 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Spend $100K the first year.
      Invest $2M.
      Earn a net average of 5% per year (after tax).
      Collect $100K per year forever.
      And still have $2M.
      Your mileage and interest rate may vary.

      January 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan J

      Stupid IS as stupid does. And Jeff's "free healthcare" statement is dumber than anything i've heard all week. Check your tax bill buddy, and tell me how "free" our healthcare is.

      January 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • brian

      How many Canadians does it take to post that they do not pay taxes on lottery winnings? Or is reading previous posts an issue?

      January 28, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erin W

      Canadian lottery is not taxed. They receive the entire amount.

      January 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vic

      No, Tax on lottery winning in Canada. However, these guys will have to pay tax on 2.35 Million inerest portion

      January 28, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Andrea Long

    Stupid as Stupid Does. Your way off teh Mark If you new anything about compound interest than you would know that yes, $2.1 million can set a person or family up for life. Your math is not right because you have no understanding of how a $500,000 can turn into $600,000 in 2 years. So I assure you if he play his cards right $2.1 million will set his family up fpr life. Will set mine up as well

    January 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • EJ

      yer keybored is da broke.

      January 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Andrea Long

    Stupid, You don't know what your talking about Stupid. $2.1 Million can set a family up for life, its called compund interest. Unless you know how we make money you want understand. Trust me that ampunt of money can set you up for life, I can show you how.

    January 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Fifty grand can set you up if you use it right. You can become financially secure with a small start and go broke with a big start... its all up the individual.

      January 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gene

      Andrea, I hope you can calculate much better than you can spell. Not that I'm ordinarily a spelling Nazi, mind you, but when you liberally sprinkle your posts with "stupid", well, stupid IS as stupid does.

      And, as the hoary aphorism has it, there's no cure for..., well, you know.

      January 28, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I would be interested about learning how to use compounded interest.
      This article is more of a common occurrence then some might care to admit. wherever there is a lot of easy money bein won there is always some persons there trying to separate the suckers from their money, its classic greed. This will continue until there are no more people.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. Brian

    Glad a young family with a child on the way won it. Good luck guys.

    January 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rhett

    They should give the money to michael jacksons kids!! I hears they could use it! There having tough financial times!! have a heart!!

    January 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. glen

    lottery officials were noticing a high number of retailers winning jackpots. some really old guy complained to lottery officials about retailer saying he never won. then they dug deeper and concluded lots of people had winnings claimed by retailer. so brought in new security features so this wouldnt happen again,

    January 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • interest

      The owner of the corner store around my house drives a brand new BMW , his wife a brand new Benz. He said he bought a mansion too. Every time I see him, he talks about a new expensive gadget he acquires. Very Extremely vainglorious guy for someone who owns a little tiny store that many in my city use as a tax shelter. I think it't time I called thel OPP.

      January 28, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bob

    I'm checking to see if im related somehow....

    January 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. David

    The Chungs got caught. How many other convenience store owners have gotten away with this?

    January 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Canadian

    "Yes, if this investigation was done solely by them without the necessity of expensive lawyers for the claimants".

    From what I've read, the lottery commission did the investigating on their own behalf. These people did not know they were winners at all. They had no clue. So i can not see them having to pay for lawyers. It would be as if they had won the money originally

    January 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Something

      Is the Canadian lottery conducted differently from usual ones? Do you put your name and address on the tickets when you buy them? How would the Lottery officials know who had the winning ticket?

      January 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Todd A

    One question. Where did the money come from to pay the rightful winners? I thought the other womanwas already paid? DId they get the money back from Chung?

    January 28, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      If the Canadian lottery is like most – they have a boatload of money. Maybe a printing press, too?!?

      January 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vic

      The lottery officials/police froze 12 million worth of properties from chungs including banks account and homes, plus they plan to sue chungs for the rest of the money

      January 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
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