The unluckiest man in Quebec

I feel awful for this poor guy, but if the convenience store clerk was telling the truth – that he warned him that his second ticket was for the following week’s draw – I think the courts have ruled correctly on this matter:

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed a Quebec man’s claim to a $27 million jackpot because his lottery ticket was printed seven seconds after the cut-off time.

On Thursday, Canada’s top court said it would not hear Joel Ifergan’s lottery case. The SCC dismissed his request for an appeal with costs.

Ifergan purchased two lottery tickets for the May 23, 2008 Super 7 draw at 8:59 p.m., one minute ahead of the weekly draw deadline. His first ticket printed with the May 23 draw date on it, but his second one came out seven seconds after 9:00, with the May 30 draw date printed at the top.

That second ticket had all the winning numbers for the May 23 jackpot, but Loto-Quebec rejected the claim because the ticket said May 30.

Ifergan says he’s entitled to half of the $27 million awarded in the May 23 draw because his tickets were purchased ahead of the deadline, regardless of whether they were printed after it. He blames Loto-Quebec’s 10-second processing delay for denying him his share of the jackpot, which was awarded to another winner.


Convenience store owner Mehernosh Iranpur says he sold Ifergan the tickets, and Ifergan knew the second ticket was for the next draw.

“I asked him, ‘It’s for next week. Do you want it or not?’” Iranpur said. “He says, ‘No, I’ll keep it.’”

Then again, for many lottery winners, the jackpot turns out to be more of a curse than a blessing.   Maybe Mr. Ifergan is luckier than he thinks.

2 thoughts on “The unluckiest man in Quebec

  1. Bruce says:

    Not that I’m familiar with Canadian lottery law, but shouldn’t when the the number was entered into the system govern? And isn’t the ex post facto warning of the store clerk irrelevant?

  2. Feynman and Coulter's Love Child says:

    If it’s any consolation to the poor soul, his quick pick was a computer generated number. That computer generated number, had it been produced 8 seconds earlier, would have (assuming the lotto machines use the Mersenne Twister method) picked a completely different random number, as the “seed” for the random number generator is the clock time. The number he was given was, in all practical forms, only valid for the following Saturday.

    It speaks to Bruce’s question: the number wasn’t “entered into the system”, the number was created by the system. The warning from the clerk was that anytime after 9pm (Saturday?), the lotto ticket spat out a ticket for next week’s draw. After 9:00:00.0000pm, the machine is incapable of giving you a ticket for that night’s draw, it would have to be.

    As I blogged at the time, I do have sympathy for the guy if the slow clerk cost him the chance to lose on both tickets in the same week since we’ve all been stuck at McDonalds at 10:58am. But to think that he had a winning ticket was absurd.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s