7 seconds late and $27M short – Supreme Court rules against ticket buyer


A Quebec man who bought a winning lottery ticket seven seconds too late has lost his Supreme Court of Canada bid to appeal a decision that has denied him half of the $27-million prize.

“I’m going to be very very honest with you … I’m very disappointed in this decision,” said Joel Ifergan of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, from Montreal’s West Island.

Ifergan bought two Super 7 tickets on May 23, 2008, just before the 9 p.m. cutoff. (Super 7 was replaced by Lotto Max in 2009.)

Joel Ifergan, pictured in 2008, had taken Loto-Québec to court over a lottery loss he said was due to a computer glitch. ((CBC))

He said he ordered the tickets at 8:59 p.m. ET — the convenience store clerk told him he had one minute to buy his tickets.

The first ticket was printed showing the May 23 date — that night’s draw. However, the second ticket, with the winning numbers for that night’s $27-million jackpot, was printed after a few seconds’ delay, showing a date for the following week’s draw on May 30.

Ifergan claims the delay was caused by Loto-Québec’s central computer system, and believes he’s entitled to half the jackpot.

He sued the province’s lottery regulator for what he felt was his half of the jackpot. However, his attempts to bring it to Quebec courts were rejected.

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to accept his appeal, with cost.

Lottery Loser Joel Ifergan

Lottery Loser Joel Ifergan

Ifergan said the court case has cost him more than $100,000.

Still, the experience hasn’t stopped him from buying lottery tickets — as he said, you never know when you’ll get lucky.

The results for that Super 7 draw are available on LotteryCanada.com – the longest running Canadian Lottery Results website

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