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Lottery Theft Victims Paid

Last Updated: Monday 15th December 2008, 09:05

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has paid a group of four co-workers the sum of $5.75 million plus around $800,000 in interest after it was agreed that they had won a lottery prize that had previously been paid out to the retailer they had asked to check it.

The case began in 2004 when the group of four players purchased their tickets for the lottery and handed them to a retailer after the draw to see if they had one. It is alleged that the retailer stole the winning ticket and cashed it in for himself in 2005. Police have now charged the 60 year old retailer, named as Hafiz Zulwarnain Malik of Mississauga, Ontario, with two counts of fraud and one count of theft.

Kelly McDougald, who is Chief Executive Officer of the OLG, said: “We are glad to be paying the group this prize. The OLG conducted its own thorough and independent investigation that confirmed the group’s claim that a winning ticket paid out to someone else several years ago was in fact purchased by them.”

Michael Gough, who is Chair of OLG commented: “This payment by the OLG demonstrates the degree to which we have accepted, and acted upon, the recommendation of the Ombudsman. Change has occurred and will continue at OLG: we remain committed to regaining Ontarians’ trust - our customer’s trust - in us and in our games.”

“We're acting on our commitment to deliver the fairness and integrity that Ontarians’ expect from provincial lotteries by listening to customer concerns and responding as soon as it is brought to our attention,” McDougald said.

Aurora Pincivero, who is one of the four players that won the prize, said about the news: “I was shocked but was very excited at the same time. Unbelievable. Life will be a lot easier and more comfortable for my family and I. It allows us to pay off some debts. Otherwise, our lives will be just the same. Maybe now I can FINALLY take my kids to Disney World. This is a dream come true - really.”

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