By Adrian Ghobrial, Correspondent, CTV National News
TORONTO (CTV Network) — You could be a multi-millionaire and not even know it. Yes, you read that sentence correctly.
A winning $70-million Lotto Max ticket has been missing and gone unclaimed for nearly a year. On June 28, the golden ticket will expire.
According to Tony Bitonti, spokesperson for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission, if no one surfaces to claim their millions, “this will set a new Canadian lottery history record.”
Bitonti went on to say, “I really don’t want that record to happen.”
There’ve been previous national jackpots that have gone unclaimed, including a $15-million winning ticket in British Columbia in 2021 and a $5-million winner in northern Ontario in 2013.
The thought of missing out on a life-changing payday has some lottery players trawling through their belongings, desperate to find the ticket. Speaking to CTV National News, Mary—a weekly player—admitted, “My husband told me about this ticket, to check everywhere to make sure I find it. But I didn’t!”
The winning Lotto Max numbers were picked and purchased in Scarborough, Ont. The OLG knows the exact location, but few other details.
“The last time there was any activity on this ticket was when it was purchased,” said Bitonti.
People who think they may have lost the winning ticket can contact the OLG to answer a series of security questions, including where they bought the ticket. So far 1,500 people have tried and failed.
Bitonti has his suspicions; “Potentially someone could have thrown away that ticket or put it in their jeans and those jeans may have been washed and the ticket destroyed.”
It’s worth noting that the prize, if claimed, would be tied with the largest single-ticket win in Canadian history.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE TICKET EXPIRES? Bitonti shared that “any unclaimed prize money from the Lotto Max or (Lotto) 6/49 goes back into future national jackpots. Don’t expect the next jackpot to be $70 million, but it does go back into future jackpots and promotions.”
Bitonti has handed over $3 billion in winnings to Canadians. He now hopes to add to that total.
“I live in a world of odds, randomness and chance, so I still think there’s a chance that someone is going to come forward and beat the odds,” added Bitonti.
The winning numbers for the Lotto Max draw are 8, 19, 22, 41, 42, 46, 47 Bonus 1.
If you’re reading this, you may want to start searching your pockets, purse, wallet, drawers, couch and car immediately for that missing $70-million ticket.
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