Judge rejects attempt to claim share of Langley family’s $50 million lottery win

Maple Ridge man argued he was cheated out of his winnings, judge calls claim 'unintelligible'

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that alleged a Maple Ridge man was the true winner of a $50 million lottery prize that went to a Langley family.

An attempt by a Maple Ridge man to claim a $50 million lottery prize won by a Langley family has been dismissed by a B.C. Supreme Court judge.

Retired accountant George Wilson-Tagoe filed a lawsuit against the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) in December, 2015 that claimed “certain unknown employees of BCLC and their cohorts conspired to steal my winning Lotto Max ticket worth $50 million plus 21 months interest.”

Wilson-Tagoe said he purchased the ticket at an Esso gas station on 202 Street and 88 Avenue in Langley, using seven numbers he had played regularly for years, but lost the ticket soon after.

He said the winning ticket was a fake.

When the case came to court, BCLC denied the forgery and said the winning ticket was a quick‑pick, which means the winning numbers were selected at random by a lottery terminal.

In dismissing the application, Justice Kenneth Affleck said the evidence Wilson-Tagoe provided to support his claim of fakery was “unintelligible” while BCLC “provided a comprehensive body of evidence that the winning ticket for the $50 million was determined through careful scrutiny that the corporation employs, particularly when there is a large jackpot, as there was in this instance.”

“I have no evidence the winning ticket was purchased by Mr. Wilson-Tagoe and no evidence that the defendant or anyone else defrauded Mr. Wilson-Tagoe,” the judge added.

“In fact, the evidence is to the contrary.”

The transcript of the September oral decision was posted online Monday.

The actual winners of the $50 million, Friedrich and Annand Mayrhofer waited a year to claim their prize.

The long delay was due to the fact the winners had attempted to keep their names secret by signing ownership of the ticket over to a trust before it was presented to BCLC by their lawyer, without disclosing the identity of the beneficiaries of the trust.

Because of the “unique” nature of the claim, BCLC said it had to consult with the Inter-Provincial Lottery Corporation (ILC), the national organization that oversees Lotto Max across Canada.

In June 2015, BCLC and the ILC, ruled that only an individual or group of individuals can claim a prize, not a trust.

When a lottery ticket is purchased, the conditions require the player to agree to their name and photo being published if they win.

The Mayrhofers said they planned to renovate their home, buy some new furniture and, maybe, take a vacation.”

They winnings will be shared with their children, a son and two daughters.

The March 14, 2014 Lotto Max jackpot win tied the largest prize ever won in B.C.

The winning ticket was a “quick pick” purchased at the Shoppers Drug Mart at 601-22259 48 Ave.