$50 million mystery deepens

Lotto Max winner who purchased ticket in Langley is reportedly trying to remain anonymous

The intrigue continues around the potential winner of the $50 million Lotto Max ticket, bought in Langley last March.

This time, there is a rumour that the owner of the winning ticket wants to remain anonymous and doesn’t want his or her photo or name published anywhere. An unnamed individual told a Vancouver newspaper that the ticket holder has hired a lawyer to look into that.

BC Lottery Corporation would not comment on whether that person has sought anonymity.

“Right now we are still in the prize claim verification process and we don’t have a timeline to offer on how long that will take,” said Laura Piva-Babcock, BCLC spokesperson.

However, BCLC is very clear that in order to claim Lotto winnings, a person’s picture and name will be put out to the public.

“On the back of any Lotto ticket in the rules and regulations, it says one of the conditions of paying out a prize is to have your photo and name published,” said Piva-Babcock. Those rules are also posted on the BCLC website.

The reason behind this, she explained, is to show lottery ticket customers that there are, in fact, real-life winners.

“Having a person’s photo taken with the cheque is about integrity and transparency,” she said. “Can you imagine if lotto winnings were paid out but our paying lotto customers never knew about it? There would be no verification that the money went to anyone.”

BCLC said the level of interest in this $50 million winning ticket is the highest they have seen.

It was one of the largest prizes in Canada and the winning ticket was bought by someone in Langley on March 16, 2014. Almost a year went by with no one claiming the prize.

“There were so many people digging under their couch cushions, looking in their pants pockets and everywhere, hoping they had the ticket,” said Piva-Babcock.

“Then a few days before the deadline was to expire to claim the prize, a person comes forward with the winning ticket.”

Because of the intrigue, BCLC decided to make it public that the winning ticket had been produced.

Now there is a process, involving questions of the person, before the ownership of the ticket is verified.

“We don’t have a time limit on how long that will take,” she said.