Plaintiff Loses Both the Lottery and Lawsuit Jackpot

Defence lawyers often try to frame a plaintiff’s claim as an attempt to “win the lottery”. In a recent Ontario case, the plaintiff literally tried to hit the jackpot, but came up a few numbers short.

Sure, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has been plagued with scandals in the past few years. Still, sometimes there are happy endings, like these guys who had to wait 7 years to collect their winnings. However, for most of us, a lottery win is as likely as getting repeatedly hit by lightning .

Still, you can’t blame the OLGC for bringing a motion for summary judgment in the case of Tal v. Ontario Lottery Corporation/Loto 6/49 OLG, 2011 ONSC 644 (CanLII):

[1]               In the October 1, 2008 draw of the Lotto 6/49 game, the plaintiff, David A. Tal, matched four out of the six numbers selected. The total amount of the applicable prize pool was over $1.3 million. Mr. Tal believes he is entitled to the full amount of that prize pool. Unfortunately for Mr. Tal, over twenty thousand other people in the October 1, 2008 draw also matched four out of the six drawn numbers. As a result, the defendant, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (“OLGC”), paid Mr. Tal what it believes is his share of the prize pool, $66.90.

[2]               Mr. Tal is unhappy about this and has sued OLGC for breach of contract as a result. In this lawsuit, Mr. Tal is claiming for $3,182,667.81 in damages, which he says is the amount to which  he was really entitled in the October 1, 2008 draw, as well as an additional $35.3 million in punitive and exemplary damages. His position in this litigation is that he is contractually entitled to the entire prize pool set aside for those who matched four out of the six drawn numbers, instead of just a share of this pool.

[3]               OLGC disagrees and asserts that the rules of the Lotto 6/49 game, by which Mr. Tal is contractually bound, provide that the prize pool in question is to be divided on a pari-mutuel basis among all players who matched four out of six numbers. As a result, Mr. Tal has received his full entitlement.

[9]               The calculation of the prize to which Mr. Tal is entitled is, of course, at the heart of this lawsuit. It is fair to say, however, that the position he takes concerning the basis for calculating his prize is a novel departure from the approach that has been followed in the past by OLGC and ILC, and the rules that OLGC asserts govern the Lotto 6/49 lottery.

[76]           For these reasons, I conclude that there is no merit to Mr. Tal’s claim and that there are no issues outstanding that require a trial. Mr. Tal’s action must therefore be dismissed.

It’s a shame the plaintiff didn’t check the odds before playing or suing. The odds of winning the Lotto 6/49 jackpot are approximately 1 in 13,983,816 (or 0.0000000715). The odds of winning this lawsuit were slightly less.

One Response to “Plaintiff Loses Both the Lottery and Lawsuit Jackpot”

  1. kevin Says:

    Mr Tal, can I explain something here. You can’t get a millionare cheque just matching 4 numbers. I matched all 6 numbers here in London Ontario and CTV Toronto let all of Canada know I went all the way.. They screwed me to send a message to people like you. You must match all 6 numbers and go all the way and not just 4 numbers. This is not fair to the public. I feel bad for people out there that also matched just 4/6. WE NEED TO STOP ANGERING ROD PHILLIPS. Canada, why do ignorant people keep angering the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. This guy made it look bad for me and everybody else in out the that plays the lottery.

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