Have you ever missed the bus by a mere matter of seconds, only to have to stand there on the curb, flustered, sweaty and panting, watching your bus drive off down the street and knowing that you’re going to be late for work and probably get yelled at?
Well, try to imagine that hopeless moment multiplied by about 17.5 million, and you might almost understand poor Joel Ifergan’s frustration when he was told back in 2008 that he would not be receiving his half of a $35 million jackpot because he purchased his ticket seven seconds too late.
Joel Ifergan of Quebec purchased two Super 7 lottery tickets back in May 2008, and was ecstatic to discover that one of them was a winner.
What he wouldn’t be so ecstatic to discover, however, was that one of them had today’s date printed on it, while the other one had printed out moments after the 9pm cut off, therefore printing tomorrow’s date on it and automatically making it valid for the next week’s draw… any guesses as to which one was the winner?
As insanely cruel as this turn of events is, you might be wondering why we’re discussing it now, in 2015. Well nearly 7 years after that fateful day, the battle is still underway as Ifergan fights for what he claims is rightfully his (wouldn’t you? $17.5 million is worth complaining about!).
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of Canada denied Ifergan’s appeal once and for all last week, declaring that Ifergan was not entitled to half of the $35 million jackpot.
Ifergan’s argument was that Loto-Quebec’s central computer system had delayed the ticket print-out and that he should not be held responsible for a fault on the company’s part – he had been in the process of suing Quebec’s lottery regulator for half of the winnings (there had been another winning ticket that week, so the jackpot would have been split between them) for the better part of the last decade.
Now, it seems Ifergan finally has closure on the matter. Although, it’s distressing to think how much those 7 years of vicious court proceedings must have cost him as well, only to lose at the end of it all!
I think it’s safe to say that Mr. Ifergan won’t be buying another lottery ticket anytime soon…