A lottery winner has been denied his fortune because his lottery ticket was processed a mere 7 seconds after the day’s deadline.
Joel Ifergan of Montreal walked into a convenience store just a couple of minutes before 9:00pm to buy lottery tickets. The clerk informed him that he only had a short time to make the purchases before the deadline for that day’s draw would pass.
Ifergan bought two tickets for Lotto Super 7. Both were purchased just before the 9:00pm deadline.
But a lag in the lottery system’s processing time meant that the purchase was only approved on Loto-Quebec’s end at 9:00:07 – seven seconds after the draw deadline.
Later, Ifergan would be shocked to learn that he had hit all 7 winning numbers.
7 winning numbers, but 7 seconds late.
“When we met with a Loto-Quebec lawyer and two of their technicians at the depanneur, they told us there was a 10 to 12 second delay in transmission time.”
That being the case, Ifergan believes Loto-Quebec owes him $13.5-million.
“My purchase and request for the tickets was done, if we calculate it backwards, approximately 8:59:43,” he said. “Due to transmission delays it was processed at 9:00:07.”
Loto-Quebec refuses to pay, however, and the case is now moving to litigation.
This case raises some interesting questions about the nature of offer and acceptance of contracts, which happens to be the subject our 1Ls are studying right at this time.
Does the transmission delay – the fault of Loto-Quebec – mean that the contract fails? If the terms of the lottery agreement require that a ticket be purchased before 9 pm, does the purchase take place at the moment Mr. Ifergan asked for the ticket, or when the ticket was processed by Loto-Quebec computers, or when the money was handed over?
These are all interesting questions for the law student to ponder.
Personally, I have a feeling that Mr. Ifergan will be a millionaire after all – as will his lawyer!