Lottery Winnings Denied for Being 7 Seconds Late

Lucky Sevens

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!

About the Author

Lawrence Gridin
Lawrence Gridin is currently a law student at the University of Western Ontario, graduating in the class of 2010. He completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, majoring in Psychology and History. Lawrence volunteers at Western's Community Legal Services and has participated in the clinic's outreach program. His diverse interests include social justice, 20th century history, photography, boxing, and politics.

15 Comments on "Lottery Winnings Denied for Being 7 Seconds Late"

  1. if they pay (Loto Quebec) everyone should by there tickets as close to the deadline as possible to increase their odds of being able to play two games instead of just one. For that matter all past winners who just missed by seconds (regardless of the amounts involved) should files lawsuits. Hey maybe a class action suit is in the works on behalf of all? No way folks, he’s going down in the books as being 7 seconds too late. Should have got out of bed earlier that day!

  2. The issue here is when the contract was concluded.

    For the contract to be concluded the ticket would need to be printed, with a valid date on it.

    If the date is valid on the ticket for the drawing date, then it is a valid ticket.

    If Quebec Lotto does not have a system in place to verify the registered entry before the ticket is printed, that is their problem.

    This will settle for at least 10 mil.

  3. I am totally on the winner’s side. The purchase was made before the 9pm deadline and it is not his fault that the computer from loto quebec has delays. The purchase was proven to be made several seconds before the 9pm deadline therefore he should be given his lottery winnings

  4. Anybody knows what happened to this case?

    I called the Superior Court in Montreal and they have nothing going on for Ifergan, or for loto-quebec that’s similar to this problem.

    Any news?

  5. Joel Ifergan | July 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |


    This is he.
    For your information,it is still in process.
    I have gone through their exploratory and on 23.07.2009 it is our turn to “grill”them.
    I would appreciate any facts re:jurisprudence,contract law,etc. please e-mail me.

  6. The story is really interesting

  7. A Lottery winner has been denied his fortune because his lottery ticket was processed a mere 7 seconds after the day’s deadline.

  8. I too am on the winners side, if he had lost, it would be no big deal, but he won, its his money, when we go to work, the company dose not punish us for being seven seconds late, to them we still on time.

  9. Kristina Tellier | November 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm |

    I am pissed off because I was sure I walked in b4 9pm; although I’m only losing out on $2,743.60 for “getting” 5 out of 6 on 6/49, I was shocked to see that the date for my draw was made a mere seconds after 9pm. Life sux. Been playing the same numbers since my kids were babies…I think I’m done with Loto Quebec.

  10. John Andersson | November 4, 2010 at 10:08 pm |

    Why do you buy a lottery-ticket 5 seconds before the lottery begins? be more intellectual than that as a human and be there at least 5minutes before the deadline, maybe your watch has a couple seconds difference than the companies computers? or any other reason taken into consideration then you wont be having problems like this.

    The end of story.

  11. Joel Ifergan | March 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm |

    In Quebec Superior Court May 07 – 16 2012

    See you then

  12. Joel Ifergan | March 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm |

    Check out the Alberta Law Review

    Mary J. Shariff and Darcy L. MacPherson, ” The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune: Can You “Lose” the Lottery but Still Win?” (forthcoming early 2011) 48:3 Alberta Law Review.
    Volume 48 Issue 3

  13. Joel Ifergan | May 5, 2011 at 8:42 am |

    Check out the Alberta Law Review

    Mary J. Shariff and Darcy L. MacPherson, ” The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune: Can You “Lose” the Lottery but Still Win?”

    Alberta Law Review Volume 48 Issue 3

    It is officially published

  14. Joel Ifergan | May 24, 2012 at 10:16 am |

    May 14th 2012

    6 Day trial is over and we are waiting for the decision of the Superior Court of Quebec.

    Joel Ifergan

  15. David Yrettol | December 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm |

    You would think the lottery would have some count down display to prevent this from happening. It is possible for both people to be off on there time by a minute or two. The question is why is it shut down to begin with? Do you have a better chance of winning the closer you get to the cut off time? There may be a loophole in the gaming industry as a whole if any of this is true.

Comments are closed.