Matt Hayduk won the Canada Lotto Max fair and square on the 22 April 2011.
He turned up at lottery headquarters with his winning ticket – and said pay me the $33,301,693 jackpot, because I have the winning ticket right here in my hand.
So why did he have to wait until yesterday to finally get a court ruling to say he was the rightful winner?
Six other people also came forward to claim they were the winners of the same jackpot.
How can that possibly happen?
Well, none of them actually had a ticket to back up their claim.
Three people claimed they had lost their ticket. Two others were part of a lottery group – but said the person they left in charge of the tickets also claimed to have lost them.
These five ‘chancers’ all subsequently withdrew their claims, presumably when they realised some evidence would be required if they wanted anyone to believe them.
The one remaining claimant, Ted Baltoussen, a painter from Edmonton, tried to claim the store clerk had switched his winning ticket on him.
But on failing to provide any evidence or even a sworn statement as requested by the judge, it was determined Ted didn’t have a leg to stand on.
The judge finally declared Matt Hayduk as the rightful and proper winner of the prize. Although he also went on to criticise Western Canada Lottery Corporation for letting the case even get to court, as they should have been able to resolve the claim themselves long ago.
His lawyer said that Matt and his partner were now going to disappear for a while and finally start to enjoy their win.
He is someone who definitely could use the money, and someone who deserves the money.
In a court statement Matt pointed out how all this unnecessary legal process had caused him a lot of stress and anguish. It was also pointed out that he had lost around $1,700 of interest for every day he was denied his winnings.