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Clock ticking for winner to claim $70M jackpot

Did you visit Scarborough last summer? Did you buy a Lotto Max ticket?
Canada's largest lottery jackpot can become the largest unclaimed ticket in the country's lottery history if a winner or a group of winners don't step forward to grab their prize by next month. A clerk hands a customer their Lotto Max ticket at a gas station north of Newcastle, Ontario on Thursday Oct. 6, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ives

Attention Saultites: Did you visit Toronto last summer — and happen to buy a Lotto Max ticket?

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation says no one has come forward yet to claim a whopping $70-million prize that was drawn last June, and the clock is ticking for the winner to step forward.

The mystery person, who purchased the ticket in east-end Scarborough, has until June 28 to show their face. If not, that ticket will go down in the record books as the largest unclaimed jackpot in Canadian history.

"I live in a world of randomness and chance, so I'm really hoping that the odds are this person comes forward to collect this money," said Sault native Tony Bitonti, a spokesman for the OLG, in an interview with The Canadian Press. "The unclaimed ticket really does defy the odds but it does happen on occasion."

As of now, the largest unclaimed jackpot on record is $15-million. That ticket was sold in British Columbia.

Bitonti said that even if the winner or group of winners has lost the ticket, they can call the OLG and answer several questions — including when, where and how they bought the ticket — to claim the big prize. 

"We have a great forensics team and they can make the art of the impossible happen and they will make it happen," he said.

If a winner isn't found, the unclaimed prize money goes back into the system. But Bitonti said he hopes that doesn't happen.

"I love giving away the big cheques and celebrating our winners," he said. "My fingers are crossed."

— with files from The Canadian Press

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