The B.C. Court of Appeal has dismissed a lawsuit by a Maple Ridge man who claims he was the true winner of a $50 million lottery prize that went to a Langley family.
Retired accountant George Wilson-Tagoe was trying to get the high court to overturn a B.C. Supreme Court decision dismissing his lawsuit against the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) in December, 2015 that claimed “certain unknown employees of BCLC and their cohorts conspired to steal my winning Lotto Max ticket worth $50 million plus 21 months interest.”
Wilson-Tagoe said he purchased the ticket at an Esso gas station on 202 Street and 88 Avenue in Langley, using seven numbers he had played regularly for years, but lost the ticket soon after.
He said the winning ticket was a fake.
When the case came to court, BCLC denied the forgery and said the winning ticket was a quick‑pick, which means the winning numbers were selected at random by a lottery terminal.
In dismissing the application, Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Affleck said the evidence Wilson-Tagoe provided to support his claim of fakery was “unintelligible.”
In a brief written decision posted online this week, a three-judge panel of the appeals court upheld the Affleck decision and dismissed the Wilson-Tagoe challenge.
“The appeal establishes no basis on which the intervention of this Court could be justified,” the decision stated.
“We are all agreed the appeal is to be dismissed and the judge’s order affirmed for the reasons he gave.”
The actual winners of the $50 million, Friedrich and Annand Mayrhofer waited a year to claim their prize.
The long delay was due to the fact the winners had attempted to keep their names secret by signing ownership of the ticket over to a trust before it was presented to BCLC by their lawyer, without disclosing the identity of the beneficiaries of the trust.
Because of the “unique” nature of the claim, BCLC said it had to consult with the Inter-Provincial Lottery Corporation (ILC), the national organization that oversees Lotto Max across Canada.
In June 2015, BCLC and the ILC, ruled that only an individual or group of individuals can claim a prize, not a trust.
When a lottery ticket is purchased, the conditions require the player to agree to their name and photo being published if they win.
The March 14, 2014 Lotto Max jackpot win tied the largest prize ever won in B.C.