A Canadian man’s quest to become a millionaire ended after nearly seven years Thursday when the Supreme Court of Canada threw out his $13.5 million lawsuit against Loto-Quebec.
The Toronto Sun reports Joel Ifergan of Quebec sued the lottery company after they refused to accept his winning lottery ticket that was printed out just seconds after an official deadline.
Had the ticket come out of the machine seven seconds earlier on May 23, 2008, Ifergan would have been entitled to split a $27 million jackpot with another winner.
Since coming so close to winning, Ifergan has spent about $100,000 in legal fees trying to get the money he believes he deserves.
He lost a lawsuit in Quebec Superior Court in 2012 and then lost an appeal last year.
“Loto-Quebec during the trial never argued the fact that my request for the two tickets was in their system at 8:59.47,” he told CTV News. “The deadline that they advertise was for 9 p.m. –- which I did.”
Ifergan argued his request was in under the deadline and it wasn’t his fault that slow processing delayed the printing of his ticket.
He said Mehernosh Iranpur, the man who sold him the ticket, was as confused as he was that the ticket took longer than usual to print.
“It was the first time he’d ever seen it,” Ifergan said. “Nobody knew.”
But Iranpur says he told Ifergan at the time that the ticket would only be good for the following week’s drawing.
“I asked him, ‘It’s for next week. Do you want it or not?’” Iranpur said. “He says, ‘No, I'll keep it.’”
Jean-Pierre Roy, a Loto-Quebec spokesman, said he is happy with the high court’s decision.
“The (original) judgment was clear and convincing that Loto-Quebec procedures were altogether reliable and integrated and were the right ones,” Roy said.
Ifergan, understandably, wasn’t as pleased.
“I’m really disappointed in the decision, and it’s not because it’s about the money,” he said, adding that the battle has “consumed” him for almost seven years.
But, Ifergan said, he is ready to leave it behind him.
“My crusade is up, I've done all I can, I spent enough money going to the Supreme Court,” he said.