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B.C. lottery officials extend deadline to settle fight over jackpot

Aug 30, 2005, 10:18 am

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Canada 6/49

The British Columbia Lottery Corp. has given two groups of feuding fast-food workers another day to decide who deserves a share of a $14.5 million Lotto 6/49 jackpot.

"They've asked for more time," Jim Lightbody, the corporation's vice-president of gaming, said Monday. "We're not certain why."

Nine workers at an A&W fast-food restaurant in Mission, B.C., say they're the only rightful claimants to the prize from the Aug. 13 draw.

But four others have come forward to demand a share of the jackpot, saying they normally participated in the workplace lottery pool.

The Crown corporation initially gave the two groups until Monday to reach an agreement or it would pay the money into a court and let the rivals' lawyers fight over it.

"The group of nine original claimants, through their lawyer, have contacted our lawyer and said could they have some more time," said Lightbody.

"It's obviously a very serious amount of money," he said. "So we've said OK but at some point we're going to have to fish or cut bait."

Lightbody said there was no indication from the lawyer whether the group was negotiating with the four would-be claimants.

"They were just still discussing things with their clients was all they said," Lightbody said.

The nine established claimants to the jackpot contend the others did not pay into the pool that resulted in the winning number.

While there have been other disputed jackpots, Lightbody said this is the first time in the B.C. Lottery Corp.'s history that it might have to send the issue to court.

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