If you think The Biggest Loser is only a reference to weight loss…consider the case of Joel Ifergen.  

Seven years ago, Mr. Ifergen bought the winning ticket in the Canadian lottery – worth about $27 Canadian, or $21 million American dollars.  Or so he thought.


The lottery machine expelled the winning ticket 7 seconds after the drawing had ended. 

That\’s right.  Seven seconds.

Here are the particulars, from Anita Li\’s article at

Ifergan bought two tickets for the May 23, 2008, Lotto Super 7 draw, a now-defunct weekly Canadian lottery game, at 8:59 p.m. – one minute before the deadline. His first ticket had the May 23 draw date, but his second ticket was printed seven seconds after 9 p.m., and had a May 30 draw date, the day of the next lottery drawing, instead.

Unfortunately, Ifergan\’s second ticket was the winner. It had all the correct numbers of the May 23 jackpot, but Loto-Quebec rejected the ticket because it said May 30. The $27 million was awarded to someone else.

Ifergan claims he should be awarded $13.5 million – half of the jackpot – because both his tickets were purchased before the 9 p.m. deadline. He says a 10-second processing lag was at fault for his lost winnings.

Looks like a pretty good argument to me.

But not to the Canadian Supreme Court which, on Thursday – after 7 years and $100,000 in legal fees – informed Mr. Ifergen it would not hear his case.

End of issue.

If I were Joel, I\’d consider changing my name from Ifergen to either Ifergencan\’tbelievethis, or Ifergenwuzrobbed….or Ifergenshouldgetmylotterticketsearlier. 

Maybe that would make the court\’s decision weigh a little less heavily on him….

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