Court decides in favour of Western Canada Lottery Corporation

Recognition /

In Larry Daniuk v. Western Canada Lottery Corporation the claimant sued the Western Canada Lottery Corporation ("WCLC") for its failure to pay out his winning lottery ticket. Alyssa Wiebe represented the defendant. 

On November 20, 2020, the province closed all non-essential services, including lottery terminals. This closure remained in place until January 23, 2021. The ticket at issue had a natural expiry date of December 31, 2020, which fell during the provincial closure. The claimant did not attempt to collect the prize money until February 23, 2021. At all material times, the claimant was able to claim his prize money by mailing in his ticket to the WCLC.

The claimant stated that he had viewed a CTV News report on November 19, 2020, which informed him that lottery terminals were closed. He understood from this report that all lottery platers were being asked to store their smaller winning tickets until such time as public health restrictions were lifted and the winning ticket could be redeemed at an authorized retail agent. The claimant admitted that he had not been aware of the expiry date on his ticket at the time of purchase and did not learn of the expiration date until after February 23. 

The defendant argued that the claimant was bound by the terms of the contract on the back of the ticket, which included the expiry date, and that the lottery suspension did not alter the terms of said contract. The defendant further stated that the claimant's lack of understanding of the contract was not a legally acceptable basis for refusing to abide by its terms and that his interpretation of the news report had no effect on the terms of the contract. The court agreed with this disposition and dismissed the claim against the WCLC.