Judge orders $33M lotto payout to oilfield worker after case dismissed

EDMONTON — An Edmonton oilfield worker is planning to disappear for a while with his $33-million lottery win now that a judge has ruled the money is legally his.

EDMONTON — An Edmonton oilfield worker is planning to disappear for a while with his $33-million lottery win now that a judge has ruled the money is legally his.

Mike Hayduk cashed in the winning Lotto Max ticket on April 28 but wasn’t given a cent because others came forward to claim the prize and tied the matter up in court.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Denny Thomas dismissed Wednesday the last of six claims from people who said they had purchased the ticket but it was lost or stolen.

Hayduk’s lawyer, Mark Olivieri, said his client had been stressed over the legal battle and the overwhelming responsibility of what to do with so much money.

“His head has been spinning ever since he won the big prize so he just needs some time to gather his thoughts and hopefully get some more legal advice.”

Hayduk is married with two children and “definitely needs” the money, said Olivieri.

He said some of the others fighting for the lottery prize simply made honest mistakes.

One man thought he lost the winning ticket in a friend’s car. Two believed they tossed it in the trash. And another pair of co-workers got nervous when the person in charge of their group lotto pool didn’t show up at the office for a few days.

They all dropped out of the civil case before it reached the judge.

Ted Baltoussen, the last man standing, told court last week he didn’t remember where he bought his ticket.

But when he went to check his numbers at a Mac’s convenience store, the clerk had wide eyes and looked nervous. He believes the clerk swiped his ticket and gave him back a losing one.

Baltoussen said he contacted the Western Canada Lottery Corp. about his concerns and didn’t know his name had been added to the court case.

He was prepared to fight it out, but the judge refused to hear more from him because he hadn’t filed the necessary court documents.

Thomas also criticized the lottery corporation for bringing such a flimsy case to court. He said the corporation should do a better job investigating the claims before asking the court to intervene.

Spokeswoman Andrea Marantz said the lottery corporation doesn’t have the power to compel people to give them information like the courts can.

She said few lotto wins actually end up before a judge, perhaps one each year. But with every draw, the higher the payout, the more people call with inquiries.

“We’ll have people say things to us like, ’It’s going to keep me up at night if I don’t know that it couldn’t have been mine.’ ”

Marantz said a lot of people think they have lost winning tickets. They’re questioned about where and when they bought their ticket, then assured they haven’t won.

“They’re kind of laughing at themselves. By far, the most are very legitimate and they just want some reassurance.”

Of course, there are scammers, she said. “Once people are confronted — ’Well, just a minute. We have pretty good indication that this wasn’t your ticket alone,’ or something like that — people will back off very quickly.”

Marantz said there used to be an unspoken “finders-keepers” rule with lottery tickets, but ownership is now defined at the point of purchase. That’s why lottery officials encourage players to sign the backs of their tickets as soon as they buy them.

“It would solve all these problems,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, centre, tables the federal budget in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. The federal government unveiled spending plans to manage the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis and chart an economic course for a post-pandemic Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
ATB Financial: Five things to know about the federal budget

Five things stand out above the rest in the federal government’s budget,… Continue reading

House sales remain hot in central Alberta with first-quarter sales nearly double last year’s numbers. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Central Alberta real estate market hot in 2021

Residential sales nearly double 2020 in first quarter

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer gave an update on Olymel's COVID-19 situation on Wednesday. (File photo by Advocate staff).
Veer addresses rising COVID-19 cases in Red Deer

Red Deer has added nearly 200 cases of active COVID-19 cases in past week

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
RCMP investigate culturally insensitive graffiti at Sylvan Lake school

Sylvan Lake RCMP is investigating a vandalism incident. On April 17 around… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Gwynne Dyer
Bolsonaro: Suicide by COVID

‘Rounding into the home stretch, it’s Italy by a full length, then… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Red Deer, June 28, 1990. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer and the Royal Family

The recent passing and funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Tanner Pearson, right, celebrates after scoring against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie David Rittich during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Friday, April 16, 2021. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)
Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw

Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez delivers against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at Fenway Park in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Bogaerts’ 3-run HR, Rodriguez lift BoSox over Blue Jays 4-2

Bogaerts’ 3-run HR, Rodriguez lift BoSox over Blue Jays 4-2

Pound says Olympic qualifying issues a concern to IOC

Pound says Olympic qualifying issues a concern to IOC

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Ontario Hockey League cancels 2020-21 season as COVID-19 cases surge in province

Ontario Hockey League cancels 2020-21 season as COVID-19 cases surge in province

Most Read