Sunday marks six months since the largest lottery prize ever recorded in Atlantic Canada was announced, and despite a significant amount of time passing, the winning ticketholder has yet to come forward to claim the windfall.
On April 15, Atlantic Lottery drew a winner for their $64 million Gold Ball jackpot and determined the ticket was purchased in Gloucester County, N.B. But as weeks passed and calls for the winner to identify themselves persisted, nothing but silence was heard on the gaming corporation’s end.
Molly Cormier, a communications director at Atlantic Lottery, said the current situation is “quite a different level” because the largest unclaimed prize in the region, prior to this, was a $1-million ticket purchased in 2018.
“This is the largest lottery win ever in Atlantic Canada, so we do definitely want to meet those winners and we still have hope that they’re going to come forward,” she said, adding Atlantic Lottery is planning to ramp up their community engagement over the next few months to encourage people to check their tickets.
As time passes and millions remain unclaimed, the ticket edges closer to the one-year ticket expiry date.
Although she says she hasn’t heard any rumours regarding the whereabouts of the eight-figure ticket, Cormier speculated it might be in a winner’s jacket pocket or in a pile alongside other unchecked tickets with plans of checking at a later date.
“You might be pulling out a winter coat in October … maybe you didn’t wear that coat since last April. Check the pockets, maybe you have some old tickets in there that you want to go get checked.”
“Someone may know that they might be the winner and just might be taking their time to think about it, this is a life-changing amount,” she added.
Gloucester County, the area where the ticket was purchased, is located in the northeastern corner of New Brunswick and is home to several municipalities and one First Nations reserve.
The county’s total population is about 80,000, with the city of Bathurst having the largest portion of people.
“This is not something we would comment on, especially without knowing where the ticket was purchased,” a Bathurst spokesperson said in an email response to Global News on Wednesday, after a request for comment was made to the city’s mayor.
For privacy and security reasons, Atlantic Lottery doesn’t publicize the town or store where the winning ticket was purchased until the winner comes forward.
In the event that April 2024 comes around and the $64 million is still without a bank account to call its own, Cormier said the proceeds will go toward an “unclaimed prize fund” which will see money redistributed back to future players through prizes and bonus draws.
The winning ticket was drawn from the Gold Ball Draw, which was added to Lotto 64/9’s variety of games in September 2022.
Cormier said participants are now eligible for two prizes with every Lotto 64/9 purchase, with two numbers being attached to each ticket — one that’s associated with a jackpot that contains a predetermined amount and the other for a “gold ball jackpot” which sees the prize money increase every draw until it’s selected.
“There’s a machine that has white balls and one gold ball in it. So, the white balls are all worth $1 million each, but the gold ball goes up in value each draw until the gold ball gets pulled,” she said.
Cormier said there were two white balls and one gold ball remaining during the final moments of the draw on April 15, therefore creating a one-in-three opportunity for the winner to take home $64 million.
“We’re just encouraging anyone who knows anyone who may have bought a ticket in Gloucester County on April 15 … please check those tickets, please give us a call,” she said, adding that Atlantic Lottery has a process for helping someone locate a lost ticket that’s believed to contain a winning number.
The Atlantic Lottery website indicates that the winning numbers for the April 15 Gold Ball draw are: 93331474-01.
Anyone who believes they have the winning ticket is asked to contact Atlantic Lottery’s customer care centre at 1-800-561-3942.