A Calgary-area man who has collected more than $2 million from four lotto wins in five years has been implicated in a convoluted court claim disputing his latest jackpot.
Seguro Ndabene told CBC News that he hit the jackpot a fifth time on Jan. 16, winning $17 million in the Super 7 draw. But he has not been able to collect that money because of a lottery probe, followed by an ongoing court proceeding.
The Western Canada Lottery Corp. routinely investigates any lotto wins of more than $10,000, which automatically includes winners of multiple major prizes, said Andrea Marantz, a WCLC spokeswoman.
Ndabene has won four jackpots:
- $1 million in the Western 6/49 in 2004.
- $100,000 in the Super 7 Extra in Calgary in 2006.
- $1 million and $50,000 in the Western 6/49 in Airdrie, Alta., in 2008.
Ndabene would not disclose how much he spends on the lottery, but said he buys hundreds of tickets every month from different places.
"I've got no system. I just play in every game. Take a few dollars and go and play or whatever money I take and go and play," he said Monday.
While Ndabene said he buys his own lotto tickets, he's also part of a group that purchases tickets together every week from a kiosk in Airdrie, just north of Calgary.
Lise Blanchette, who owns the kiosk and organizes the group purchases, said she was excited for Ndabene when she heard about his major win in January, even though the group wasn't part of it.
But the WCLC's review of Ngabene's win was further complicated when someone else also claimed the $17 million prize.
Antonin Koprnicky — Blanchette's brother-in-law — came forward to challenge Ndabene's sole claim to the jackpot, alleging the winning ticket was part of the group's purchases.
The case was so complex, the WCLC closed its investigation and passed the dispute and the money over to the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench.
"The extent of each review is particular to that prize claim and its individual circumstances. Because this prize claim is currently before the court, I can't discuss its particular circumstances," said Marantz.
Ndabene said it's easy to prove the winning ticket belongs solely to him because he played the same numbers that were randomly generated on the quick-pick ticket he won with in 2006.
The tickets purchased by Blanchette's group are meticulously documented with a stamp on the back of the document; no stamp appears on Ndabene's ticket.
Blanchette also requires that people taking part in the group purchase sign a group-buying agreement that lists each participant's name, phone number and contribution.
Among the court documents obtained by CBC News, the lottery group agreement for the Jan. 16 Super 7 does not include Koprnicky's name.
At least three people listed in the agreement have hired lawyers pending the outcome of the court case.
"Each prize claim has its own story and we rarely see identical circumstances. We would agree that this is unusual," said Marantz.