P.E.I. will hang on to its investment in a private company developing a new lottery game, says Finance Minister Wes Sheridan.

Through Atlantic Lotto, the province has invested $4 million in UK-based Roboreus, the makers of the game Geosweep. Geosweep allows gamblers to pick a parcel of land on a map, rather than a number, for a chance to win.

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The P.E.I. governnment expects to make big money from its investment in Geosweep, says Finance Minister Wes Sheridan. (Province of P.E.I.)

On Wednesday, facing criticism from the opposition during question period, Sheridan said P.E.I. had a chance to sell its shares at a profit last year but decided to hold on.

"What we have done here, Madame Speaker, is invested on the ground floor of a corporation that is going to make these shares worth millions of dollars," said Sheridan.

"We could have sold them, Madame Speaker, back in the fall for a profit. We chose to stay in and recoup it at a greater rate further into the future."

Sheridan won't say how much P.E.I. could have made from selling its shares.

Neither Sheridan nor ALC will reveal how the game has been performing in Atlantic Canada. Sheridan noted other games, such as Lotto 6-49, lost money before they became successful.