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$20M in Alberta trust as winners squabble over lottery jackpot

A fight for a $20-million jackpot has prompted lottery officials in Alberta to put the winnings in a trust account until the dispute between 21 winners can be resolved.

A fight for a $20-million jackpot has prompted lottery officials in Alberta to put the winnings in a trust account until the dispute between 21 winners can be resolved.

The Western Canada Lottery Corporation has not named the people battling for the Super 7 winnings, although they have all been identified as patrons and employees of the Elks Club in Okotoks, Alta., who play the lottery regularly.

Victoria Kwon, who owns the Hi Ho gas station where the winning ticket was issued, said one of the players told her one man forgot to pitch in his share of the pool the night they won.

"He missed the deadline," she said.

Andrea Marantz, a spokeswoman for the Western Canada Lottery Corp., said these types of disputes are common and often settled by the courts.

"The problem that arises with group play is that if it's not formalized who is a member and who isn't a member of the group, disputes can arise," she said. "That's basically what has happened — it's a question of who is a member of the group and who is not."

She said groups that buy lottery tickets should write all considerations down in case they win.

"If someone isn't there, are they still considered part of the group? Does someone else put in for them or is it an ad hoc kind of thing? Those are the kinds of things that need to be spelled out clearly," Marantz said.