$17M lotto winner bitter over prolonged dispute

A convoluted lottery-related court claim has been dropped, paving the way for a Calgary man to take home $17 million — his fifth major jackpot in five years.

Plans to sue lottery corporation for pain, suffering and lost interest

Seguro Ndabene says he plans to sue the Western Canada Lottery Corp. after his big lotto win in January — his fifth in the last five years — was held up by an investigation. ((CBC))

A convoluted lottery-related court claim has been dropped, paving the way for a Calgary-area man to take home $17 million — his fifth major jackpot in five years.

Seguro Ndabene, who lives in Airdrie, Alta., told CBC News last week that he won the Super 7 draw on Jan. 16.

The Western Canada Lottery Corp., which routinely investigates any lotto wins of more than $10,000, had named Ndabene the rightful winner, but then a second party came forward to dispute his claim.

A man named Antonin Koprnicky said Ndabene's winning ticket was part of a group-buying venture organized by a lotto kiosk in Airdrie.

The competing claims got so complicated that the lottery corporation turned over the case to the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench.

But on Monday, Koprnicky's lawyer informed the court that there were no longer any challenges to the jackpot.

"We're not resisting Mr. Ndabene's claim to have payments made out of court," Tyler Derksen said.

Ndabene will receive his winnings when legal paperwork is completed, expected to be on Tuesday.

"I feel I have been respected and my wishes come true," said Ndabene, who says he has no system for playing the lotto.

Ndabene has won four previous jackpots from buying hundreds of lotto tickets every week:

  • $1 million in the Western 6/49 in 2004.
  • $100,000 in the Super 7 Extra from a ticket bought in Calgary in 2006.
  • $1 million and then another $50,000 in the Western 6/49 in Airdrie, Alta., in 2008.

Ndabene said he plans to sue the Western Canada Lottery Corp. for withholding his winnings for months and not paying any interest.

'Amounting to torture'

"This was amounting to torture, to torture me because I won several times. I cannot refuse to accept the money that I won rightfully. I played the ticket. They advertised the money. I paid for the ticket. I won the money and they refused to pay me right away," he said.

Yves Blanchette, who owns the Airdrie kiosk where Ndabene bought the winning ticket, can't believe his customer's luck.

"You know, I like this guy's horseshoes," Blanchette said. "This will be good for my business. They give you a picture of the winning guy to put on the wall, and if I have his picture on the wall I can double my income."

Koprnicky, the man who disputed Ndabene's claim, is Blanchette's brother-in-law.

"My brother-in-law has lots of problems and tried maybe with this to try and help himself," Blanchette said. "He was trying and then seemed to wake up and he realized, 'What the hell am I doing?' "

With files from The Canadian Press