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This article was published 9/2/2009 (3061 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THE Doer government is confident lottery winners aren't being cheated out of prize payouts and that ticket retailers aren't winning more than they're supposed to, the minister responsible for lotteries said Monday.
But Andrew Swan said lottery players should still take a few simple steps to protect themselves from being swindled.
"I'm sure they're some instances in Manitoba where retailers and employees may not be doing the right thing," Swan said. "We just want to make sure we reduce the chances of someone having a problem with a winning ticket."
Swan said lottery players should sign their tickets after purchase and use self-service ticket checkers to verify numbers against winning numbers. Customers should also retain losing tickets and validation slips.
Swan's comments came as a CBC report claimed Western Canada Lottery Corp. lottery clerks were claiming prizes at a disproportionately high rate. The report was based on the findings of a Toronto statistics professor and contradicted a 2007 study done by consulting firm Ernst & Young of WCLC operations.
Ernst & Young found that WCLC clerks win prizes at a rate that is only slightly higher than it should be -- 1.16 times. Clerks won 67 of 1,586 prizes of $10,000 or more awarded to western Canadians between 2003 and 2006. The CBC report said Ernst & Young calculated the rate of insider wins incorrectly and that it was much higher than it should be.
WCLC said it stands by the independent Ernst & Young report and has implemented an internal program that tracks suspicious retail activity. It has also hired Deloitte & Touche to suggest ways to enhance internal security practices.
Swan said he also stands by the Ernst & Young report.