Friday, October 1, 2010

Mystery lottery winner in Burlington

WHO RIGHTFULLY OWNS $12.5-MILLION TICKET?
Someone in Burlington, Ontario may be $12.5 million dollars richer – and not even know it.

In 2003, someone from Burlington or St. Catherines bought a lottery ticket. After the lottery draw, they went to a store called Variety Plus in Burlington to see if they’d won anything.

They had – they’d won a free ticket. But they never received that ticket, presumably because the employee at Variety Plus lied and kept the ticket for herself.

That free ticket went on to win the jackpot - $12.5 million dollars.

The store manager’s sister claimed the prize, and in December 2003 was given $12.5 million.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is the organization that collects the money people pay for lottery tickets, and gives out the prizes. They had no idea that the woman was not the true owner of the ticket.

She would never have gotten caught, except that in 2007 there were a lot of these kinds of thefts, with people who sell lottery tickets keeping the winnings for themselves.

That prompted the OLG to take a closer look at ticket sellers, and to put safeguards in place to stop such thefts. It also made them take another look at past winnings, and the OLG became suspicious about the 2003 case.

The woman, and two of her relatives, have been charged with fraud and money laundering and if they are convicted, may go to jail.

In the meantime, there’s someone out there who is the rightful owner of the $12.5 million lottery ticket. Who is it? Police are using sophisticated computer programs to figure that out. They’ll look at where the person bought other tickets in the past to figure out where he or she might work and live. They also have some other clues they’re not telling the public, which might help them find the person.

But it’s likely the person will never be found. So in the meantime… did you or your parents visit Variety Plus in Burlington in 2003?

Curriculum Connection
Why do writers use different types of sentences in their writing?

Short sentences: “They had – they’d won a free ticket.” (to make exact, clear points)

Long sentences: “The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is the organization that collects the money people pay for lottery tickets, and gives out the prizes.” (to provide detailed information)

Questions: “So in the meantime… did you or your parents visit Variety Plus in Burlington in 2003?” (to create curiosity and interest in the reader)

Primary
Identify some elements of style, including voice, word choice, and different types of sentences, and explain how they help readers understand texts (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Junior
Identify various elements of style – including voice, word choice, and the use of hyperbole, strong verbs, dialogue, and complex sentences – and explain how they help communicate meaning (OME, Reading: 2.4)

Grammar Feature
Apostrophe: Highlight the different use of the apostrophe in the article.

“After the lottery draw, they went to a store called Variety Plus in Burlington to see if they’d won anything.” (contraction)

“The store manager’s sister claimed the prize, and in December 2003 was given $12.5 million.” (shows possession)

Discussion Topics
What could The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) do to prevent this type of fraud from happening again?

If you won 12.5 million dollars, what would you do with it?

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