Canadian gambling addiction with Lotto Max: No $21 million winner

Friday, February 4, 2011 we didn’t have a winner according the OLG. Oh boo! However, this means the pot goes up and I see we are all going to looking at a grand prize of $30 million next week, February 11.
The Dangers of Gambling
I report now on a teacher from London, Ontario who has now pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $800,000 to pay for his lottery habit. Apparently he started in 1995 buying $20 worth of weekly tickets but over the next 15 years spent more and more until he was buying $400 to $800 worth of tickets a day. Per day!!!
According to the story, he expected that sooner or later he was going to make the big win but it never came. He has fed his addiction by spending his savings then went on to take money from the budget of high school sports he was overseeing. Wes McConnell, 57, has pleaded guilty last fall to fraud for stealing nearly $800,000 from the Thames Valley Regional Athletic Association (TVRAA) over the past decade.
Rule: Only bet what you can afford to lose
I buy a Lotto Max and a 6/49 once a week. I know that my money is used by the Lottery Corporation to support good causes in Ontario and Canada. It also gives me a fun time imagining what I would do if I won. Okay, you can’t win if you don’t play. However I’m not betting the farm on the idea I am going to win. I’ve made other plans to carry on with my life based on me not winning. That is the only reasonable thing any of us can do. Yes, buy a ticket. A ticket. One ticket and enjoy the thrill of thinking about winning. But don’t go nuts.
True Story
This dates back to, if I remember correctly, the early 80’s. A couple in Pennsylvania mortgaged their home and sold all of their possessions to buy tickets in the state lottery. I saw a picture of the two of them sitting on the floor of their living room now devoid of any piece of furniture but awash in lottery tickets. There were the two of them grinning for the camera betting the farm on winning the big one. I remember that the article had said the two of them had managed to amass $90,000 in tickets.
I forgot all about them but then, about 6 months later, I discovered this tiny follow-up article in a newspaper. I’m sure you can guess the results: they had won $25,000. Okay, they didn’t lose everything but that did leave them $65,000 in the red. And they now had to pay off the mortgage they had taken out on their home as part of putting the original ninety thousand together. [chuckles] It certainly seemed like a wild idea and just imagine if they had won? I’m sure their hands must have been shaking while they were checking their tickets.
But, we come back to that age old adage: only bet what you can afford to lose. I’m not going to mortgage my house to buy lottery tickets so I guess I’m going to have to go back to my job on Monday and just work hard. [sigh] Okay, that doesn’t have the same pizzazz as my picture in the paper holding up a giant cheque but at least I’m not going to end up in a house with no furniture and a big fat mortgage to pay off! Oh yeah, all with nothing to show for it. Ha!
6/49: Sat Feb 5/11: $15,00,000
The pot has gone up as there was no winner for the $10 million prize this past Wednesday.
All the latest winning numbers
You can visit the Lotto web site and check out all the latest winning numbers including Poker, 49, Lottario, Keno, Pick 4, Pick 3 and Payday. Of course, all the Encore numbers can be found there as well.

Click HERE to read more from William Belle. 

Fraudster’s $400 a day lotto habit
Disgraced teacher spent nearly $800,000 of student funds
Last Updated: January 28, 2011 6:39am
Refused to be shut down: High School Whistle Blower
By MORRIS DALLA COSTA, The London Free Press
February 2, 2011 8:54am

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