Sun | Jan 29, 2023

Mystery winner

Published:Thursday | February 25, 2010 | 12:00 AM
A billboard displaying the largest lotto jackpot in Supreme Ventures' history, just hours before one player won it all. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

No claim yet for $240m lotto jackpot

The record $240-million lotto jackpot that was hit 14 days ago remains uncollected amid concerns that Supreme Ventures' plan to publicly fête the winner may put that person's life at risk.

There has never been a case where the lotto jackpot has gone uncollected, and senior corporate communications officer at Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), Carlene Edwards, is surprised the winner has not yet come forward to claim the cash.

"It never normally takes this long (for someone to come forward). Even if they don't come in, they would call to find out what the process is," she explained.

Under the rules governing the game, winners have 90 days after the numbers are drawn to collect their prize. Failing this, Edwards said half the money is paid into the government's CHASE Fund and the other half used for community outreach.

One day after the February 11 draw, SVL officials announced that one player from Manchester had correctly picked the winning numbers - 6, 7, 27, 33, 34, 35.

However, SVL's plan to host the winner at a special ceremony to celebrate the historic jackpot quickly triggered fear among some lotto players.

As a result, several persons took to SVL's website to relay their concerns.

"Winning this jackpot may become a nightmare. Jamaica has become kidnapping and extortion capital," wrote one person over the name Brian Hanson.

Rethink big presentation

"What if the winnings and the exposure cost this 'lucky' person his or her life ... rethink the big presentation ceremony and the picture publication," Hanson said.

Another person, who posted under the name Jazlene, expressed the view that lotto winners should retain the right to say whether or not they want their names and pictures published "in light of the crime-infested society we live in".

Edwards acknowledged that the winner could be waiting for all the publicity to die down before coming forward, but said SVL is bound by its licence to publish lotto winners.

She explained that this stipulation by the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission lends legitimacy to the games.

Edwards said other possible reasons why the jackpot remained uncollected are that the ticket may have been lost, or the person had not checked the ticket.