My grandfather loved to play the lotto. He never won, but he also never had to deal with the lingering suspicion that someone might have duped him out of some winnings.
I'd laugh to myself when he went to buy a ticket from the corner store. He refused to use quick pick machines, and under no circumstances would he give an unconfirmed ticket to the store clerk. I just said he was stuck in the paranoia of living the bulk of his life in a corrupt Eastern Bloc country.
Well, he was right and I was wrong.
The report showed a massively disproportionate win rate ($198 mil, even higher than the $106 mil original guess) among Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) "insiders," a name that sounds a lot nicer than "everyone that works or knows someone who works for the OLG."
It's yet to be determined how they managed to win at twice the rate as the general population, but, it certainly doesn't look clean if the OLG quickly bans its own people from playing.
You know what? I'm going to do a little ban of my own - I hereby ban myself from lotto tickets. Considering I have more confidence in those pop-up ad online poker rooms not ripping me off than Ontario's crooked system, this won't be tough.
But is this latest stain enough for everyone else? Probably not.
In the states, many jurisdictions are seeing increases in lotto playing. Last week, the Globe ran a story showing ticket sales increased year over year in East and West Canada suggesting it's similar story here, particularly with kiosks, where a couple bucks for a scratch ticket is easy to justify.
As for justifications, we'll see if the OLG figures out if it's finally time to fire someone because I'm getting of hollow apologies.