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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 March 2007, 13:25 GMT
Canada lottery retailers win big
Lottery ticket being sold - file photo
Lottery retailers win more prizes in Canada's Atlantic provinces
Lottery ticket sellers in Canada's four Atlantic provinces have won 10 times as many prizes as average players, the regional lottery oversight body said

The Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) reviewed win rates over six years and had the findings analysed.

The review did not find any wrongdoing by retailers and has found no pattern to the streak of winnings.

The ALC has announced measures to improve security and is considering background checks on retailers.

"Can I statistically explain why retail owners are winning 10 times more? No, I can't," said Mike Randall, vice-president of social responsibility for the ALC.

'Verify numbers'

Between January 2001 and December 2006, retailers won 44 prizes and employees won 25 prizes totalling $6.4m (3.3m, C$7.5m) - 0.5% of the total paid out in that time.

According to calculations of ticket-buying habits, retailers should only have won 3.5 prizes during that time.

Mr Randall said the "majority of our retailers are honest and professional in their interactions with players" but that measures to prevent fraud were being implemented.

He said players should treat every ticket as if it might be a winner and verify the numbers.

Screens that face the public and display whether a ticket is a winner and how much has been won will be introduced as well as machines allowing players to check their own tickets.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is investigating a similar anomaly in that province.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said an investigation it conducted last year found that retailers and clerks won nearly four times as many prizes as the general public.

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