Washington lottery pledges to help Canadian Powerball players collect prize

Washington lottery officials say they'll help any potential Canadian Powerball winners collect their prize money, after concerns that a little-known U.S.

See Full Article

law could prevent cross-border players from cashing in on Wednesday's record jackpot.

Thousands of Canadians have poured across the U.S. border ahead of Wednesday's draw, dreaming of taking home the $1.5-billion prize.

But a U.S. imports law raised fears this week that any potential Canadian winners would be unable to collect the money.

According to U.S. law, "all persons are prohibited from importing into the United States from any foreign country any … lottery ticket, or any printed paper that may be used as a lottery ticket, or any advertisement of any lottery."

Border guards warned Burnaby, B.C. resident Lisa Yuen about the rule when she travelled to the U.S. to purchase tickets for the previous Powerball draw on Saturday.

Now, like other Canadians, she says she's feeling nervous about driving back to the States to buy more tickets.

"I just want to really make sure before I go and sit in line again to buy tickets … that I really can win," Yuen told CTV Vancouver.

On Tuesday, Washington lottery officials tried to ease those concerns, issuing a statement promising to help any Canadian winners collect their money.

"Players have 180 days to redeem a winning ticket. During that time, our Lottery will certainly work with anyone impacted by a border issue to achieve crossing and pay the prize," spokesperson Jana Jones said in an email to CTV Vancouver.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson says the agency is "ardently and fastidiously working" on a solution.

At least one B.C. man has run into problems in the past for trying to take lottery tickets into the U.S.

Conda Reddy says he had nine B.C. lottery tickets confiscated while trying to cross the border in December. The agency has since returned the tickets, as well as his Nexus card, which was taken during the incident.

As Wednesday's draw approaches, Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer based in Blaine, Wash., says he doesn't expect officials will take away more lottery cards.

"But if (border crossing guards) want to be nitpicky, they could enforce that obscure law and take them," he said. "They have the right to."

Of course, even if officials do find a way to open the doors for a Canadian to collect the prize, a larger obstacle remains: Powerball players have only a one-in-292-million chance of winning the jackpot, making it highly unlikely anybody will be crossing the border and returning home $1.5 billion richer.

With files from CTV Vancouver


Latest Canada & World News

  • Authorities find no sign of braking by bus driver in fatal California crash

    World News CTV News
    PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- Ana Car didn't remember the sudden impact, only that she woke up among dead and injured passengers in a dark bus filled with screams of terror and agony. The retired factory worker had spent an evening gambling at a desert casino and was sound asleep when the bus heading to Los Angeles smashed into the rear of a slow-moving tractor-trailer. Source
  • Friends recall Hayden as activist behind historic document

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- When news broke that Tom Hayden had died, many remembered him as the Vietnam War protester, former husband of Jane Fonda or the California legislator. But classmates and fellow activists at the University of Michigan still think of the impassioned and eloquent student who more than anyone shaped a signature document of the 1960s: the Port Huron Statement. Source
  • Surfer bitten by shark in Maui that 'came out of nowhere'

    World News Toronto Sun
    HONOLULU — A surfer says he’s grateful to be recovering in a Maui hospital after a shark bit him — even though the attack forced him and his wife to postpone their honeymoon. Federico Jaime was surfing Friday at a beach about two blocks from his Paia home when he felt a shark chomp down on his left arm, he recalled Monday from his room at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Source
  • Kendall Jenner's testimony at trial not enough for stalking conviction

    World News CBC News
    A jury on Monday acquitted a man of stalking model and reality TV star Kendall Jenner and convicted him of trespassing at her secluded Hollywood Hill home The jury of seven women and five men returned the verdict against Shavaughn McKenzie after a seven-day trial in which Jenner described her fear at finding McKenzie lurking in her driveway and banging on her car window in August. Source
  • 'I stand by what I told Rolling Stone': Woman who alleged rape testifies at trial

    World News CBC News
    The subject of a Rolling Stone article on a gang rape at the University of Virginia that the magazine retracted after investigators found no evidence the attack occurred, testified on Monday she believed she had told the reporter the truth. Source
  • Mexican police find meth hidden in cheese

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - Mexican prosecutors said Monday that they had found a tunnel in the border city of Tijuana that led toward or into the United States. The attorney general's office did not say whether the tunnel actually reached U.S. Source
  • Former Uruguay president Jorge Batlle dead at 88

    World News CBC News
    Former President Jorge Batlle, an extroverted and irreverent politician who was a force in Uruguayan politics for half a century and led it during one of its worst economic recessions, died on Monday. He was 88. Source
  • Conservatives retain Alta. seat in federal byelection

    Canada News CBC News
    CBC News is projecting Conservative Glen Motz will win the Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner byelection with 196 of 223 polls reporting. Motz had 69.5 per cent (20,405) of the vote with Liberal candidate Stan Sakamoto taking 26.0 per cent (7,645 votes). Source
  • Ottawa police pull over higher rate of Middle Eastern and black drivers: report

    Canada News CTV News
    Ottawa Police are pulling over Middle Eastern and black drivers -- especially young men -- far more often than other groups relative to their population in the city, according to a report analyzing traffic stops over a two year period. Source
  • NAACP demanding federal probe after noose put on African American student

    World News CTV News
    WIGGINS, Miss. -- The president of the Mississippi NAACP is demanding a federal investigation after the parents of a black high school student said four white students put a noose around their son's neck at school. Source