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



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Ont. teen subject of Amber Alert wasn't actually abducted, police say

    Canada News CTV News
    MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Police in Peel Region west of Toronto say a 15-year-old girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert on Monday was not kidnapped as initially suspected. The alert had cited witnesses as saying the girl had been forced into a van in Mississauga by two men. Source
  • Okla. shooting victim saved by plate in neck: investigators

    World News CTV News
    TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - Investigators say a metal plate in an Oklahoma man's neck saved him from paralysis or worse when he was shot. Robert Thurman told 911 dispatchers Friday that his sister Gretchen Thurman shot him, The Tahlequah Daily Press reported. Source
  • South Korean court denies request to arrest Samsung Group chief

    World News CBC News
    A South Korean court on Thursday denied a special prosecutor clearance to arrest the head of Samsung Group, the country's largest conglomerate, amid a graft scandal that has led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. Source
  • Virginia man who killed noted musician and his family is executed

    World News CBC News
    Virginia has executed a man convicted of killing two young girls and their parents during a New Year's Day home invasion more than 11 years ago. Authorities say 39-year-old Ricky Gray was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. Source
  • Alaska volcano erupts again, sends ash cloud to 31,000 feet

    World News CTV News
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An Alaska volcano active since mid-December has erupted again. Bogoslof Volcano in the Aleutian lslands erupted at 1:20 p.m. Wednesday and sent up an ash cloud estimated at 31,000 feet. The Alaska Volcano Observatory raised the aviation threat code to red, the highest level. Source
  • Hardworking Winnipeg server gets life-changing $1,000 tip

    Canada News CTV News
    A Winnipeg restaurant server thought one of her customers was out to lunch when she received a life-changing $1,000 tip on Saturday. Jennifer Peitsch choked back tears of joy as she asked if the woman’s extravagant gratuity on an $87.15 meal at Mongo’s Grill was indeed real. Source
  • Dramatic video shows two armed robberies in central Alberta

    Canada News CTV News
    Two separate, but equally frightening, armed robberies were caught by surveillance cameras in central Alberta. During the past month there have been a number of armed robberies in the area, which are being investigated by RCMP. Source
  • So long from White House: Obama aims final messages at Trump

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Barack Obama stepped behind the White House podium for the last time Wednesday, fielding questions from the crush of journalists crammed in for the occasion and offering assurances to Americans watching on TV. But at times, his answers seemed aimed at an audience of one: the man who will replace him at noon Friday. Source
  • PM Trudeau should protect Kathy Katula from trolls: Tory MP

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Justin Trudeau must protect real Canadians like Kathy Katula from Liberal trolls and haters, a Conservative MP says. Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre came to the aid of Katula — the 54-year-old Buckhorn, Ont. grandmother who made headlines for her emphatic plea to the PM to not pile the carbon tax onto her as she’s already towing the poverty line — and said Trudeau needs to as well. Source
  • WikiLeaks' Julian Assange backs away from extradition pledge

    World News CTV News
    PARIS -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange retreated from his pledge to accept extradition to the U.S. if Chelsea Manning was granted clemency, arguing Wednesday via his lawyers that what he was really asking for was an immediate pardon for the ex-Army analyst. Source