Co-workers file lawsuit alleging Surrey man stole lotto winnings
A group of workers in Langley, B.C. has filed a lawsuit alleging a former co-worker stole their lotto winnings.
In a claim filed by Ding Jiu Du, Haret Dagane, Elwood Prado and Tounkham Homsombath, the lighting factory employees say Hung Sengsouvanh owes them each a cut of his $1 million prize.
According to the lawsuit, the winning ticket was purchased with leftover money from a Christmas potluck. It states the employees all agreed to buy a Lotto Max ticket, and that Sengsouvanh suggested they purchase the Extra for $1, which he contributed.
When the Dec. 14 draw was made, that ticket allegedly won one of several $1 million Maxmillions prizes. In the lawsuit, the workers say they did not hear from Sengsouvanh in the following days and that he didn't show up for work on Monday. The claim states they learned about the win on social media.
"This does happen from time to time and we do have our own investigative process sometimes that involves even looking at video surveillance cameras," BCLC communications officer Evan Kelly said, though he couldn’t confirm whether this case was being looked into.
CTV News tried to contact Sengsouvanh on Wednesday at an address for him listed in the lawsuit. A man answered and identified himself as his son, saying his father was overseas but did not owe anyone any money.
The man claimed his sister bought the winning ticket andtheir father checked it and claimed the prize for her.
That is still against the rules, according to BCLC. Only the rightful ticket holder can claim a prize.
In a lottery corporation release following the December draw, Sengsouvanh is quoted as saying he would use the money to stop working and start travelling.
"I buy tickets every Friday at the Port Kells Petro-Canada gas station in Surrey before I go to work, every draw," he stated in the news release. "Now I’m going to stop working, pay everything off and just enjoy life."
The lawsuit states the workers had a verbal agreement but that because of their friendship, they didn’t think they needed to write up a contract.
BCLC encourages all groups to have a written contract when buying lotto tickets. The contract should include the names of everyone eligible for the potential prize, their contact information and the date by which they need to pay along with confirmation of them doing so.
"It’s really really important to have those details written down in any sort of agreement form because details do change from time to time," said Kelly.
The person responsible for buying and checking the ticket is also advised to sign it with their name and "in trust" so that the corporation knows the prize will be split.
BCLC also recommends every player get a copy of the contract and photo of the ticket.
Sengsouvanh has not filed a response to the lawsuit, and none of the allegations have been tested in court.