Winners of long-unclaimed $50M jackpot ID’d as ‘very shy’ family
B.C.’s $50 million lottery mystery has finally been solved.
After months of speculation and intense public interest, lottery officials have identified the winners of the long-unclaimed March 2014 Lotto Max prize as a quiet family from Langley.
Retired steelworker Friedrich Mayrhofer, his wife Annand and their son Eric claimed their jackpot together on Tuesday, shedding some light on why it took a full 12 months for them to take home the cash.
The family waited until five days before the one-year deadline to come forward, and when they did they tried to claim their millions through a trust – which they hoped would keep their identities private.
“We didn’t know what to do,” Mayrhofer told reporters. “But we’re public now.”
The B.C. Lottery Corporation said because the beneficiaries of the trust weren’t disclosed, a lengthy review was launched that included consultations with the Inter-Provincial Lottery Corporation that oversees Lotto Max across Canada.
Ultimately, officials determined only a person or group can claim a prize, and the Mayrhofers resubmitted their claim last month.
“I wish I would have come in earlier because it was actually easier than I thought it was,” Mayrhofer said.
Officials estimate the family missed out on about $500,000 interest in the time it took to get things sorted out.
BCLC president Jim Lightbody said even though the Mayrhofers are a “very private… very shy family,” it was important to identify them publicly to maintain transparency and trust in the lottery system.
“They’re really excited, believe it or not, to move on. I think this is going to be a great Christmas for their family,” Lightbody said.
Few details about the Mayrhofers have been revealed, but the father said he’s been happily married for 42 years, and that they have two other children.