stealing $42.9 million from ontario taxpayers

March 19, 2009

Paul K must be an opportunist bent on living large at the expense of Ontario taxpayers. It seems that OLG-bashing has reached such a fervour that people have stopped thinking properly. Several user comments on CBC and CTV are demanding that the OLG pay Paul the $42.9 Million that he thought he won (but didn’t win) at Georgian Downs.

Here’s the story – Paul was playing a 2 cent machine when the machine erroneously displayed that he had won $42.9 Million. The machine’s maximum payout is around $10,000 according to the OLG.  Staff informed him that this was an error, took the machine out of service, contacted the machine manufacturer and the gaming regulating body for auditing, and offered Paul a few freebies for his major inconvenience. They eventually offered him the machine’s maximum payout as compensation. Sophie Quigley explains how this error may have happened.

While I understand Paul’s genuine excitement and subsequent devastation, it doesn’t mean that Ontario taxpayers should foot the bill. Here are a few examples of other mistakes that happen frequently but are often rectified without compensation:

  • Your employer deposits $100,000 into your account by mistake
  • A company misprints a flyer that offers a product for $200 rather than the actual cost of $2,000
  • A credit card company erroneously credits you $10,000

The OLG has enough legitimate problems right now without a few enterprising people inventing some more. Paul knows that he didn’t win, but is trying a very un-Canadian get-rich-quick scheme at our expense. For the OLG to pay out on this error would be unconscionable because the person never won and since the money would come directly from government funds – and this would negatively impact all Ontarians.

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