Seven has turned out to be a very unlucky number for Montreal man Joel Ifergan: He missed a $10.5 million prize in Canada's Super 7 lottery by seven seconds, and after almost seven years of fighting lottery authorities, his case has been rejected by the country's top court. Ifergan says that in May 2008, he bought two tickets at 8:59pm, a minute before the 9pm cutoff, the CBC reports. The first ticket out of the convenience store's machine was for that night's draw but the next one—which had the draw's winning numbers—was printed at seven seconds after 9pm and was registered for the following week's draw. If the ticket had been printed a few seconds earlier, he would have shared a $21 million jackpot with another winner.
Ifergan sued lottery authorities in Quebec, saying the processing lag was the fault of their slow system. Loto-Quebec never disputed "the fact that my request for the two tickets was in their system at 8:59.47," he tells CTV, saying that "had those tickets been bought anywhere else in Canada, I would have been a millionaire seven years ago." But the courts in Quebec ruled against him, and the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear his appeal yesterday. Ifergan, who says the case "consumed him" for seven years and cost him more than $100,000 in legal fees, says he has done all he can and will stop fighting the decision—but he hasn't stopped buying lottery tickets. (A Washington woman who went to the store for pumpkin spice picked up a ticket that won $90 million as well.)