Mayrhofer, his wife Annand and his son Eric introduced themselves as the winners in a press conference, explaining to the media that they waited so long to claim because “this was an enormous prize and it took time to handle that.” He tried, unsuccessfully, to receive the money for his family without revealing their identities.
With just days to go before the claims period expired in March 2015, a lawyer attempted to claim the prize on Mayrhofer’s behalf as part of a trust, but the B.C. Lottery Corporation refused to pay out the money unless the lawyer told them who was actually receiving the cash. No trust has ever claimed a prize in the Canadian province, and B.C. Lottery winners must consent to their names being made public.
A whirlwind of controversy began shortly after, with a member of a lottery syndicate filing a lawsuit accusing her coworker, Dalbir Sidhu, of concealing the CA$50 million windfall from other members of the group. The identity of the Lotto Max winner remained unknown until now, when the retired steel fabricator stepped out into the public eye and received his eye-poppingly large cheque.
Eventually, Mayrhofer and his family realised that they needed to come forward. He now says he regrets not doing it sooner, as he lost CA$500,000 in interest by not staking a claim to the money straight away. He has had other lottery wins in the past - CA$1,000 about 20 years ago and CA$3,000 some time before that - but says that it took some time “to get a few more zeros on the end.”
As for Mayrhofer, he’s already trying his luck again for Friday’s big Lotto Max draw, which will boast a jackpot of CA$60 million. “If I win Friday, I’ll be here on Monday. I’ll make up for the lost interest,” he told reporters during the press conference. He plans to renovate his house, while his wife wants to buy new furniture, and the family plans on taking a sun-filled holiday at some point.