It’s like something out of the movies: Homeless man wins lottery, but can’t claim his big prize because he doesn’t possess any form of identification.
In Canada gambling news, Steve Borik, a 57 year old homeless man living in Vancouver, British Colombia, won $25,000 off of a $8 Keno ticket that he decided to buy on a whim. It has the makings of an incredibly heartwarming story, but sadly Borik says that: “Lotto BC won’t cash my ticket because I don’t have photo ID.”
Borik had misplaced his ID sometime during the last couple of years, which he described as tumultuous. He never tried to get it replaced because he hadn’t needed it until now. Borik could get a new ID if he presented a birth certificate from his hometown of Montreal, Quebec, but he does not have that either, and cannot get a new one without some form of identification.
Borik has been fighting to get a new ID since he won the prize draw back in July, but his efforts did not produce any results, causing him to still be on the streets during the cold Canadian winter. Says Borik: “I would love to be inside for Christmas. That was my plan in July, when I won the money. If I’d got my ticket cashed today, I’d give a thousand dollars to the Gospel Mission to help other homeless people.”
Homeless man wins lottery, may receive his jackpot yet
Strict Canadian gambling laws have prevented the moving ‘homeless man wins lottery’ story from having a happy ending thus far, but there’s still hope for Borik. CBC News caught wind of Borik’s troubles and decided to become involved, making calls to provincial and federal ministries in the hopes of finding a way for Borik to acquire an ID—and to claim his big prize.
Their attempts proved successful, as they eventually got in touch with an office that helped homeless people get their birth certificates. Borik filled in the appropriate paperwork and mailed it off to Quebec; at the time of writing, he is waiting for the receipt of his birth certificate, which should take approximately three weeks to arrive.
Once Borik receives his birth certificate, he will be able to then get a formal photo ID, which will be the ticket to him redeeming his lotto jackpot from the BC Lottery Corporation.
The $25,000 jackpot will be life-changing for Borik in more ways than one. In addition to affording him an actual home, it will also give him a new beginning as well as the courage to reach out to his estranged family.