A former gas-bar jockey in Winnipeg, Indo-Canadian Ashwinder Singh, is facing jail time and possible deportation for trying to swindle a customer out of 6/49 winnings in an oddball case where the lotto-loving victim became the one ultimately making out like a lucky bandit.
Ashwinder Singh, 32, appeared for sentencing Tuesday on an attempted fraud charge. He previously pleaded guilty to trying to cash a lottery ticket worth more than $90,600, which he essentially pilfered from a customer at a gas station he worked at in July 2011.
The customer, 61, had a multi-play 6/49 ticket which won $5 on one draw but was still valid for future draws. Singh didn’t return the man’s ticket and then tried to claim the winnings after it came up a major winner on July 28, 2011.
Unknown to Singh, the oblivious victim purchased another multi-draw 6/49 stub a few days later. Since he always played the same numbers, his new ticket also came up a $90,641 winner for the very same draw.
After lotteries officials and investigators painstakingly probed what actually happened after Singh came forward and they discovered he lied about his luck, the victim was awarded both prizes as he was the rightful owner of both winning tickets, Judge Brian Corrin was told.
“(The victim) is now the happy winner of $180,000 and that is perhaps the strangest twist in all of this,” Crown attorney Mitchell Lavitt said.
The Crown is seeking either a period of jail time or a conditional sentence of unspecified length for Singh, a father of three and citizen of India who has Permanent Resident status in Canada.
Defence lawyer Allan Baker wants Singh to serve a conditional jail term of six months less a day so he won’t run afoul of immigration laws.
A six-month or longer term would make Singh inadmissible to Canada under Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provisions and could lead to him being kicked out of the country.