Vancouver businessman launches global lottery

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Sitting around a bar in Dubai in 2004, Vancouver businessman Matt Thoma was struck with a big idea: a one-billion Euro global lottery.


When a friend mentioned a lottery worth $1 million, he suggested multiplying that figure by 1,000 for a serious prize. His drinking buddies laughed, but with today’s launch of, his big idea is on the road to becoming reality.


“I said, ‘OK, it was fun talking about,’ and I just put it away,” Thoma told Metro in an exclusive interview.

But advances in Internet technology have finally made it possible to launch the online game. Ticket proceeds will be pooled into a prize awarded to one winner (the first draw will be Dec. 27). By going global, Thoma hopes to offer the largest jackpot in history.

Bandwidth has become less expensive in recent years and it’s now possible to post DVD-quality streaming video on the site, Thoma explained.

“It needs to look good for credibility,” he said.

Knowing credibility would be key to attracting players, Thoma and his associates based their business in Malta, a member of the European Union. And they convinced KPMG to sign on as auditors.

Rather than drawing numbers, the winning ticket will match the last whole digit of the closing value of eight major stock exchanges.

“There isn’t enough money in the world to fix eight major stock markets,” said Thoma.

At present, the website is offered in 11 languages, reaching a potential audience of more than 3.6 billion people, he added.