Morning Brew: Toronto man cracks lotto scratch code, TTC won't strike during contract negotiations, police nab ATM fraudsters, Reimer helps Leafs beat Canes, and who is Renata Ford?

Toronto's Mohan Srivastava, a 52-year-old geological statistician, says he can identify a winning scratch lottery ticket -- without the use of pennies or fingernails--but with his mind. For instance, while he was playing the instant "Tic Tac Toe" game, he saw that certain numbers appeared only once in the grids -- and when these "singletons" lined up three in a row, chances were the ticket was a winner.He calculated this held true 95 per cent of the time and notified the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. Within days, they pulled the game -- the first time in OLG history a recall was prompted by a customer-identified flaw. He's like "A Beautiful Mind" meets "Rain Man"--incredible.

In a sort-of-ironical twist, the TTC is vowing not to strike during upcoming contract negotiations if the province will hold off designating it as an essential service. (As you probably know, employees of essential services are prohibited from striking) At a news conference Thursday, Bob Kinnear, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, called for Queen's Park to hold more extensive public consultations before making a decision. The province, however, said the union's pledge would not play a part in its decision-making. The province is consulting with TTC managers, unions and the city, and has yet to decide what it will do, said a spokesman for Labour Minister Charles Sousa.

Toronto Police have nabbed five men and laid 158 criminal charges in connection with an ATM fraud that may have earned the suspects as much as $280,000 since 2009. "The pin data plus the track data is put together and downloaded onto a laptop computer, and that in turn is downloaded onto plastic debit cards," Detective Phil Hibbeln said. Police advise to continue doing the ol'-hand-covering-keypad-maneuver and regularly check bank statements to keep vigilant over banking transactions.

This week's EYE Weeky explores the meaning of being a loner in Toronto with its Loners Guide--an attempt to live and love the loner lifestyle. Popular loner activities include brunch and karaoke; "fun" things to do include cuddling puppies and buying dildos (preferably not at the same time).


Photo by Ian Muttoo in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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