Lotto betrayal: Man cut out of $40m syndicate

By Matt Young at news.com.au

The man, who was excluded from the winning syndicate, has engaged a lawyer to fight for a share of the $40m jackpot. Photo / Getty
The man, who was excluded from the winning syndicate, has engaged a lawyer to fight for a share of the $40m jackpot. Photo / Getty

If the history of syndicated Lotto wins tells you anything, is that it never ends well.

Earlier this month, 14 Sydney factory workers couldn't believe their luck when they won the $40 million Powerball jackpot.

Each entrant in the syndicate was set for an impressive $2.85 million split of the total $40,445,165 prize draw.

"After I checked our ticket and saw that we had all the winning numbers, the phone calls were flying around - my phone was ringing like mad," the leader of the syndicate said.

"Everyone was calling everyone about the win - it was crazy!

"Some of the syndicate members were shaking, others told me they had goosebumps. One of the guys even said his hair was standing on end and his face was tingling from the shock of it all."

But in the space of a week, that syndicate has turned sour, and one of its members has been squeezed out of the group, with lawyers for the anonymous winner claiming he had been "wrongfully excluded" from his share of the prize.

And now it's getting ugly.

"I feel betrayed that a work colleague I've been supportive of can openly do this," said the man, who prefers to remain anonymous.

"I feel let down that the other members who know I am part of the work syndicate aren't willing to stand up for what is right.

"If someone else was in this position I would be the first one to talk to the group, to do the right thing. I have worked with these gentlemen for five years and when they've fallen on tough times, either at work or at home, I have supported them.

"I hope that this will all be cleared up quickly and that all the members in the syndicate receive their fair share."

Details over the disagreement are slim for the moment, but Shine Lawyers told news.com.au the man in question had fully paid his share of his ticket before the Powerball draw.

"The ticket holder refuses to acknowledge that," a spokesperson said.

Lawyers are requesting Oz Lotteries block the payout of the winnings to the registered ticket holder until the dispute is solved.

"If the registered holder of the winning ticket does receive the money from Oz Lotteries, we will require that they do not make a decision on their own as to how that money is paid out. The winnings need to be frozen until the dispute is resolved."

"As anyone can imagine, losing a rightful share of $40 million would be devastating. To see this life changing event slip through our client's fingers is unacceptable. It's only fair and just to make sure the winnings are paid to the right people in the right amounts," Shine Lawyers NSW Commercial Litigation and Insolvency Practice Leader Luke Whiffen said.

The group have until May 19 before the winnings are released.

Earlier this month, the syndicate leader said he was excited to be sharing it with his work colleagues because they've all been working hard and putting in long hours to earn some extra money for their families.

The leader also went on to say that while they would personally be retiring off the back of the win, they weren't sure of what everyone else in the group had planned.

So what exactly happened? Stay tuned ...

Last year, another Australian, Gary Baron, allegedly made off with a $16.7 million lottery win that was supposed to be shared between 14 colleagues.

- news.com.au

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