The Powerball saga is for real now, with claims that a son of the registered ticket holder appears to have been given a share of the $40 million winnings, possibly at the expense of a paid-up syndicate member.
Lawyers will today file proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW on behalf of production manager Brendon King who claims to be the 15th member of the winning syndicate, but who is taking legal action for his share.
Lawyers will be seeking an order that the registered ticketholder - who received the $40m proceedings from NSW Lotteries yesterday - set aside a 15th of the winnings, amounting to $2.7m.
Shine Lawyers NSW Commercial Litigation and Insolvency Practice Leader Luke Whiffen says: "This was a long running work syndicate and our client is the only member who has been excluded from this winning syndicate.
"We are aware that other syndicate members are upset by the way the registered ticket holder is treating our client," Mr Whiffen said.
"We have concerns that a son of the registered ticket holder, who is not an employee of the company where the work syndicate was run, appears to have been included in the winning syndicate. We are making further investigations into this."
According to the Daily Telegraph, the ticket holder also has another son who works at Prysmian and is a regular member of the syndicate, and is entitled to his $2.7m share.
NSW Lotteries yesterday handed over the $40m Powerball jackpot to the winning ticket holder, despite a dispute between members within the syndicate.
NSW Lotteries announced the winning ticket "has been presented to NSW Lotteries and the prize has been claimed".
That winning ticket was a total $40,445,165 prize draw.
If Mr King is excluded from the win, the jackpot will be split 14 ways and the ticket holder and his two sons stand to gain a total of $8.57m.
If Mr King is included, and the $40m is split 15 ways, the ticket holder and his sons will get $2.66m each, totalling $8m for the family.
"On claiming the prize, NSW Lotteries was advised by the ticket holder the $40 million division one prize pool would be shared amongst a syndicate of 14 workers," NSW Lotteries spokeswoman Elissa Lewis said.
"NSW Lotteries deems the ticket bearer to be the legitimate and rightful winner and the requirements for processing payment of the prize have been met."
The dispute has seen tensions run so high that Mr King has been forced to work offsite, while another has quit as disagreements between the colleagues and syndicate winners reach boiling point.
Last week, news.com.au revealed the man in question, who the Daily Telegraph since revealed as Mr King, was kicked out of the syndicate despite having paid for his share of the ticket upfront.
NSW Lotteries has issues a warning to customers, "when participating in a syndicate with family, friends or work colleagues to keep good records and we recommend that each member of the syndicate be provided with a copy of the ticket so that all syndicate members have the details of the entry and the excitement of the win can be shared."
James Naughton, litigation lawyer at Slater and Gordon, also told news.com.au that "the best practice" would be to put everything in writing.
"If they don't do the right thing you have to fall back on your legal rights, and the strength of your case may depend in part on how easy it is for you to prove a contract, the terms of that contract, whether it's in writing or what the circumstances are," Mr Naughton said.
Details over the disagreement are slim, but Shine Lawyers told news.com.au Mr King had fully paid his share of his ticket before the Powerball draw.
"The ticket holder refuses to acknowledge that," a spokeswoman said.
The men embroiled in the drama are from cable manufacturer Prysmian Group, based in Liverpool in Sydney's west.
But the company is doing its best to stay out of the matter, with a source from the company telling news.com.au the company has a strict policy not to discuss the matter with media.