Man shut out of $40m Powerball win told to 'go and see a f***ing lawyer' court hears

By Andrew Koubaridis

Photo / 123rf
Photo / 123rf

The man who organised a syndicate that won a A$40 million Powerball jackpot has denied making false claims to strengthen his case against a former co-worker who is seeking a slice of the massive windfall.

Robert Adams had bought lottery tickets for co-workers at a southwest Sydney factory for years, including one where they won the major prize in a draw in May this year.

A regular contributor, Brendan King, believed he was part of the winning syndicate and was shocked to discover the day after the draw that he wasn't included - even though all the other regular contributors were.

Mr Adams argues he didn't have the chance to ask Mr King about the Powerball draw, and a "one off" group was formed for the A$40 million jackpot.

Mr King has taken legal action at the NSW Supreme Court against Mr Adams seeking what he alleges is his share, a total of A$2.7 million.

Mr Adams said in an affidavit about the case he had organised 12 of the "one off" groups outside the regular syndicate - a group the court has heard were "hard core" contributors.

However, under cross-examination by Mr King's barrister Lachlan Gyles SC on Tuesday morning he conceded that wasn't accurate.

Mr Gyles put it to Mr Adams he had "specifically asked about the one off syndicates" and suggested he had "sought to wrongly emphasis" the number he had run in 2016.

"In fact, there could have been one or two."

Mr Adams answered: "There could have been seven" - to which Mr Gyles said, "that's not 12".

Mr Adams then conceded the figure quoted in the affidavit was wrong.

"If I mentioned 12 then it might be wrong."

Mr Gyles put it to him he mentioned the higher figure because it was "good for your case" and it was also "helpful to your case" to draw a line between the syndicates and the regular 12 contributors, of which Mr King was a member.

Mr Adams denied the suggestions.

The court heard on Monday the "one off" group excluded Mr King because Mr Adams hadn't been able to speak to him to see if he wanted to take part.

Instead he was involved in a separate group that also won during the same May 5 draw - but that only entitled Mr King to winnings of A$13.70.

The court heard on Monday Mr King always said "yes" when asked if he wanted to be involved.

Mr King alleges Mr Adams told him to "go and see a f**king lawyer" when he confronted him about being the only one in the regular syndicate to miss out.

Mr Adams denies swearing during the exchange but admits he spoke "more harshly" than he should have.

Mr Gyles said on Monday Mr Kings's colleagues had attempted to put a "ring fence" around the winning syndicate so they didn't lose about $200,000 each from their winnings.

The A$2.7 million has been frozen pending the outcome of the case.

The hearing continues.


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