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NJ man sued over $38.5M lottery ticket

Mega MillionsMega Millions: NJ man sued over $38.5M lottery ticket
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A trail is underway in the case of a New Jersey construction worker who is being sued by his former co-workers after cashing in a $38.5 million lottery ticket.

Americo Lopes and five co-workers participated in a weekly lottery pool starting in 2007 where they worked at Berto Construction, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

Each participant contributed $2 to the pool and Lopes would buy the tickets. Lopes also played the lottery independently from the pool.

On November 10, 2009, two winning Mega Millions tickets were claimed from a $77 million jackpot, one of which Lopes had, leaving him with $38.5 million. He chose a lump sum and received $24 million after taxes.

Two days later, Lopes allegedly told his boss he needed foot surgery and would be back in the spring. In March, he said he had won the lottery and would not be returning to work, reports the Star-Ledger.

After co-workers were initially happy for Lopes, co-worker Candido Silva Sr. discovered online the date of Lopes win matched a date the group pooled tickets.

"I froze," Silva told the Star-Ledger. I didn't want to believe that these were the dates we were playing together."

A lawsuit was filed in April 2010 by Silva Sr. accusing Lopes of fraud and asking for $4 million for each pool participant.

The trial started Tuesday in Elizabeth, N.J., and is reliant on witnesses — there are no copies of the alleged tickets.

The defense argued Lopes purchased the ticket by himself, not with the group and the dates are a coincidence. The co-workers attorneys argued Lopes allegedly never received foot surgery and never told co-workers he won, reports the Star-Ledger.

For the co-workers to be successful, they are going to have to establish what the normal situation was for purchasing tickets, Florida lawyer Tom Culmo told ABC News. Culmo has experience in lottery cases and is currently handling one right now.

"I would look historically in what those people would contribute towards the pot to purchase the tickets normally done in the past, if it was routine for the lottery tickets to be purchased in a particular place and particular day," he said.

Culmo said his approach would be to demonstrate that it wouldn't make sense Lopes was buying the ticket for himself that day, and getting sworn statements from those involved in the situation and store workers where the ticket was purchased about the routine.

"Ultimately, the result will be determined by a jury or a judge...who decides who will win, will look at the entirety of the situation, what really makes the most sense here," he said. "If they are all believable people and their stories all match and mesh, the person who is trying to say I'm not sharing, anybody looking at that scenario, that doesn't make a lot of sense."

Candido Silva Jr., Carlos Fernandes, Daniel Esteves and Jose Sousa are also listed on the suit on the plaintiff side, according to New Jersey court records.

The New Jersey State Lottery offers guidelines for participating in office pools to avoid discrepancies, suggesting players get the names and phone numbers of everyone involved, especially individuals in charge of purchasing tickets as well as who is holding them. Also know where your tickets are being purchased and get copies of your tickets prior to the lottery drawing, including the serial numbers on the back of the tickets.

The current Mega Millions jackpot in New Jersey is $200 million.

ABC

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55 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by Iesha Kelly.
Page 1 of 4
Grovel's avatar - f800e6a39fbfea795d1dcbb09f2244
Little Rock, AR
United States
Member #68365
December 19, 2008
229 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 14, 2012, 9:20 am - IP Logged

I would have had him text me the numbers before each drawing so I would have proof.


    Bahamas
    Member #114689
    August 5, 2011
    422 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: March 14, 2012, 9:27 am - IP Logged

    Stay away from LOTTERY POOLS It's a recipe for disaster and someone always DROWNS.

    If you insist, buy together. If that isn't feasible have the team leader scan the tickets and e-mail them along with the receipt and some notation in the body of the e-mail acknowledging that these number were pruchased on behalf of a,b,c who are current members of the xyz pool having agreed to share equally any winnings from x drawing...etc, etc

    "Freedom of Speech? Keep reading and you will discover that freedom comes at a price!"

      dpoly1's avatar - driver
      PA
      United States
      Member #66141
      October 16, 2008
      1444 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 14, 2012, 9:43 am - IP Logged

      The empirical reason to NEVER play the lottery with a pool!  Mad

      LAWYERS!

      I am going to win my jackpot by myself ..... no lottery pools ............  Dance

      dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

       

      Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

        dpoly1's avatar - driver
        PA
        United States
        Member #66141
        October 16, 2008
        1444 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 14, 2012, 10:06 am - IP Logged

        When I win on Friday ............ it will just be for my little family ........... $94,510,000 after 35% Federal Taxes ...........

        Thumbs Up about $108,750,000 wire transfer from the Pennsylvania Lottery ............. of course I will mitigate the other 10% tax obligation with some charitable contributions ......................

        Going Green the right way ..............     every good Bentley deserves a lottery winner!

        dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

         

        Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!


          United States
          Member #111446
          May 25, 2011
          6323 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 14, 2012, 10:54 am - IP Logged

          Anybody wanna start a lottery pool?  Thinking of...

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #72894
            March 30, 2009
            23 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 14, 2012, 11:25 am - IP Logged

            The NY Post is reporting Mr. Lopes lost and must fork over $4M to each of his former co-workers.

              Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
              S.E.Iowa
              United States
              Member #120509
              December 21, 2011
              534 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 14, 2012, 11:36 am - IP Logged

              The NY Post is reporting Mr. Lopes lost and must fork over $4M to each of his former co-workers.

              You never know what a jury will do!The best thing to do is NOT to be a member of a lottery pool.You can take all sorts of precautions and have all sorts of documentation but you will be at the mercy of a jury.Lottery pools are BAD NEWS!

              When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

              There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

                sully16's avatar - sharan
                Listens to the wind

                United States
                Member #81740
                October 28, 2009
                19541 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 14, 2012, 11:49 am - IP Logged

                You never know what a jury will do!The best thing to do is NOT to be a member of a lottery pool.You can take all sorts of precautions and have all sorts of documentation but you will be at the mercy of a jury.Lottery pools are BAD NEWS!

                Yep, I agree.

                There's only one US Flag

                  CDanaT's avatar - tiger avatar_04_hd_pictures_169016.jpg
                  TX
                  United States
                  Member #121198
                  January 4, 2012
                  1155 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 14, 2012, 12:24 pm - IP Logged

                  I would have to lean towards establishing a set of rules and guidelines with signatures for participation and sharing of the moneys won...or have only 1 friend you could 110% trust..or as some have suggested, "stay away" from the pool altogether.
                  Trust but Verify !!!

                  Stay Positive, Believe and good things will come your way

                    LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                    British Columbia
                    Canada
                    Member #116105
                    September 4, 2011
                    3543 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 14, 2012, 12:40 pm - IP Logged

                    a reason to say NO to the lottery pool from work Thud

                    "You have to be in it to win it!"

                      Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
                      Clarksville
                      United States
                      Member #487
                      July 15, 2002
                      17638 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: March 14, 2012, 1:32 pm - IP Logged

                      A lottery pool is fine if rules are made and followed to the letter.  One rule for sure -all participants must get copies of the tickets BEFORE the draw and everyone must pay everytime.

                      If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

                      You never know when you will get another hit.

                        dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                        Oklahoma
                        United States
                        Member #82391
                        November 12, 2009
                        5297 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: March 14, 2012, 1:53 pm - IP Logged

                        Anybody wanna start a lottery pool?  Thinking of...

                        LOL.....ROFL

                          dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                          Oklahoma
                          United States
                          Member #82391
                          November 12, 2009
                          5297 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 14, 2012, 1:54 pm - IP Logged

                          A lottery pool is fine if rules are made and followed to the letter.  One rule for sure -all participants must get copies of the tickets BEFORE the draw and everyone must pay everytime.

                          YepI Agree!


                            United States
                            Member #111446
                            May 25, 2011
                            6323 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: March 14, 2012, 3:09 pm - IP Logged

                            LOL.....ROFL

                            No I'm serious. Just give me the money up front. When the winning ticket comes up I'll be long gone in touch with you, too give you your share!   Razz