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Undocumented Algerian lottery winner must prove identity to claim €250,000 prize

Apr 22, 2022, 8:02 pm

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InternationalInternational: Undocumented Algerian lottery winner must prove identity to claim €250,000 prizeRating:

Currently anonymous winner wants to avoid publicity, fears being targeted for his undocumented status

By Kate Northrop

An undocumented Algerian will have to provide identification he does not possess after winning a lottery prize in Belgium, where it is required for winners to prove their identity to claim winnings.

More money, more problems, at least for one nameless Algerian who won €250,000 (US$270,000) from a scratch-off ticket in the Belgium National Lottery.

A Belgian lawyer says that his client walked into a retailer in Zeebrugge, Belgium to buy a lottery ticket a few weeks ago and walked out a quarter of a million richer. That's where problems began for the 28-year-old undocumented migrant from Algeria.

"He paid five euros and won the ticket," Alexander Verstraete, the client's lawyer told NPR. "He won 250,000 euros."

The nameless man was in disbelief, so he asked his friend to help verify the win. They both returned to the shop to check one more time, just to confirm that their suspicions that the ticket was worth a small fortune were correct.

He just had to provide a way to prove his identity to the Belgium National Lottery to claim his prize. However, having arrived in Belgium two months ago without any papers, a home, and lacking official documentation, that would be a bit tricky.

The 28-year-old looked for ways to claim the winnings without divulging his identity, citing fears of being targeted by people for his undocumented status or by those who might pursue him for the money.

He sent a friend to Lottery headquarters in Rue Belliard to try and claim the prize on his behalf since he had forms of proper identification, but to no avail. If anything, it backfired — Lottery officials grew suspicious and called the authorities.

"The police in Zeebrugge knew who was the real winner because there were camera pictures from the store," Verstraete said in an interview with NPR.

However, camera footage is not enough to confirm an individual's win or their identity. Instead, the winner is being told by the case prosecutor to obtain an official ID card, which would mean reaching out to his family in Algeria and contacting the embassy in Belgium.

The Algerian will have to open a bank account under his name, and that also means providing a legal home address.

This also doesn't change the fact that the ticket expires in a year, which gives him 11 months to either comply with the demands or walk away without the prize. Verstraete believes he and his client will navigate the process successfully.

In the meantime, the winning lottery ticket remains in police custody until the migrant can sort out his documentation, and they said they won't deport him until he gets his money.

Before winning the lottery, Verstraete said his client had dreams of buying a home and a car and settling down. His stroke of luck at that shop in Zeebrugge makes it seem even more possible.

"Maybe you have one chance in a million to win 250,000 euros," Verstraete surmised. "So he has very much luck indeed."

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18 comments. Last comment 23 days ago by cottoneyedjoe.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
25
New Jersey
United States
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June 28, 2005
155419 Posts
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Identity plays an important role in empowering individuals to exercise their rights and claim their Lottery Winnings.

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

The best way to learn is to never stop being a student!

    JeetKuneDoLotto's avatar - 5x3yGQT
    Flat Earth
    United States
    Member #161360
    November 27, 2014
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    Identity plays an important role in empowering individuals to exercise their rights and claim their Lottery Winnings.

    I kind of disagree. 

    If he can buy a ticket, then he has to prove why he can hold money.  If his ticket was bought with a fake euro, than his transaction is null and void.

    This has the potential to be a <snip> fest scandal of immense proportion.

    This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

      Stat$talker's avatar - animated sphere.gif
      700 light yrs West of Milky Way Galaxy's Center
      United States
      Member #200642
      September 1, 2019
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      If he wasn't asked of Identity when he purchased the lottery ticket, all he should need iz his FACE that matches the FACE in the store video to claim the prize..

                            Blue Thinking Beaurocratz..!!

      ...MATH... The final Stochastic frontier...

      These are the Lottery Voyages of Stat$talker..!!

      The ongoing Mission,..to seek out the Laws of "Probability Math"...

       to master its rules to invoke...to Conquer ALL Major Jackpots..!!

      ...To boldly go,... Where NO Player has gone before...!!

        jackpotismine's avatar - kanji for_peace.jpg
        Kunming
        China
        Member #57908
        January 23, 2008
        5089 Posts
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        Undocumented=Illegal. If he didn't follow the rules to get into the country, what makes you think he would want to follow the rules of that country? That being said, if the lottery doesn't state clearly 'if you are undocumented/illegal' you can not play the lottery, I feel he should be able to claim the prizebut he has to prove his identity as required. IMHO.

        I believe in Occam's razor:

        The Simplest Answer is Usually Correct.Yes Nod

          Stat$talker's avatar - animated sphere.gif
          700 light yrs West of Milky Way Galaxy's Center
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          September 1, 2019
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          "If he didn't follow the rules to get into the country, what makes you think he would want to follow the rules of that country?"

          Rulez?...Soundz like the spreading of more ""PUTINOLOGY"..

          Bash You're Russian..!!  Blue Thinking I'm Ukrainian..Bash, NOOO,  You're Russian..cauze that'z whut I want you ta be..!!

          ...MATH... The final Stochastic frontier...

          These are the Lottery Voyages of Stat$talker..!!

          The ongoing Mission,..to seek out the Laws of "Probability Math"...

           to master its rules to invoke...to Conquer ALL Major Jackpots..!!

          ...To boldly go,... Where NO Player has gone before...!!

            Speler's avatar - me

            Belgium
            Member #214858
            April 17, 2021
            2359 Posts
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            "If he didn't follow the rules to get into the country, what makes you think he would want to follow the rules of that country?"

            Rulez?...Soundz like the spreading of more ""PUTINOLOGY"..

            Bash You're Russian..!!  Blue Thinking I'm Ukrainian..Bash, NOOO,  You're Russian..cauze that'z whut I want you ta be..!!

            What do you mean by Putinology?

            Besides the guy mentioned above suddenly wants to stay and marry. We don't want that to happen!

              Speler's avatar - me

              Belgium
              Member #214858
              April 17, 2021
              2359 Posts
              Offline

              Also, did he win with a Subito? I saw a brownie outside of the lotto-shop scratching a card. News spread fast!

                Avatar
                * In hot pursuit of $ *
                White Shores- California
                United States
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                December 12, 2012
                6799 Posts
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                I kind of disagree. 

                If he can buy a ticket, then he has to prove why he can hold money.  If his ticket was bought with a fake euro, than his transaction is null and void.

                This has the potential to be a <snip> fest scandal of immense proportion.

                This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

                * Jeet- what do you mean by " if he can buy a ticket,then he has to prove why he can hold money?"
                   * Isn't that like store clerks asking players " if we sell you the ticket, then you have to prove you can hold money AND not blow through it all? Roll Eyes

                 * Voice of Reason *   

                * People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                  Stat$talker's avatar - animated sphere.gif
                  700 light yrs West of Milky Way Galaxy's Center
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                  September 1, 2019
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                  What do you mean by Putinology?

                  Besides the guy mentioned above suddenly wants to stay and marry. We don't want that to happen!

                  "Besides the guy mentioned above suddenly wants to stay and marry. We don't want that to happen!"

                  Why not?... Maybe YOU don't want THAT to happen..

                  The whole Earth & Beyond belongs to GOD..

                  The Man isn't hurting anybody by being from another land.. GIT REEAAL..!!

                  ...MATH... The final Stochastic frontier...

                  These are the Lottery Voyages of Stat$talker..!!

                  The ongoing Mission,..to seek out the Laws of "Probability Math"...

                   to master its rules to invoke...to Conquer ALL Major Jackpots..!!

                  ...To boldly go,... Where NO Player has gone before...!!

                    cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

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                    March 28, 2019
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                    "In the meantime, the winning lottery ticket remains in police custody until the migrant can sort out his documentation, and they said they won't deport him until he gets his money."

                    That part is odd to me. Why would the police need to keep his lottery ticket? His prize claim problem is separate from his immigration problem. Seems it would be safer with his lawyer.

                      KY Floyd's avatar - sunflowers avatar.jpg
                      NY
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                      Member #23834
                      October 16, 2005
                      4558 Posts
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                      "If he wasn't asked of Identity when he purchased the lottery ticket, all he should need iz his FACE that matches the FACE in the store video to claim the prize."

                      I stupidity was energy you could supply the whole world.

                        Stat$talker's avatar - animated sphere.gif
                        700 light yrs West of Milky Way Galaxy's Center
                        United States
                        Member #200642
                        September 1, 2019
                        2456 Posts
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                        "In the meantime, the winning lottery ticket remains in police custody until the migrant can sort out his documentation, and they said they won't deport him until he gets his money."

                        That part is odd to me. Why would the police need to keep his lottery ticket? His prize claim problem is separate from his immigration problem. Seems it would be safer with his lawyer.

                                                            I Agree!

                        ...MATH... The final Stochastic frontier...

                        These are the Lottery Voyages of Stat$talker..!!

                        The ongoing Mission,..to seek out the Laws of "Probability Math"...

                         to master its rules to invoke...to Conquer ALL Major Jackpots..!!

                        ...To boldly go,... Where NO Player has gone before...!!

                          Avatar

                          United States
                          Member #190447
                          June 11, 2018
                          120 Posts
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                           Belgium will never be the same if all of what you stated above is true. Must be how most all Belgians feel

                          {probability is NO guarantee} only your mounting losses will be Guaranteed

                          The gambler's fallacy is the  belief that the probability for an outcome after a series of outcomes is not the same as the probability for a single outcome. The gambler's fallacy is real and true in cases where the events in question are independent and identically distributed.
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                            Gallatin Tennesee
                            United States
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                            November 29, 2018
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                            The friend who tried to go in and pick-up the check for him must have been acting incredibly nervous and suspicious. In this country that ticket would be a "bearer instrument" until signed. Which means whomever is in possession of the ticket is considered the rightful owner unless someone else has signed the ticket. This guy should go get his ID, open a bank account and go get his money and stop worrying about being deported. He's only been there a month, take your money with you to another country and start a new life.

                            RantUS Flag

                            Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.

                            .......Sir Winston Churchill