Lottery player insists he has a winning ticket
By Kate Northrop
What started as a feel-good story for a lottery pool is turning sour after a man with a losing ticket claims the group owes him more than $260,000 (US$182,013) from a $63.3 million (US$44.3 million) Australian Powerball prize.
Some might remember the 250 member Facebook group named "Goldfields, let's pay our mortgages" that won a share of the $126 million (US$91.3 million) Powerball jackpot in the Australian Lottery in February.
The Kalgoorlie-based group is now headed to court after a man proclaims he had a winning ticket for the draw, which the pool leaders say was in fact a ticket for a different draw.
Tania and Kevin Parkes, the owners of retailer City News Kalgoorlie and the organizers of the lottery group, were approached by Mark Ing, who said that he was owed a share of $261,986 from the Powerball draw they won in February.
He then showed up at a Lotterywest office representing himself as a member of the winning lottery group and filed a claim for the money. Lotterywest is also known as the Lotteries Commission of Western Australia.
As long as Ing could provide proof that he participated in the winning lottery pool, his claim would be valid.
However, the Parkes run multiple lottery pools at once. They allege that their records indicate he had bought a ticket for a different, unsuccessful draw, called "#1 Syndicate," rather than entering the winning "#2 Syndicate." The couple claims that Ing had untruthfully represented himself to Lotterywest as a participant in the "#2 Syndicate."
Lotterywest had paid out winnings to the lottery group on March 11 but did not pay Ing the $261,986 share he demanded, according to Perth Now. Simultaneously, Lotterywest told the Parkes that they still intended on paying Ing.
On April 14, The Parkes submitted a writ of summons to the Supreme Court of Western Australia, which says, "despite a formal dispute of ownership filed by the plaintiffs with Lotterywest, Lotterywest informed the plaintiffs that it intended to disburse the winnings on their ticket to the defendant."
The Australian Supreme Court blocked the payout.
"The syndicate was operated by the retailer and as such, Lotterywest can't comment on its administration," Lotterywest stated.
Now, the Parkes are engaged in a legal battle against both Ing and Lotterywest. A hearing is scheduled for August 2.