Owners of lottery pool and retailer that sold winning ticket close up shop and move into $3.2 million mansion
By Kate Northrop
KALGOORLIE, Australia — A legal battle between a man who claimed he was owed a share of a $63 million Australian Powerball jackpot and the organizers of the group that won it has been quietly resolved.
Tania and Kevin Parkes, the owners of the retailer that sold a winning ticket for a $126 million (US$91.3 million) Powerball jackpot in February and the organizers of the lottery group that won it have silently settled a dispute involving a former group member.
They have also shuttered their newsstand, City News Kalgoorlie, for an early retirement and have since moved into a $3.2 million mansion.
Some might remember the 250 member Facebook group named "Goldfields, let's pay our mortgages" that won a share of the $126 million Powerball jackpot in the Australian Lottery in February, taking home $63 million (US$44.3 million).
Each member of the group walked away with $261,986 (US$179,201). Tania and Kevin won double the amount because they both entered the draw separately.
Former government worker Mark Ing approached the organizers of the group and said he was owed a share of $261,986. Then, he 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.
All Ing had to do was provide proof that he participated in the winning lottery pool, and his claim would be valid.
However, Ing had bought a ticket for the wrong draw and held a losing ticket, the Parkes couple claimed. The retailer owners run multiple pools at once, called "#1 Syndicate" and "#2 Syndicate." He reportedly held a losing ticket for the "#1 Syndicate," not the "#2 Syndicate" that won the jackpot. The retailer owners claimed that he untruthfully represented himself to Lotterywest as a participant in the "#2 Syndicate."
Lotterywest did not pay Ing the six-figure amount he demanded but told the Parkes they still intended on paying him nonetheless.
That is where the Parkes took Ing to court. In April, they submitted a writ of summons to the Supreme Court of Western Australia, after which the Supreme Court blocked the payout to Ing.
Unfortunately, those who had been following the unravelling story might not get to witness the outcome of the case. The court battle wrapped up on August 3 with a non-disclosure agreement, so the result will never be officially released, Daily Mail Australia reported.
Two weeks later, the Parkes closed their newsstand and moved into the $3.2 million mansion in Banjup that they had bought in May. The decision to retire early was also influenced by Kevin's struggles with his health, since he was nearly hospitalized in June.
The final day of operation at City News Kalgoorlie was filled with confetti poppers and streamers on August 20 as the couple took to social media to celebrate the business' success and their retirement.
"What an amazing seven years this little shop has been and to all our amazing customers who are like family, THANK YOU," the Parkes wrote on the retailer's Facebook page. "We will cherish every laugh and every life we helped change."
The retailer's doors are shut, but the store's new owners will have it up and running in the next few months, they announced online. In the meantime, Kevin will be undergoing surgery and a "much needed" period of relaxation.
"Being [third] generation born and bred in this beautiful town and with our kids the [fourth], we are so going to miss it when we retire down to Perth," the couple continued. "But we will be back often to catch up."
Thanks to dannyct for the tip.