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Judge to decide ownership of $25 million lottery ticket

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Judge to decide ownership of $25 million lottery ticket

A Superior Court judge is scheduled to rule Wednesday on who owns a disputed lottery ticket worth $25 million.

Judge Marguerite T. Simon will decide whether to award the winning Mega Millions ticket to a Bergen County couple or to a crew of 20 Englewood hospital workers.

She said she will issue a ruling at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, The Record of Bergen County reported for Tuesday's editions.

Both parties claim the ticket is rightfully theirs. The judge has heard days of conflicting testimony.

Cornell and Teri Davis of Englewood presented the winning ticket to New Jersey lottery officials March 17. They are regular customers at Circle Food Market, where the ticket was sold, and testified that Cornell Davis bought the ticket there along with a bottle of Gatorade and a cigar.

The 20 laboratory technicians from Englewood Hospital and Medical Center who part of a regular lottery pool and believe themselves to be millionaires. They claim the winning ticket was supposed to have been bought for their pool, but was diverted to the Davises instead.

The link between the two parties is Jamal Townes, a 27-year-old X-ray technician at the hospital who was in charge of buying tickets for his co-workers' pool.

Townes told his colleagues after the drawing that their ticket didn't win, according to trial testimony. But he also knew Cornell Davis. When he heard the Davises had won, he told people at the hospital they might see him driving a new BMW, according to trial testimony.

Outside court Monday, Townes said he regrets that the case had to be settled in court. One of the hospital workers involved in the lawsuit is his boss, and he suspects that the Davises are probably mad at him as well.

Townes has countersued his co-workers, contending they have slandered him.

An attorney for the Davises, James Cinque, said the couple have asked for damages for emotional distress, in addition to $20,000 a month in interest they have not yet collected.

Associated Press

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