A Spanish judge has ordered a six million euro (seven million dollars) lottery win be withheld after the winner disappeared with the winning ticket bought by a syndicate comprising himself and 19 former friends, judicial sources said.
The unnamed fugitive bought the ticket for the ONCE state lottery in the Catalan town of Ripollet in northeastern Spain on Friday on the group's behalf with an agreement they would share any winnings.
On realising his numbers had come up he disappeared without trace, his friends searching in vain for him at his home the next day, then at work before taking the matter to court where a magistrate ordered the payout be withheld pending an investigation.
Sources at ONCE said they were unaware of any attempt to cash in the prize.
Given the size of the sum the winner would have to demand the money in person either at an ONCE office or through a bank.