EUR 6m lottery winner denies pact to share cash
23 May 2006, BARCELONA — A metal worker who claims he never agreed to share EUR 6 million lottery winnings with other members in works syndicate has kept the cash.
23 May 2006
BARCELONA — A metal worker who claims he never agreed to share EUR 6 million lottery winnings with other members in works syndicate has kept the cash.
Antonio Lloreda faces a criminal case brought by 19 members of the same works' syndicate, who say he stole the money they won when their numbers came up.
Almost three years after the syndicate won, the row has ended up in court, where three judges must decide if Lloreda is guilty of theft and should face prison.
Lloreda, whose turn it was to check the numbers on the weekend they scooped the win, claims he can recall no verbal pact to share the winnings.
But his workmates at the factory say, like many similar syndicates in Spain, there was an unwritten understanding any winnings would be split equally.
Since the winning number came up Lloreda has not been able to collect the winnings.
After his workmates found out they had won, their joy soon turned sour when Lloreda calmly told them he had no memory of a pact to share the cash, and was going to keep the lot.
But rather than resorting to violence, they managed to quickly take out a judicial order to stop Lorreda touching a centime of the money.
The millions have remained with lottery organisers ONCE while the judicial order stands.
The syndicate at the metal factory's unwritten rule to share any winnings had worked because they had never won anything.
That was until November 7 2003, when it was Lloreda's turn to check the ticket.
That weekend it came up with the winning number 85,646.
But in a complex system, the ticket also matched the series 22, which meant the syndicate at Sintermetal factory, in Ripollet, Catalonia, north-east Spain, had won the jackpot of EUR 6m.
Prosecutors at a court in Barcelona said Lloreda was well aware of the pact which meant the money should be shared.
They are demanding if Lloreda is found guilty of theft, he should serve eight months in jail and pay back EUR 5.6m to his colleagues, keeping his own share.
Lloreda said: "I didn't form part of the group. I made an individual agreement with another person with whom I changed my coupon."
Lloreda still lives in the small town of Ripollet with his wife, despite considerable ill-feeling from some neighbours or workmates.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news