Australian Powerball Dispute as Winner Distances Himself from Syndicate

May 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Lottery News

Members of an Australian Powerball syndicate are gearing up for a legal battle after one of their co-workers insisted that a ticket worth $16.6 million had not been bought on behalf of the group. According to newspaper The Age, former courier Gary Baron finally admitted over the weekend that he had won a stake in the $50 million jackpot for the draw on 16th October 2014.

It is reported that he had previously denied winning the prize to several members of the syndicate, having called in sick the day after the draw. He quit work the following Monday and reportedly said that he was suffering from a medical condition. Baron had been in charge of collecting money from his colleagues each week and entering the Powerball via an online Tatts Group account.

It has been revealed by an ASIC search that Baron set up an investment company within days of winning, before going on to buy a new home, spend $200,000 on a convertible BMW M4 and purchase property for his son. Baron also had champagne delivered to his house by Tatts Group shortly after winning, and it was delivered by the Toll Group logistics company which he worked for, which aroused suspicion among the syndicate members.

A statement was released last October from the three players who split the $50 million, including an anonymous response thought to be from Baron. The anonymous winner said: “I’m still in disbelief … I don’t need that amount of money, it’s too much for me! I’m going to share the prize money with my family. I’ll make sure it doesn’t change who I am, but I’ll definitely be able to live a better lifestyle, with a few more toys.”

Baron has now said that the winning ticket was bought separately to the syndicate and claims that his lawyer has evidence to show that he is entitled to all of the money. There were 16 members of the syndicate and Fairfax Media has reported that 14 of these are set to take Supreme Court action, with a writ likely to be lodged this week.

In court documents, it will reportedly be alleged that Baron reneged on a deal to share the winnings, which would have left each member of the syndicate more than $1 million richer. Apart from Baron, the only other member of the syndicate not involved in the imminent legal proceedings is one woman who also resigned from Toll Group and is now reportedly his girlfriend.