‘I’m going to press charges against ‘vape man’ cut out of £40m syndicate win by colleagues

A FURIOUS employee has taken his colleagues to court after claiming they won a multi-million pound lottery jackpot and excluded him because he was on holiday.

Christopher Bates, 54, claimed to be a regular player in the lottery pool but was kept out of the winning draw because he was away.


Christopher Bates sued his 24 colleagues over a lottery disputeCredit: Getty
A settlement was reached on the second day of the trial


A settlement was reached on the second day of the trialCredit: Getty

Bates sued his 24 colleagues at Bombardier’s plant in Ontario, Canada, winning £40 million ($50 million) in January 2011.

Each player received more than £1.1 million ($1.9 million), with around £1,423 ($2,400) in interest.

Bates called his lawyer after learning of the winnings, arguing that because he formed the lottery pool, he is entitled to a share of the money.

“Okay, if you guys win the lottery, I’m going to press charges. My lawyer is going to contact your lawyer,” he told the group.

It is understood that colleagues argued that the pool was based on the group’s ‘no pay, no play’ rule.

They were expected to add that the pool would not occur regularly but would be randomly drawn if the jackpot exceeded £17.7 million ($30 million).

But Bates wasn’t the only worker to claim a share of the profits.

Those who felt they had missed out on the prize money were in the pool, but missed out on the life-changing draw in 2011.

The payout was suspended by lottery officials due to the various claims that were put forward.

However, all but two claims were denied.

The lottery organization divided the jackpot 26 ways: the court kept two of the shares pending settlement of the claims.

A ten-day civil trial was held in Toronto to determine Bates’ eligibility for a share.

He said in his statement that he addressed Sherif Morsi, the group’s leader, after returning from his winter vacation.

He said he asked Morsi: “Why didn’t you vouch for me?”

According to Bates’ testimony, Mori said he didn’t enter Bates because another employee still owed him money.

Bates’ attorney Michael Cochrane argued that because his client was a regular player, the group members owed a duty of good faith.

But a settlement was reached on the second day, bringing an end to the case overseen by Judge Carole Brown.

The 24 workers’ attorney, Saul Glober, said at the time that the terms of the unreported agreement remained confidential.

Glober added that his customers were happy with the outcome and wanted to bring the problem to an end.

In the meantime, Cochrane gave other lottery pool players some advice.

“You have to pay attention. Just throwing five euros in an envelope is not enough,” he said.

He added that the pool’s leaders must be aware of their responsibilities, of holding funds, purchasing tickets with the group’s consent and distributing the winnings.

Players must also pay on time, know who the players are and who the group leader is, and know what happens if they win.

It comes after a pensioner spent 25 agonizing years trying to prove he once won a £2million lottery prize but lost the golden ticket.

Robert Clemett, from Sydney, claims he did not realize the jackpot was his until a story about the unclaimed prize was broadcast on TV four years later.

On September 23, 1997, the Oz Lotto draw would produce three major winners.

Instead, one huge jackpot remains unclaimed – the largest outstanding prize in New South Wales history.

Clemett has spent decades fighting for the prize money after he said he realized his mistake while watching a broadcast about unclaimed lottery prizes in 2021.

He then immediately wrote to the lottery company to demand his win.

He claims he bought the all-important ticket for £32 from a newsagent and it came with a game of six winning numbers.

He provided details of the time and date of his purchase, the number of games he played, the type of ticket and the exact composition of the numbers.

In 2014 he sued the state lottery over the unclaimed £2 million, but his case was dismissed by the judge.

About 50 people have contacted the New South Wales (NSW) Lotteries to claim the windfall.

Read more about the Irish sun

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