Posted on: April 18, 2022, 05:50h.
Last updated on: April 18, 2022, 11:52h.
An Algerian living in Belgium bought a scratch-off lottery ticket for €5 (US$5.40). The ticket proved to be a huge winner, but the man can’t collect his newfound fortune.
Winning big is a pipedream for many, but the elation is a pure adrenaline rush for those lucky few winners. For some, however, the rush is fleeting. Glitches, printing errors, and other issues cause the bubble to burst.
An Algerian is the latest winner to have his victory cut short. The unidentified man is living in Belgium without first securing the necessary documentation, according to Ireland’s RTE media outlet. He entered the country illegally and thus, can’t collect his winnings. He could also be deported from the country.
He originally spent €5 (US$5.40) on a scratch-off that turned into a €250,000 (US$269,800) win.
The country is reportedly a common stop on an illegal transit route for those looking to make it to the UK illegally. In Algeria, the average monthly salary is around $420, and about 13% of the population is unemployed.
The winner originally sent three of his friends to collect the winnings on his behalf. The attempt failed, however. They spent the night in jail after police incorrectly thought they had stolen the ticket. After the truth came out, the police let the men go.
There are two obstacles standing in his way of collecting. The first is the threat of deportation. The second is that the man couldn’t produce a legal ID. He’s now working with a lawyer in an attempt to collect the winnings.
The man is reportedly working with his family in Algeria to secure the documents before, alongside his lawyer, presenting himself to collect the cash. Police reportedly said they won’t deport him until he claims his winnings.
That may not be the end of the saga, either. A spokesperson for the lottery, Joke Vermoere, explains that the public prosecutor’s office is currently reviewing the case and will determine how to proceed.
Another €250,000 Winner
The frustrated ticket holder isn’t the only one to win big recently. Someone in Ireland is holding the sole winning ticket to this past Saturday’s Lotto Plus 2 draw.
The ticket is likely somewhere in Limerick since that’s where it was sold. The person holding the ticket is also looking at a €250,000 payday if he or she can collect the money.