Americo Lopes will have to share his $38.5 Mega Millions Lottery earnings with 5 of his co-workers, a jury ruled on Wednesday.
The case was filed against Americo Lopes after he claimed that he bought one of the two winning tickets of a $77 million jackpot back in 2009 with his own money, separately from the pool of money among his co-workers at Berto Construction Inc in Elizabeth, New Jersey, who had been purchasing tickets together since 2007.
In addition, he claimed that he did not collect any money from the other employees for the November 10th drawing.
However, after a suit was filed by the other five employees claiming he used their money to buy the ticket, a jury decided that the money would be split equally six ways; after taxes, each will now receive $4 million.
The jury made their decision after hearing testimony of another co-worker not a part of the lottery group, saying he saw the group pool their money together and give it to Lopes to buy tickets for that day’s drawing.
After the verdict, an unhappy Lopes claimed, “They robbed me,” according to the AP, just before he and his wife quickly left the Superior Court room.
One of the happy plaintiffs, Carlos Fernandez said after the verdict to NJ.com, “I have a lot to do. My granddaughter was born yesterday. I have to buy her a present she’ll remember.”