Man sues friends who won $1million dollars in lottery pool for cut of the prize

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A Canadian man is suing a group of former coworkers who say that he didn
A Canadian man is suing a group of former coworkers who say that he didn't 'pay' to be in their lotto pool - but the man says he has the text messages to prove otherwise (Image: FACEBOOK/ PHILIP TSOTSOS)

A Canadian man says he chipped in money every week for years to play the lottery with his friends and coworkers.

The group of 16 finally won last June - splitting the $1 million prize among them. They each got $62,000 in prize money.

But Philip Tsotsos, a pizza delivery man, says he was part of that pool for years and one of those tickets was his, so he is now suing his former coworkers for $70k plus the cost of the lawsuit.

Tsotsos says he deserved to get a chunk of the winning 2021 Max Lotto ticket. “Their dreams came true. Why should they steal mine?” he told CBC News.

Man sues friends who won $1million dollars in lottery pool for cut of the prize eideziqkeiqhhinvA man is suing his ex coworkers for 'deliberately' cutting him out of the lotto pool they had going for years, according to court documents (ONTARIO LOTTERY AND GAMING CORPORATION)

More than anything, Tsotsos says he's hurt by what happened. “I took care of these guys like they were family,” Tsotsos told The U.S. Sun. “These are my friends. It hurts here,” he said, pointing to his heart, “more than it hurts my wallet.”

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But a defense attorney representing the group of 16 says that his clients barely knew Tsotsos and planned to fight the case.

“Mr. Tsotsos did not pay to play, so we deny that he is entitled to any of the relief that he is seeking, and we’ll be vigorously defending the claim. In this instance, he did not play and he was not included,” attorney David Robins told CBC.

The lawyer also said that, “the defendants specifically deny that any of them were ever ‘close friends’ or ‘good friends’ with the plaintiff,” the document said. “Some of the defendants were the plaintiff’s co-workers. Others did not know him at all.”

But Tsotsos disagrees, and says he worked and played with them for years. Though some of the group came from a different work place, he maintains that he was good friends with many of the others.

Apparently, the group, who worked at an auto-parts delivery company, would buy weekly tickets. During the pandemic, play stopped, but the crew resumed their lotto purchases in June of 2021, when Tsotsos says the group's organiser asked him if he wanted to be in a 'major.'

Man sues friends who won $1million dollars in lottery pool for cut of the prizeCanadian man says 'he's hurt' after his friends cut him out of their lottery pool, but the group says they barely knew him at all (FACEBOOK/ PHILIP TSOTSOS)

Steven Todesco, who organizes the lottery ticket pool, had apparently texted Tsotsos around the time the group had won to remind him of his tab. Tsotsos had stopped working with the guys a while ago but says they remained good enough friends that he was still included in the group ticket buy-in - although he didn't pay for his tickets right away and said instead they had a system where he would pay them back when he saw them.

The group confirms that Tsotsos often had a tab with them, ranging from $30 to $100 at times. Tsotsos says that he owed them $30 around the time they won the $1 million prize and had even joked, “Just take it out of our winnings when we win.”

Tsotsos says the legal battle has effectively killed the friendship, with his character being brought up in court documents. “So for seven years, I was good…in two weeks, I became Jeffrey Dahmer when it comes to the lottery,” he told The Sun. “I became some monster they couldn’t trust.”

The man says he can prove it all via text messages he kept.

If Tsotsos got his share of the winnings, each member of the group would have gotten $58,000. He said, “This is all over a difference of $4,500.”

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Yelena Mandenberg

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