The owner of a restaurant in York and one of his waiters have been ordered to split a £1 million lottery prize after their battle over the money went in front of a high court judge.
The owner of the restaurant, Mr Hayati Kucukkoylu, was demanded by Judge Mark Gosnell to hand over half of the £1 million EuroMillions jackpot prize to waiter Mr Fatih Ozcan, after the Judge ruled that the pair had entered into a contract to play the lottery together on an equal basis. Mr Ozcan insisted throughout the court case that he shared the stake with his boss and chose the lottery numbers based on a dream he had about winning the lottery with him.
The court heard that after Mr Ozcan’s dream he persuaded Mr Kucukkoylu to go in with him on a stake on the EuroMillions lottery. After convincing his boss at the Kapadokya Turkish restaurant where they were both on duty, Mr Ozcan went to the local supermarket to buy the tickets using the joint stake, handed his boss the EuroMillions tickets but kept hold of the receipts himself.
However, when the pair realised that one of the tickets had won a £1 million prize, the restaurant owner claimed that he had purchased the tickets and won the fortune alone, despite Mr Ozcan’s protestations. Mr Ozcan then called Camelot, the lottery’s governing body in the UK, to report the ticket stolen when he was unable to claim his half of the lottery win.
Mr Kucukkoylu was then held in police custody, before Mr Ozcan admitted that he had lied about the tickets being stolen, but ascertained that his boss has threatened him and refused to hand over what was rightfully his, leaving him “fearful for his safety”.
The Judge was able to use CCTV footage from the Turkish restaurant in York, which showed both men filling in the lottery slips and suggesting that they chose the numbers equally, as well as that they paid for the stake equally. Mr Kucukkoylu was ordered to hand over half of the lottery prize to Mr Ozcan without delay.
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