A bitter feud over a $16.6m Australian Powerball win has finally ended after an out of court settlement was reached.
The syndicate had accused Gary Baron of cheating them out of an Australian Powerball jackpot. Last week the case was heard at the Supreme Court but before a verdict could be reached, Baron made an undisclosed financial settlement to the Geelong lottery syndicate. No details have been given of the settlement but it is believed that the syndicate members had previously been offered $4000 each.
In October 2014, the $50m Australian Powerball jackpot was shared by three tickets but had the syndicate won? Baron, 51, had been running a lottery syndicate with his co-workers at courier firm The Toll Group for five years with each member giving him $20 per week for tickets.
When the big Australian Powerball win came along, he claimed that the winning ticket had been bought out of his own money. The syndicate leader claimed he didn’t buy theirtickets until three days after buying his own.
Andrew Panna, QC, representing the lottery syndicate known as the ‘Powerball 14’, told the court that Mr Baron had opened an online Tatts Group account and made no attempt to separate his funds from those of the syndicate members. The day after the Australian Powerball jackpot win, he called in sick and then resigned from his job citing a serious heart condition.
More suspicion arose a week later when Baron received a bottle of champagne from the Tatts group ironically delivered by the Toll Group. He repeatedly refused to explain why suddenly, he could buy a $200,000 convertible BMW M4 and a double-storey house in Lara. Not until May 2015 did Baron admit to buying one of the jackpot winning Australian Powerball tickets.
It’s the latest lottery dispute, last year Lynne Anne Poirier from Florida, USA, was ordered to pay part of a $1m US Powerball win to her ex-boyfriend. Last week, lottery24.com reported how a dispute over a 3.38m euros Irish Lotto win was settled in Ireland.
At one stage, it looked as if the $16.6m Australian Powerball dispute had been resolved. Last year saw several more twists to the row over the $16.6m Australian Powerball jackpot win.
It had been hoped this dispute would be a test case for whether lottery syndicates are a partnership agreement or a joint venture. Mr Baron has refused to make any comment.