The mystery of a missing syndicate.That’s exactly what a syndicate from Australia is claiming, in a turn of unfortunate events involving one of their members and a huge cache of lotto winnings worth $16.6 million!
Syndicate member allegedly runs off with over $16 million in lotto winnings
Every week, members of a 16-member syndicate would dutifully hand over $20 to Gary Baron, the syndicate member responsible for purchasing their Powerball tickets. As colleagues working for the Australian courier company, Toll Group, they had every reason to trust each other as members of a syndicate, and in their pursuit for huge lotto winnings.
In October 2014, their money was handed over to Baron as usual, and their Powerball tickets were bought as usual. However, the day after it was reported that three winning tickets had shared in a first-tier jackpot win of $50 million, events began to take an unusual turn. First, Baron called in sick to work, and took the day off. Nothing particularly unusual so far. The following Monday, however, he resigned from work. Surprising, but again, not wholly suspicious.
Next, a member of their own syndicate, and an employee of their courier company, Toll Group, was hired by lottery officials to deliver a bottle of champagne to Baron shortly after the publicised win. And following the jackpot announcement, reports alleged that Baron had been making extravagant purchases including a $200,000 BMW M4 convertible, a new double-storey home, as well as a new home for his 20-something son. Ding ding ding.
One would have to be extremely gullible or extremely naïve not to draw parallels between the two – the recent huge lotto winnings going to “an anonymous Victorian man”, as reported by lottery officials, and Baron’s subsequent resignation and apparent windfall. And since his syndicate proved to be neither gullible or naïve, they immediately began to question the legitimacy of Baron’s winnings, going so far as to summons lottery officials to the Supreme Court in order to discover the name of the winner, how their ticket was purchased, how many tickets they purchased, and their account history.
Each of the lottery syndicate winners (bar one member who, it has been revealed, is romantically involved with Baron) believe that they are entitled to $1 million of the prize money – despite Baron now claiming that his jackpot was won with a ticket that he purchased for himself, not for the syndicate.
The case is still ongoing, so no further progress or judgments have been made, however we’ll make sure to keep you updated as events unfold.