Aircraft worker sues colleagues after they win $50m in lottery while he was on holiday

17 May 2023, 10:28

Christopher Bates sued his workmates over a mammoth lottery win
Christopher Bates sued his workmates over a mammoth lottery win. Picture: Getty

By Will Taylor

An aviation worker has sued his fellow employees after they refused to give him a share of a $50m lottery win because he was on holiday.

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His 24 colleagues at a Bombardier plant won the massive payout in January 2011, earning themselves $1.9m each.

But the 54-year-old, from Ontario in Canada, was away at the time so did not get his cut - despite expecting his workmates would enter him.

They told him they were operating on a "no pay, no play" rule, despite him having founded the lottery group.

Other employees came forward attempting to claim part of the prize money, with the lottery ultimately deciding to award it to 26 people in total.

A court held on to two shares until the claims were settled.

Read more: Rapist who scammed National Lottery out of £2.5m with forged ticket 'faces losing £700,000 home'

Lawyers for Mr Bates told a civil trial in Toronto he is entitled to a share of the prize.

The court heard how he confronted the leader of the lottery group, Sherif Morsi, and asked: "Why didn't you put in for me?"

Mr Morsi told him another worker still owed him money so he didn't enter some into the draw.

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The trial was told by Michael Cochrane, for Mr Bates: "When somebody plays every time for almost a year, and just happens to be away one week, the other members of the group have a duty to that person to treat them fairly.

"That's all he's asking — 'treat me fairly.'"

He said the group had a duty of faith to include Mr Bates, who he described as a regular player.

But the other workers argued they only played ad-hoc, when the jackpot rose about $30m, instead of entering the competition regularly.

The trial was scheduled to last 10 days but on Tuesday, the second day, the 24 employees agreed to a confidential settlement.

Saul Glober, for the workers, said his clients were happy with the outcome.

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