Adios, Amigo: war chums split over lottery win

A friendship dating back over 35 years has been broken in an argument over a winning lottery ticket for €1 million.

A French court ruled the pair should share the winnings, but the losing half now wants to appeal the decision.

Messouad Boudissa, 79, and Cheikh Guendouzi, 73, from the town of Villeneuve-sur-Lot in South East France, have been friends since they both moved to France from Algeria in the 1960s. They were harkis, a group who collaborated with the French during the Algerian war of independence.

The ticket for the Amigos lottery, run by state gambling operator Française de Jeux, was bought in July 2011. After the ticket turned out to have the winning numbers, relations between the two men quickly deteriorated.

Guendouzi claims he lent Boudissa €20 for the ticket, saying “here’s €20. If you win, we share. If you lose you owe me €20”.

Guendouzi had seven witnesses in court supporting his claim.

Boudissa, who claims to have been “betrayed” by his friend said: “I won, just me. I bought the ticket and I won. No one else was playing with me.”

€500,000 of the winnings have been seized from Boudissa’s account until after the appeal.

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Nomandy winner scoops €162m lottery jackpot

A player in the northern department of Calvados won the biggest ever lottery jackpot in France on Tuesday with the only winning ticket in the nine-country Euromillions game.

The twice-weekly lottery is played in France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland and the UK. 40 million tickets were sold for Tuesday’s rollover jackpot.  

The winner, who is still unknown, has sixty days to contact lottery bosses to claim the massive prize. The winning sum could buy four tonnes of gold or 20,000 Renault Clios.

No more information was available about where the new multi-millionaire bought his or her ticket. Security on tickets was tightened after an incident in 2007 when a tobacconist was almost able to get away with stealing €35 million from one of his customers.

The unscrupulous tobacconist substituted a losing ticket for a winning one when a customer who had won €35 million came in to check whether he had won. The tobacconist then gave the winning ticket to a friend and the two planned to share the bounty. They were only found out when discreet questioning by the lottery organizers revealed that the false ‘winner’ wasn’t aware that the same numbers had been played in the same establishment for several years.

As a result, ticket holders can now check whether they have won on independent machines.

Tuesday’s win isn’t quite the biggest ever Euromillions jackpot, which was won by a Scottish couple who bagged €185 million in July.

France’s latest multi-millionaire has sixty days to claim their fortune.