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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