Home | News | U.S. Headlines | $38.5 million lotto winner Americo Lopes cheated co-workers out of jackpot, court rules

$38.5 million lotto winner Americo Lopes cheated co-workers out of jackpot, court rules

By
Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
Americo Lopes leaves a New Jersey courtroom on Wednesday (AP) Americo Lopes leaves a New Jersey courtroom on Wednesday (AP)  
Read More: Americo Lopes

For most people, sharing a $38.5 million lottery jackpot with five co-workers is a deal they could live with. But it was apparently too much for Americo Lopes, who a jury found guilty of cheating his colleagues out of their rightful share of winnings.

Lopes and his co-workers at a New Jersey construction company took part in a lottery pool going back to 2007. But in 2009, when Lopes discovered he had the winning Mega Millions ticket, he claimed to have purchased the winning numbers on his own, rather than as part of the company pool.

After a unanimous jury decision on Wednesday, Lopes must now pay each co-worker a pretax $2 million from the jackpot, according to a spokeswoman for the Superior Court in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

The Star-Ledger reports that Lopes left the courtroom saying in Portuguese, "they robbed me."

The five former co-workers testified that they gave Lopes money to purchase lottery tickets on the day he purchased the winning ticket. A sixth construction worker who was not in the lottery pool also testified against Lopes. "I have a lot to do," Carlos Fernandez, one of the five plaintiffs, told the Star-Ledger after the verdict was announced.

Still, for all his complaining of being "robbed," it could have been worse for Lopes, who stood to lose up to $20 million of his after-tax $24 million in winnings.

Winning the lottery has been a mixed blessing for a number of past winners. Just last week, a Michigan lottery winner fell under intense scrutiny when it was revealed she was still accepting food stamps despite being a millionaire. The day after Yahoo! News reported on her story, the Michigan Bridge Card program stepped in and removed her from the welfare program.

On the other hand, a number of other lottery winners have voluntarily chosen to share their lottery winnings with family, friends and the less fortunate. Last month, we told you about several repeat Georgia lottery winners who have given away substantial portions of their jackpot winnings.

Winning the lottery can even be fatal in some extreme cases. In 1996, Jeffrey Dampier famously won $20 million in the Illinois state lottery, using some of his money to help family and friends. But when Dampier offered to help his sister-in-law and her boyfriend out financially, they rewarded his generosity by kidnapping and murdering him.

 

  1. Teens Jekari Strozier, Antonio Pass, Johnathan Anthony, Kemonta Bonds charged in death of Mableton man (5.00)

  2. Doctors cure leukemia in a few patients by altering their blood cells (5.00)

  3. Emily Whitehead: The cancer girl cured by using HIV virus to re-wire her immune system (5.00)

  4. Bigfoot-like beast has hikers running scared in Utah's Provo Canyon (5.00)

  5. Joe Biden Shotgun: YouTube video appears of women trying (and failing) to take his 12-gauge advice (5.00)

  6. Guide dog saves man and woman from swerving vehicle (5.00)

  7. 'Proof' Jesus was married found on ancient papyrus that mentions how son of God spoke of his wife and Mary Magdalene (5.00)

  8. Does Febreze Air Effects give odors the boot? (5.00)

  9. How your dog can read your mind: He'll steal food when he knows you won't look - and can tell you're going out from your make-up (5.00)

  10. He sure took his time: Scientist who spent 15 years inspecting women's breast claims they are 'better off without bras' (5.00)

  11. Rihanna's Dad Sells Pictures of Teenage Rihanna, 'Secret Family' to Tabloids (5.00)

  12. Octomom poses nude and now goes on welfare to help 14 kids: report (5.00)

  13. Bieber 'thrown out of Paris hotel for bad behavior' (5.00)

  14. Lindsey Vonn waits in car for ONE hour to avoid run in with Tiger's ex-wife Elin Nordegren (5.00)

  15. Ashley Judd dress (5.00)

  16. Hulk Hogan’s daughter Brooke engaged to Cowboys center Phil Costa (5.00)

  17. Hospitality executive Tom Sponseller found dead in office garage in apparent suicide (5.00)

  18. Texas Man Larry Dunn Jr stabbed girlfriend who told him she had HIV to death (5.00)

  19. Driver Services Location in Warner Robins, GA (5.00)

  20. Fashion publicist Raul Barrera found guilty of murdering and mutilating his girlfriend after she tried to break up with him (5.00)

  21. 29-year-old Texas man Thomas Olivas 'killed ex-girlfriend, 26, and burned baby boy over child support payments' (5.00)

  22. Florida woman Jillian Martone 'attacks man with kitchen knife after first date for refusing to be her boyfriend' (5.00)

  23. Catholic school custodian John Martin admits to using hidden cameras to spy on students (5.00)

  24. Church shooting in Pennsylvania leaves 4 dead, 2 injured (5.00)

  25. New York Jewish counselor Nechemya Weberman sentenced to 103 years for sexual abuse (5.00)

  26. Desperate search for two missing Boy Scouts Bradley Nelson, Jackson Chandler after wilderness hike (5.00)

  27. Tenn. Man Randolph Maidens Charged With Murder in Wife's Death (5.00)

  28. Couple Terry and Victoria Smith 'kept naked six-year-old autistic son in CAGE and fed him hot dogs through the bars' (5.00)

  29. DUI suspect Sherri Wilkins 'drives more than 2 miles with man she fatally struck stuck in the windshield of her car' (5.00)

  30. Little Falls Man Byron Smith Accused of Killing Two Teen Burglars, Not Reporting Shooting (5.00)

  31. Oregon couple Christopher Martin and Jessica Stroble accused of sex acts on Vegas-bound flight (5.00)

  32. Barrow Co. firefighter Willie Etheridge Jr. fired after being charged with child porn (5.00)

  33. Morgan Lide: Cobb County high school student dies during study abroad (5.00)

  34. Suspect Brian Levern Gupton sought in fatal shooting at DeKalb apartment complex (5.00)

  35. Clayton Jerrod Ellington: Death penalty tossed out in Ga. triple murder case (5.00)

  36. Ruben Marin-Garibay arrested in fatal hit-and-run of Henry Co. officer Elgin Daniel (5.00)

  37. Guard Larry Stell fatally stabbed at Telfair State Prison (5.00)

  38. 'Hunger Games' sequel gives boost to Ga. economy (5.00)

  39. Mural of nude women in Atlanta to be covered up after community outrage (5.00)

  40. Sources: Andrea Sneiderman indicted in husband Rusty Sneiderman's death (5.00)

  41. Co-workers Michelle Chinnis, Tracy Downer killed in horrific tractor-trailer wreck (5.00)

  42. Matthew Pike, William Slaton, Daniel Slaton indicted in death of man found floating in Ocmulgee River (5.00)

  43. Clayton County Man Craig Davis faces charges of exposing two women to HIV (5.00)

  44. Teacher Shannon Schmieder Sentenced to 40 Years for Affair with 14 Year Old (5.00)

  45. Shopkeeper Atibi Thomas faces 25 years in prison for 'shooting' policeman Keith Roach whom he thought was a criminal (5.00)

  46. 6 charged with killing Norcross teen Nicholas Jackson (5.00)

  47. Teacher Almarcus Thomas accused of statutory rape, videotaping student (5.00)

  48. Augusta teen Kyle Austin Royal found shot to death in car in east Ga. (5.00)

  49. DA to review role of victim's widow Andrea Sneiderman in Ga. killing (5.00)

  50. Parents: School Bus Driver Watched Teen Girls Fight (5.00)

  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Rate this article

0
 
 

Photo Galleries

PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity Awkward family photos 
 
UPDATED: Faces of Meth PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter

More galleries ››

 
 
 
 
Weather for Atlanta, GA, US
Now
70°F
Windchill: 70°F
Partly Cloudy
Georgia Weather
Fri
High: 89°F
Low: 70°F
Partly Cloudy
Georgia Weather
Sat
High: 92°F
Low: 72°F
Mostly Sunny
Georgia Weather