Man wins 250,000 euros in lottery but fails to receive the prize

An Algerian earned 250,000 euros (about 1.2 million reais at current prices) on a scratch card purchased for just 5 euros in Belgium. However, he is unable to receive the lottery prize due to his migratory status.

According to the G1, the value is greater to be paid in cash; and the Algerian, in an irregular situation, has not yet obtained the documentation required to open a bank account. The man declared that he intends to use the 250,000 euros to rebuild his life in Belgium.

“When I get the money, I’m going to buy a place to live in Brussels. And maybe a car,” said the 28-year-old, whose identity was kept secret, in an interview with the local newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.

Without regular identity documents or a fixed address, he was unable to open the bank account necessary to receive the award, according to his lawyer, Alexander Verstraete. “We are looking for documents that prove his identity. We will have to make contact with his family in Algeria,” he declared.

The lottery spokesperson did not detail what documents will be required to pay the prize. An Algerian friend even tried to receive the amount on his behalf, directly at the lottery headquarters in Brussels, something mandatory for any prize that exceeds 100 thousand euros.

However, he and two other men were arrested on suspicion of stealing the winning ticket. The group was released after explaining the whole situation. Currently, the scratch card is in the custody of the Justice of the city of Bruges, near the port of Zeebruge, where it was purchased.

Winner is not at risk of being deported until winning lottery

Lawyer Verstraete said authorities had promised not to deport the winner until he received the lottery money. Four months ago he left Algeria by boat to Spain. According to the Belgian press, he walked from Spain to France, before heading to Belgium.

Initially, the winner wanted to settle in the United Kingdom, but now he wants to stay in Belgium and start a family. “I’m looking for a wife,” he told Het Laatste Nieuws. “But I won’t look for one with my money, but with my heart.”