Pizza Delivery Driver Sues Friends After Not Receiving Share of $1m Lottery Win

  • Tsotsos is looking for CA$70,000 compensation plus interest from the group of friends
  • The plaintiff argues that he regularly pays for his portion of the tickets on a credit system
  • He has claimed that it wasn’t possible to exclude him from the pool without his say so
  • Tsotsos allegedly only learned of the win through a social media post in October
Person filling out lottery ticket
A Canadian man is suing his group of friends after not getting a share of their CA$1m lottery win. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Staking his claim

A pizza delivery man from Canada is in the process of suing friends after they did not give him a cut of their CA$1m (US$776,003) lottery win. Philip Tsotsos is looking for CA$70,000 (US$54,320) compensation plus interest, and has blasted the group of 16 friends for “stealing his dreams.”

Their dreams came true. Why should they steal mine?”

The syndicate managed to win the Maxmillion jackpot last summer from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation in Canada. Tsotsos claims that he should get a share despite the friends stating that he did not pay for a portion of the winning ticket. He said: “Why wouldn’t they tell me they won? These guys are like family to me. Their dreams came true. Why should they steal mine?”

Opposing viewpoints

David Robins, the lawyer for the 16 friends in the case, said Tsotsos has no entitlement to compensation as he did not pay for part of the winning ticket. He has affirmed that the friends will be “vigorously defending” the claim.

According to the friends, the lottery pool paused for a time during the pandemic but restarted in March 2021. A pool member supposedly texted Tsotsos in June, shortly before the big win, to confirm that he was still in.

In contrast, Tsotsos has argued that he never immediately pays for his portion of the lottery tickets. During the six years that the syndicate has been running, he has contributed to the pool on a credit system. The Ontario resident referenced times in the past when he had owed money to the group but eventually always paid his debts.

Fighting his corner

Around the time of the jackpot win, Tsotsos’ outstanding tab reached CA$30 (US$23.28), with the organizer of the syndicate telling him to pay up the outstanding debt, as well as an additional CA$10 (US$7.76) if he wanted to remain in the pool.

the syndicate employed an opt-out system

After saying that he would pay the CA$40 (US$31.04) sum by Friday, the pair joked about taking the due amount out of the possible winnings. Tsotsos claims that the syndicate employed an opt-out system, meaning that it wasn’t possible to exclude him without communicating it to him first.

The group of 16 friends each received a CA$62,500 (US$48,523) share of the win. If Tsotsos was part of the victory, the share would amount to CA$58,000 (US$45,008).

Tsotsos only found out about the syndicate’s win via social media in October. Outlining how he discovered the news after buying the group of friends pizza, he said: “The same guy that’s eating my pizza is holding a million-dollar cheque, and that’s how I found out.”