Australian Powerball Syndicate Goes to Court Over Winning Ticket

A former courier who kept his Australian Powerball jackpot success secret from workmates has been told that details of the winning ticket must be disclosed. Gary Baron finally admitted over the weekend that he had scooped AU$16.6 million in the Powerball draw on 16th October 2014, but denied that the ticket had been bought on behalf of the 16-strong syndicate of which he was a member.

Legal action has now been taken by 14 members of the syndicate, who claim the winnings should have been split between the group, and Victoria’s Supreme Court has ordered that the name of the person who won the ticket be revealed by lottery operator Tattersalls Sweeps, along with purchase information and transaction history.

Lawyer Romana Piva, representing Geelong’s ‘Powerball 14’, hopes to receive records early next week. He said in the Herald Sun: “We are just concerned that it’s taken him since October last year to make this startling revelation. We certainly want to give him every benefit of explaining it, but we want to wait to see what Tatts records say.”

Baron called in sick the day after the draw last October and quit work the following week, reportedly saying that he was suffering from a medical condition. The syndicate’s suspicions were later aroused when Tatts Group sent champagne to Baron’s home shortly after winning, by way of the Toll Group logistics company where they were worked.

The only syndicate member not taking part in the legal action against Baron is a woman named Jeanette Clancy, who also resigned from Toll Group and is now reportedly romantically involved with Baron. While Baron insists he has evidence to prove that the ticket was bought separately to the group, the other 14 members believe he reneged on a deal.

“We would often see his van and her car parked out the back of McDonald’s, you know, probably just getting an ice cream together for all I know,” former colleague Gary Georgeson told A Current Affair. “They could have got $2 million, we could have got $1 million, and they both could have gone on their happy little way.”

The disputed ticket was one of three winning entries on 16th October which split a jackpot of $50 million. The Powerball draw this Thursday, 28th May, also gave away a top prize of $50 million to a player from Canberra. The woman, who wishes to keep her identity private, plans to give some of her money to charity.

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