In Belgium, the battle of an undocumented immigrant to recover his lottery prize

A 28-year-old Algerian in an illegal situation won 250,000 euros in a Belgian national lottery scratch card game and is now fighting to recover his prize, which will only be paid out if he proves his identity.

Accompanied on Friday by AFP, Alexander Verstraete, the young man’s lawyer, explained that the winning ticket was currently in the hands of justice, in Bruges (north), after three friends tried in vain to recover the ticket money for him.

Open poll to find the winner

This led to the latter, who are also North Africans, being suspected of robbery and spending a night in police custody last week, Me Verstraete stressed. The Bruges prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation to find the lucky winner. He was able to clear his friends by going to the police with his lawyer, but now he must prove his good faith.

«My client is in an illegal situation, he has no papers and he also does not have a bank account.», fingered by the lawyer, «we are looking for these documents that will prove your identity, you will have to contact your family in Algeria».

“The winner did not come to us, we did not see him, which is currently blocking the procedure for awarding the prize”

Joke Vermoere, spokesman for the National Lottery

The winning ticket was bought a few weeks ago in Zeebrugge, a Belgian port city that is a popular destination for migrants trying to reach England illegally hidden in trucks or containers.

According to Me Verstraete, his client, who does not intend to apply for asylum to remain in Belgium (he does not come from a country at war), has obtained from the Belgian authorities a promise not to be returned to the border before receiving his profit.

Cash prize cannot be remitted

This gain is theJackpot» of a scratch card from the range «Cash“it is sold for five euros and who offers”one in 3.69 probabilityto get your bet back, according to the national lottery site. The merchant who sold this ticket is prohibited from awarding said prize in cash.

For all “batch» more than 100,000 euros the point of sale of the ticket systematically returns the winner to the company’s headquarters in Brussels, explained Joke Vermoere, spokesman for the national lottery. There were the three friends of the winner, one of whom claimed to be able to collect the money from his bank account.

«The winner did not come to us, we did not see him, which is blocking the award procedure at the moment.“, argued Joke Vermoere, without specifying the conditions or the nature of the required documents: “It is in the hands of the Bruges public prosecutor’s office.».


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