In Belgium, an undocumented migrant struggles to win the lottery

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

Alexander Verstraete, the young man’s lawyer, who was joined by AFP on Friday, explained that the winning ticket is currently in the hands of the judiciary in Bruges (North) after three friends tried unsuccessfully to recover the money for the ticket.

Open poll to find the winner

This led to the latter, who is also North African, being suspected of theft and spending a night in police custody last week, Me Verstraete pointed out. The Bruges public prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation to determine the lucky winner. He was able to exonerate his friends by turning himself in to the police with his lawyer, but he now has to prove his good faith.

My client is in an illegal situation, he has no papers and no bank account‘ said the lawyer, ‘We are looking for these documents that prove his identity, he needs to contact his family in Algeria“.

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

Witz 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 attempting to cross to England illegally by hiding in lorries or containers.

According to Me Verstraete, his client, who has no intention of applying for asylum to stay in Belgium (he does not come from a country at war), received a promise from the Belgian authorities not to be sent back to the border before he perceived it his profit.

Cash prize cannot be transferred

This gain forms thejackpot» a scratch card from the range «Cash“Sold for five euros and who bids”one in 3.69 chanceto win back his bet, according to the national lottery site. The merchant who sold that ticket is prohibited from transferring such monetary prize.

For everything “stack» more than 100,000 euros The point of sale of the ticket systematically brings the winner back to the company’s headquarters in Brussels, explained Joke Vermoere, spokesman for the national lottery. This is where the winner’s three friends went, 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 currently blocking the process of awarding the prize.‘ argued Joke Vermoere, without specifying the terms or the nature of the documents required: ‘It is in the hands of the Bruges public prosecutor“.


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