A TRUCK driver pocketed £8 million he and his colleagues won on a lottery syndicate before blowing cash on flash cars and houses.
Gary Baron, from Victoria, Australia, quietly resigned after realising he and 15 colleagues had bagged the enormous prize.
He then started splurging on houses and supercars, including a convertible BMW worth more than £100,000.
One of the workers in the syndicate happened to be Mr Baron’s girlfriend, who decided to flaunt their life of luxury on social media.
Mr Baron’s sudden influx of cash raised suspicion among his former colleagues, who he lied to and said he had inherited the huge sum.
But when the lottery company delivered a congratulatory bottle of champagne to their office they felt their worst fears had been confirmed.
The Lott also released a statement about a man from Victoria who had scooped an £8 million jackpot.
The “anonymous” prize winner told the company at the time: “I’m still in disbelief.
“I don’t need that amount of money, it’s too much for me.
“I’m going to share the prize money with my family.
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“I’ll make sure it doesn’t change who I am but I’ll definitely be able to live a better lifestyle, with a few more toys.”
But Mr Baron insisted he had not duped his colleagues, saying: “I never cheated my workmates and I am disappointed that the matter has become so public and that my name, family and home have become so widely publicised.”
Two of Mr Baron’s outraged former colleagues from Toll courier went to his new home to confront him and were disgusted at how he’d splashed the cash.
Gary Georgeson told A Current Affair: “He walked out dressed like Hugh Hefner in his terry towelling dressing gown.
“Driving around in a $200,000 black BMW sports car.
“I asked him if he’d won $16.6 million and he stood there and looked me in the eye and said, ‘yes, I did’.
“I asked him why straight out he didn’t just come and tell us.
“We all worked together and trusted you. If you could’ve proved it I would’ve just shaken your hand.”
His ex-workmates then decided to sue him but he insisted he had bought the ticket with his own money.
The court battle rumbled on from 2014 until 2017, when Mr Baron – branded a “lotto rat” – and his former colleagues reached an undisclosed financial settlement.
It is understood his disgruntled former colleagues had wanted more than £500,000 each but ended up with less than a quarter of that.
Mirlande Wilson claimed she bought the victorious Mega Millions ticket in 2012 at a 7-Eleven near the restaurant where she worked outside of Baltimore, Maryland, with her own money.
But Wilson’s co-workers dismissed her claim and filed a lawsuit against her.