Photo: Flickr / DaGoaty
A Guatemalan man is locked in a legal battle in Georgia over whether he can lay claim to a $750,000 lotto ticket, the Macon Telegraph’s Becky Purser reports.Jose Antonio “Tony” Cua-Toc, 27, claims he bought the winning ticket back in 2010 from a grocery store in Warner Robins, Ga.
But there was just one problem: Because he’d entered the U.S. illegally a decade before, the winnings were off limits.
For help, he turned to the man who employed him as a day laborer, Eric Cervantes, who Cau-Toc claims agreed to cash the ticket on his behalf and then allegedly pocketed the check behind his back.
The men squared off in court on Tuesday, where jurors will be tasked with deciding whether Cervantes took advantage of a worker or was himself double-crossed.
“Cua-Toc told jurors he trusted Cervantes as his friend who promised to give all the money after claiming the winning ticket at a Macon lottery office,” according to Purser’s report. “Jurors also viewed a security surveillance video of Cua-Toc and his girlfriend taking the ticket back to the OM Food Mart the night Cua-Toc purchased it to see if it indeed was a legitimate winning ticket.”
In his defence, Cervantes claims he loaned Cau-Toc a few bucks to pick up beer and cigarettes, along with a $20 for lottery tickets.
After taxes, there’s about $460,000 left to claim from the ticket winnings.