An Algerian lottery winner in Belgium may not be able to collect his winnings after a €5 ($5.50) ticket turned out to be just what he needed to seal the deal. The man, though, faces red tape as he lives in the country without registration or the proper document which may disqualify him from collecting the prize. In fact, his chances of nabbing the €250,000 ($270,000) he won seem to be diminishing as authorities are already on the case.
Lack of Proper Paperwork Costs Dearly
The winner’s happiness was short-lived as he entered the country illegally and did not seek any formal status for fear of facing deportation. Now, though, he may be deprived of both of his winnings and also be forcefully removed from the country. This double-whammy is a fair reminder of why people should always seek to establish themselves in any new country they visit before participating in any public life or embarking on economic activity.
The man knew that he would not be able to collect the winnings, though, as he originally sent a friend to claim the prize. However, the pair was arrested as the lottery teller thought they had stolen the ticket and alerted the authorities. After a night in jail, the men were released as police realized their mistake. This did not lessen the fact that the man was an illegal immigrant who had just attracted all the unwanted attention he had been trying to avoid all that time.
It all could have been settled if the Algerian national was able to offer a legitimate ID issued in Belgium. But the man is not giving up as the $270,000 prize could have a transformative effect on his life. Now, the anonymous immigrant will try to collect his winnings through a lawyer and possibly obtain legal status in the country. Meanwhile, the lottery spokesperson, Joke Vermoere, said that the public prosecutor’s office is on the case and will be able to provide a ruling in the case.