Pizza Delivery Guy Sues $1M Lottery Pool for His Slice of the Pie

Posted on: May 2, 2022, 02:32h. 

Last updated on: May 2, 2022, 02:52h.

A Windsor, Ontario pizza delivery guy is suing 16 former colleagues for what he claims is his rightful share of a CA$1 million (US$780,000) lottery win, CBC reports. A lawyer for the winners says the plaintiff was not a part of the syndicate at the time of the win and is entitled to nothing.

Philip Tsotsos
Ontarian Philip Tsotsos says he believed his co-workers were his friends until they froze him out of their $1M lottery win. (Image: CBC)

Philip Tsotsos left his job at an auto-parts delivery company in Windsor for a new life distributing pizzas. But he asserts he was still part of the lottery pool at his previous workplace.

Tsotsos acknowledges that he had not paid into the syndicate for a while, but this was not unusual. The pool operated on a credit system, and he had at times owed as much as $100, according to the complaint. But he says he always paid up in the past.

At the time of the syndicate’s lottery win last June, Tsotsos was $30 in arrears to the pool. He had been a member for six years.

‘Did Not Pay to Play’

Tsotsos wants a judge to officially declare him the 17th member of the lottery-winning syndicate and to award him CA$70,000 (US54,000), which included his CA$58,000 (US$45,000) share, interest, and costs.

But David Robins, a lawyer for the group, said his clients are having none of it.

Mr. Tsotsos did not pay to play, so we deny that he is entitled to any of the relief that he is seeking, and we’ll be vigorously defending the claim,” Robins told CBC. “In this instance, he did not play, and he was not included.” 

Tsotsos’ lawsuit argues that the pool operated on an individual opt-out basis, and that disqualifying a member would require clear communication.

No Money Back if You’re Late

The pool was put on hold during the pandemic, but resumed in March 2021, according to Tsotsos. He says he was texted by a syndicate member in June shortly before the win to ask if he was in, and replied in the affirmative.

He was told he would need to pay $30 and put an additional $10 into the pool, according to text messages transcribed in the filing.

This Friday I will, 40,” Tsotsos replied. “Actually, I won’t have to pay you anything. Just take it out of our winnings when we win,” he added.

He says he only learned about the win on social media after the fact. He told CBC he felt betrayed by this, especially because he had just delivered members of the group a free pizza.

“Why wouldn’t they tell me they won?” an incredulous Tsotsos asked the CBC reporter. “These guys are like family to me.”