Three winning tickets split a jackpot of AU$50 million on 16th October 2014 and Baron finally admitted in May that he had purchased one of the successful entries. However, he denied that the ticket had been purchased on behalf of the 16-strong work syndicate of which he was a member. He had called in sick the day after his win and quit work a week later, without telling colleagues that he had scooped the jackpot. The syndicate, all employees of the Toll Group logistics company, became suspicious when one of them had to courier champagne to Baron’s house, which had been sent by lottery organisers Tatts Group.
There were 14 members of the syndicate who decided to take Baron to court in a bid to get what they felt was their fair share, but a deal may now been agreed. According to a report on A Current Affair last week, two colleagues said they were happy and ‘life is good’. However, Fairfax Media later reported that only a confidential pre-trial legal deal on procedural matters had been reached following a meeting with Baron and his lawyers.
It is reported that syndicate members will still issue Baron with a writ in the coming months, having not yet received an offer to split the winnings. Baron has spent heavily since his lottery win, splashing out AU$200,000 on a convertible BMW M4 and buying a double-storey house. His son has also moved into a new home and had a luxury pool installed, with Baron adamant that he did not cheat his workmates.
The Australian Powerball is currently on a run of four rollovers, having not been won since two players grabbed AU$3 million each on 11th June. The next draw takes place on Thursday 16th July and an estimated top prize of AU$30 million will be up for grabs.