ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Greed isn’t good.

That’s the message a New Jersey jury is sending after they found that Americo Lopes claimed a $38.5 million jackpot despite having been part of a lottery pool with co-workers.

Lopes was one of six co-workers who bought in on a million Mega-Millions lottery ticket. Five former friends and construction company co-workers took him to court after Lopes said he bought a personal ticket as well, which just so happened to win the Nov. 10, 2009 jackpot.

Lopes was ordered to pay each of his five co-workers $4 million each, CBS 2 reported.

On the witness stand, one member of the group was moved to tears. Candido Silva, Sr. told the court the group shared an “all for one and one for all mentality” and agreed that the winnings would be shared.

“I’d never think he’d do what he did,” said Silva.

The massive jackpot came on November 10, 2009. Shortly after that Lopes took a four-month leave for foot surgery. When he returned he quit on the spot and confirmed that he was a now a millionaire.

Silva told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey that the suit wasn’t about money, but satisfaction after being betrayed by a friend.

“We weren’t really looking for vindication, just a sense of satisfaction. Thats it,” he said, “we felt betrayed and we’re glad the jurors felt the same way.”

Initially Lopes’ co-workers were happy for him, that is until one of them looked up the day that he won. It was a day that each had contributed $2 for lottery tickets.

Lopes currently lives with his wife in a modest house with a cluttered backyard. It remains unclear if he has done anything with his fortune.

One of his co-workers plans on using the money to buy his granddaughter, who was just born Tuesday, a memorable present. Silva and his wife are planning to take their first vacation in seven years as a married couple.

What do you make of the decision? Sound off in our comments section below.

Comments (40)
  1. Howard Gottlieb says:

    It’s amazing how selfish people get when it comes to seeing lots of money.

    Howard Gottlieb

  2. svann says:

    To prevent this from happening the pool organizer should make a copy of all the tickets, have every participant sign the sheet and then distribute it. That way everyone knows right away if they won or not and if a ticket not part of the pool wins no one can claim they think it should be part of the pool.

  3. Topaz says:

    If I buy for an office pool, I buy my own tickets at another store.

    1. joey fom B'hurst says:

      But who is to say you did not purchase the loosing ticket and the office pool was the winning ticket?

  4. Dimsum Harry says:

    I buy the office pool tickets. Then I go to another store and buy the same numbers. This way I get at least half the pot. So there!!!

    1. Topaz says:

      That’s not really nice, you’re still taking away from your co-workers. What if they all did the same thing.

  5. John Smith says:

    Looks like the same thing the GOP does to America, promise, promise, promise, but then lie, steal, cheat their way into the Treasury to steal trillions to give to the rich, corporate tax breaks they don’t need, and 3 illegal “wars”. I’m sure that’s not even the tip of the iceberg.

    1. Local10ShovelLeaners says:


  6. Bullett says:

    Hey Americo how’s that Preparation H working out for you?

  7. joey fom B'hurst says:

    If my coworker won a large sum of money, I think I would hatch the same scheme; it is better than mugging him up in alley

  8. scott says:

    People from different countries think greed is normal and that anyone who speaks their home language is their friend who wouldn’t screw them. It appears they got a good education here. I think the s$umbag who trying to cheat his “friends” should get life insurance to care for his family if he’s not around.

  9. Jgny says:

    He spent it already, they will never see a dime. Trust me on that. In addition. I am sure what he didn’t spend is out of the USA

  10. Cathy says:

    the dirt bag’s attorney showed the jury copies of 1,090 tickets that the dirt bag had purchased in the past to try to prove that the winning ticket contained his personal numbers. However, all that proved was that the winning ticket was a single ticket purchased for $12 (the amount of the pool) and none of the dirt bag’s personal tickets was ever purchased for $12 on one ticket. He got what he deserved!!

  11. Played a fool says:

    Make him pay the lawyere out of his portion. Greedy BUM!!!

    1. Mari,662 says:

      excellent suggestion

    2. Marsha says:

      The attorneys get a THIRD!!!!

  12. Played a fool says:

    Make him pay the lawyers out of his portion. Greedy bum!!!

  13. Big Nards says:

    Cheap guy.

  14. jh says:


  15. GELT STIMPT says:


  16. Bullett says:

    I hope they leave him enough to buy “Preparation H”, because he’s going to need a lot of it!

  17. Onslow says:

    always make sure you get copies of the tickets. all the office pools i have been a part of give copies of the tix to everyone playing.

    1. Candy says:

      We make copies for everyone…even if they are away. If we win, we will just collect $2 contribution and giggle all the way to the bank. The rule here is, “count me in” – no matter what. Shame on that greedy little man.

      1. Peter says:

        He is not little but a Fat cat !!!

      2. TRACK says:

        Please stop calling “Great Big Fat Males” little men, just small greedy little minds. Plus give him another piece of pie!

    2. John says:

      Good for that fat F***, serves him right for being dishonest, now he has to pay

  18. Rocker80 says:

    Mr. Lopes nees to appeal. Sounds like the decision was based on his ethnicity.

    1. Little Devil says:

      No way, Rocker – he was simply a f***ing crook no matter his nationality.

      1. Candy says:


      2. ericm says:

        How do you know that? You know it IS possible, that he did buy that ticket on his own. Not likely – but possible.

        Also, this opens up the possibility that every lottery winner who has ever been in an office lottery pool might have someone sue him or her for their winnings – and win.

        If you possess the ticket, and there is no solid proof that the others gave you money to be part of a ‘pool’…you should be the only winner. Not sure how this judge justifies his decision.

        Be interesting to see if it goes to appeal.

        1. Candy says:

          the events following the “win” are suspect, at best.
          if nothing else, it’s a lesson to make copies for everyone. once the copies are distributed, there should not be an issue. however, when it comes to very large sums of money, people get very weird.

          1. Rocker80 says:

            he did not receive a fair trial

  19. NYCsewer says:

    Deport them all

    1. Native says:

      Since hes American just like you, we will deport you both.

        1. Candy says:

          what was that????
          and why????

          1. Feist says:

            That’s just Beck being wacky.

  20. just me ! says:

    This does not bode well for office pools.

    1. Pool Runner says:

      As long as you’re honest about it it shouldn’t be a problem. I never buy my own tickets when I buy for the group for this very reason.

      1. just me ! says:

        Office pools can be fun to enter into, but a headache to run.
        I send out the notice, along with the rules. I distribute the copies, check and send out the results.

        You would not believe the stories I have heard as to why the co-worker could not find a dollar and sign the list.

        I also, do not buy my own tickets, when purchasing the office’s.

        I see this verdict being appealed. Otherwise, anyone who puts in a legit Lottery claim, will have people coming out of the woodwork saying we had a “mental agreement” with the winner.

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