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Atlanta Taxi Drivers Fight over $90 Million Lottery Jackpot

9 May 2001

ATLANTA, Goergia –– As reported by the Associated Press: ``Fourteen taxi drivers have gone to court to keep the Georgia Lottery Corp. from paying Friday's $90 million Big Game lottery jackpot to some co-workers they claim wrongly excluded them from a lottery pool.

``Atlanta attorney Howard Stopeck, who represents the 14 cabbies, said Wednesday his clients contend they were part of a 37-member pool of taxi drivers at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, all from Ghana, who regularly contributed to a kitty to buy lottery tickets.

``The leader of the group, Max Ossei-Wasu, got $5 contributions last week from only 23 of the drivers before buying the winning ticket for Friday night's drawing, Stopeck told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

``He said Ossei-Wasu and the others planned to claim the prize and exclude his clients, so he filed suit Monday in Cobb County Superior Court. The court granted him a temporary restraining order Tuesday, he said.

``Stopeck contends his clients are entitled to share the prize because they had contributed to past pools and because small winnings from those pools were to be used to purchase future tickets for the group.

``…Lottery spokeswoman Parquita Nassau said the purchaser of the winning ticket chose the cash option, meaning that instead of a $90 million payout over 26 years, the jackpot would be a one-time payout of $48.5 million.

``Split 37 ways, that comes to $1.3 million per person; in a 23-way split, each winner would get $2.1 million…"

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