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Battle Erupts Between New Jersey Construction Workers Over Lottery Pool

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ELIZABETH, N.J. — Five New Jersey construction workers are suing a former colleague who claims he was the sole winner of a $38.5 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot.

The workers say they and Americo Lopes were members of a weekly lottery pool. They say each person would contribute $2 and Lopes would buy the tickets.

Lopes says he played the lottery by himself and as a member of the pool. He claims the winning ticket in the November 2009 drawing was one he bought for himself.

Lopes chose the lump-sum payment option and received $24 million. The five plaintiffs are seeking an even split of that money, meaning they and Lopes would get $4 million each.

The trial in the civil lawsuit began Tuesday in Union County.

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