Restaurant boss in £1m lottery row
A YORK waiter who dreamed of winning the Euromillions lottery scooped the £1 million jackpot the very next day.
Fatih Ozcan, who waited tables at the Kapadokya Turkish restaurant, in George Hudson Street, thought his financial troubles were over when he bought the winning ticket, but a major legal dispute between him and restaurant owner Hayati Kucukkoylu means the money still has not been paid out.
Judge Mark Gosnell said Mr Ozcan 'had a dream' on the night of January 29, 2012.
"He dreamt that he was holding a large bundle of cash and, standing in front of him, was his boss.
"Mr Ozcan is a strong believer in the power of dreams and interpreted this to mean that he and Mr Kucukkoylu would win the lottery".
The following day, Mr Ozcan '"pestered" his boss for three hours before he used money from the restaurant's till to buy a ticket. When the numbers came up, the waiter phoned Camelot and the police, falsely accusing his boss of stealing the winning ticket from his pocket, said Judge Gosnell.
Three days later, Mr Kucukkoylu was arrested in his restaurant and held in police custody for around nine hours. Mr Ozcan left his York flat without giving a forwarding address, and admitted he lied to police and Camelot, and the case went to a seven-day hearing at the High Court.
Mr Kucukkoylu, 47, told The Press he intended to appeal the High Court's decision, and he was adamant the ticket, and the winnings were his.
He said: "Camelot still haven't paid out yet. I have the ticket. The judge made a decision we have to share, and I'm not going to accept that.
"We have 3,800 pages of evidence and CCTV, and it's still going on, still going on and on. Maybe I will spend all that money on the case, but my honour is at stake with this. I will spend every single penny I have to keep my honour."
Describing it as a 'troubling case', the judge said Mr Ozcan was 'an admitted liar', but he also had 'concerns' about the reliability of Mr Kucukkoylu's account.
After viewing text between the pair and CCTV footage from the restaurant as the slips were filled in, the judge ruled that each man was entitled to half the windfall, as it appeared both men had chosen the winning numbers and each paid half of the £9 stake.
The judge said: "Mr Ozcan pestered his boss into playing the lottery with him....they contributed equally to the purchase price of the ticket".
"I find that the effect of these conversations was that Mr Kucukkoylu and Mr Ozcan entered into a contract to jointly play the lottery on an equal basis.
"There should be a declaration that the prize money from this winning lottery ticket should be shared equally."