L'ECREVISSE, France, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A dispute over who should collect a $1.35 million jackpot in a French lottery has two longtime friends pitted against each other, officials said.
State-owned lottery operator Francaise Des Jeux said it was contacted by one of the claimants after the winning ticket numbers were displayed in a cafe in the town of L'Ecrevisse, The Local reported Friday.
Cafe owner Cheik Guendouzi, 73, said he is entitled to half the jackpot in the ironically named "Amigo" lottery won by cafe regular Messaoud Boudissa, 79.
Guendouzi said he and Boudissa played the lottery together regularly and that on this particular day he gave Boudissa the money to play.
"He didn't have any money so I gave him 20 euros [$27]," Guendouzi said. "He played and got the jackpot. He was happy to share it. But then after four or five days he changed his mind as if he didn't know me anymore."
Boudissa denied that.
"These are lies," he said. "He wants me to give him the money, that's all. I did it with my money. I don't owe anyone anything."
Guendouzi said he has hired a lawyer and has around 30 people who can back up his version of events.