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 all members of a weekly lottery pool. Each person would contribute $2, and Lopes would buy the tickets.

But Lopes, who says he played the lottery by himself and as a member of the pool, claims the winning ticket in the November 2009 drawing was one he purchased for himself, not the group Lopes chose the lump sum payment option, meaning he received $24 million. The five plaintiffs are seeking an even split of that money, meaning they and Lopes would each get $4 million.

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

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