A former claims manager with the National Lottery has told the High Court it was possible he advised a woman to form a syndicate after her win so relatives could avoid gift tax.
Eamon Hughes was giving evidence in the case of a Galway man who is suing his stepmother for a share in a lotto jackpot.
David Walsh of Knocknagreena, Ballinasloe, Co Galway has taken the action against his stepmother Mary Walsh from Perrsepark, Ballinasloe.
He claims he is entitled to more than €500,000 from a €3.3 million jackpot won in January 2011.
His signature was among six which were written on the back of the winning ticket.
Mr Walsh told the court he signed the ticket in the presence of his father and stepmother and was promised a share.
However his father died in December 2011 and he says his stepmother did not give him the money.
Mary Walsh says he was given a house instead of the money.
She claims she was the sole owner of the ticket but was advised by the National Lottery to allow family to sign the back of the ticket so they could avoid gift tax.
Today Mr Hughes said he had no memory of having a conversation with Ms Walsh or meeting her six years ago but said it was possible he gave her that advice.
He said while most syndicates were formed before a lotto win, some were formed afterwards and this happened "regularly".
He also said there were no rules on how winnings are divided or distributed.
"People often think if there is a syndicate that everyone gets an equal share. That is not the case and never has been the case. There are no rules on the division or the distribution of winnings," he said.
He said all winners are also advised to get legal and financial advice.
However in cross-examination counsel for David Walsh, Dervla Browne, said it was more logical that Mary Walsh said it was a syndicate because Mr Hughes wrote an email the next day describing it as such.
Ms Browne said there was only one phone call with him before those emails were sent.
Mr Hughes said he could only assume Ms Walsh told him she was the sole winner and then based on the information he gave her, decided to form a syndicate.
When pressed on why he made that assumption he said he could not answer that question.
He then said "perhaps she did say" it was a syndicate at the start.
Evidence has now concluded in the case.
Lawyers for both sides will make further legal submissions to the judge tomorrow.