Jonas Lucas Alves Dias: Murdered after an extortion attempt a Brazilian who became a millionaire by winning the lottery | International

Citizens line up outside a lottery ticket sales point in the Ceilandia neighborhood of Brasilia in July 2020.
Citizens line up outside a lottery ticket sales point in the Ceilandia neighborhood of Brasilia in July 2020.ADRIANO MACHADO (Reuters)

A grand prize in the Brazilian lottery that made him a millionaire made him the victim of a brutal crime. Jonas Lucas Alves Dias, 55, who won 47 million reais (9 million dollars) in 2020 in the so-called Mega-Sena, the Brazilian national lottery, died on the 14th after being found seriously injured on a highway in Hortolândia, a city of 236,000 inhabitants in the interior of the state of São Paulo. He was taken to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries. Two of the four suspected of participating in the crime have been arrested.

Alves Dias, the millionaire who after winning the prize did not move and kept his habits, left his house for a walk and never came back. Police investigations indicate that he was under the control of criminals for about 20 hours after being kidnapped. The Brazilian Civil Police maintains that during this period the kidnappers tried to force him to take out some 3 million reais (almost 600,000 dollars). Audios obtained by the television program Fantastic from Rede Globo show Alves Dias asking his bank manager by phone to approve the millionaire transfer. A police station explained that the suspicious request was rejected because it was an “unreal” amount of money.

Despite the brutality of the crime, these types of cases are not new in Brazil: since 2007, at least four winners of the Mega-Sena prize have been murdered.

The Secretary of Public Security of São Paulo (SSP) reported, for its part, that the criminals withdrew around the equivalent in reais to 4,000 dollars from the victim’s account. The Civil Police maintains that the fortune he earned in 2020 was what motivated the attack, for which he has opened an investigation for the crime of larceny (robbery followed by death), in addition to extortion and homicide.

Police arrested two of the four suspects in the murder on Monday. One of them, Rogério de Almeida Spínola, was arrested in a city 35 kilometers from Hortolândia and has a criminal record. The arrest was confirmed by the governor of the State of São Paulo, Rodrigo García.

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Another person was arrested in the same city. Rebeca Messias Pereira Batista is identified as the owner of the bank account that received the money from Alves Dias during the kidnapping. Two other suspects remain at large.

Alves Dias became a millionaire, but he did not change his lifestyle. He continued to live in the same house in Hortolândia with his family. He didn’t reinforce his security either and continued to frequent the same places, almost always in his flip-flops. His neighbors have told the Brazilian press that everyone in the area knew of his fortune.

The easy-going lottery winner went on to have few luxuries: He quit his old job selling tools, bought a farm in a nearby town and gave a childhood friend a truck. For another, who was undergoing cancer treatment, he paid for expensive medicine. Everyone defined the millionaire as a man with a simple, humble life and a good heart, reports the local press.

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