An Algerian man who won over £200,000 on a scratch card in Belgium found himself unable to claim the money because he doesn't have a bank account.

The prize, €250,000, is too large to be paid in cash but the man doesn't have the documents needed to open a bank account.

The 28-year-old doesn't have valid identity papers or a permanent address in the country, according to Belgian broadcaster VRT. 

A friend tried to help him claim the money but ended up being briefly detained on suspicion of theft.

The friend, who has the correct papers, headed to lottery headquarters in Brussels to try to collect the money the man won, which is required for any prize over €100,000. 

But he and two others were detained by police as they suspected they had stolen the €5 scratch card. 

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They were released when the winner explained the situation. 

The man's lawyer, Alexander Verstraete, said the lottery company won't make the payment without him opening a bank account which he couldn't do because of his undocumented status.

"We are looking for those documents that can prove his identity. He will have to contact his family in Algeria," Mr Verstraete told the AFP news agency.

He added that authorities have promised not to deport the man until he has received the prize money.

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The card is currently being held by a court in the town of Bruges, close to the port of Zeebrugge where it was bought.

The unnamed winner, who left Algeria four months ago, said he wants to use the money to build a life in Belgium.

"When I get the money, I am going to buy a place to live in Brussels. And maybe a car," he told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.

He first travelled to Spain by boat and reached Belgium after walking across Spain and France, according to Belgian media.

He had wanted to travel on to the UK, but now says he would prefer to remain in Belgium where he hopes to start a family.

"I will also look for a wife. Still, I am not going to find one with my money, but with my heart," he said.

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