A man has been ordered to hand over half of his massive $30 million (AU$43M) lottery prize to his ex-wife after winning the jackpot during their divorce proceedings, it has been reported.
The pair had been separated for two years at the time of the win but were reportedly not officially divorced – with Mary-Beth’s lawyers arguing that she was therefore entitled to some of the cash.
Unfortunately for Rich, the Oakland County Circuit Court ruled in favour of his ex-wife, granting her a whopping $15M of the prize on the basis it was considered “marital property”, the publication reports that Associated Press confirmed.
The US news outlet reportedly claimed that the decision was appealed, however the court still sided with Mary-Beth.
“It’s true that (the) defendant spent $1 to purchase the winning lottery ticket, however, the dollar spent was arguable marital money and as such, a joint investment,” arbitrator John Mills said, according to the news outlet.
Rich’s lawyer reportedly later claimed in a court document that Mary-Beth shouldn’t be given the funds.
“Rich was lucky, but it was his luck, not Mary’s, that produced the lottery proceeds,” news.com.au reports the lawyer wrote in a court filing.
This case holds similarities to one in the United Kingdom in 2010 that saw a man ordered to pay his ex-wife, who dumped him for another man, part of his lottery winnings.
This was despite the fact that Wendy had left Nigel almost a decade earlier to pursue a relationship with another man.
In the end, Metro reports the lottery winner gave his ex a total of £2 million in an out-of-court settlement. It is believed Nigel was the first lottery winner to be successfully sued by an ex-partner for part of the prize in the UK.
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