Man who won R1.4bn lotto jackpot forced to share half with his ex-wife

2019-06-24 11:27


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A Michigan, USA, man who won $80 million (R1,144 billion) from the Lotto was devastated when he was ordered to split his earnings with his ex-wife.

For richer or for poorer, surely Richard Dick Zelasko had no idea that these words would follow him even when he hits the jackpot.

According to People, “Though Dick and Mary Beth, who married in 2004 and share three children, were separated for two years at the time he won the Mega Million, a Michigan appeals court ruled that the Pontiac native must pay his ex-wife half the winnings, as their divorce was not yet final.”

The earnings were considered as “marital property” the arbitrator ruled, and Richard was forced to pay his ex-wife Mary $15 million (R214,5 million) since their divorce wasn’t finalised. The divorce was only finalised in 2018

Detroit Free Press states that, “In a court filing, an attorney for Rich Zelasko said, ‘Rich was lucky, but it was his luck, not Mary's, that produced the lottery proceeds’.”

The couple had agreed to let the arbitrator, John Mills, make decisions while the divorce was in process.

People states that, Scott G Bassett, Richard’s attorney, said he had filed an appeal brief to the Court of Appeals and a reconsideration motion after the decision was made on behalf of Richard. Bassett also noted that if the reconsideration was denied, they intend on appealing to the Michigan Supreme Court.



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