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Jury says lottery winner must share award with ex-boyfriend

Oh, the troubles of winning the lottery! For one lucky (or unlucky) woman in Sanford, Florida, a jury has ruled that she must share the prize with her ex-boyfriend.

The woman won a $1 million jackpot and claimed it in 2007. Her 62-year-old ex-beau sued the 62-year-old woman just a few months later. He claimed that there was an agreement between them that if either won a big lottery prize, it would be split evenly between them.

The relationship began in 1991 after she hired him for some home improvements. Afterward, she let the man move in and he lived there rent-free. In 2009, he was evicted. That was a year after he sued and two years after she had won the lottery prize.

The jury heard testimony from the woman, who said there was no such agreement to split the winnings. She said, "I told him that if I was married to him I'd divorce him. I told him I didn't want him around me." However, he said that sharing if they won the lottery was the woman's idea. There were two different stories about how the ticket was purchased, too. He said he gave her the money to buy it and she said she used her own money.

It's not known how the jury arrived at their award of $291,000, but the man's lawyer said he should have received much more if interest would have been added.

The woman alleged that she moved to her mother's house in 2003, even though she let the man continue to live at the other house. However, the address the woman used on her tax form declaring her lottery winnings was the same as the man's and a concealed weapons permit applied for in 2007 also had the same address.

Family law is more than just child custody, adoptions and divorce. It can also encompass these types of cases. If you have a family law issue, an attorney can help you sort out the details and provide you with your legal options.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "$1M lottery winner must share $291K with ex-beau, jury says," Rene Stutzman, Feb. 04, 2016

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