$80m Lottery Winner Forced to Give Half of His Jackpot to Estranged Wife Amid Divorce
A court has ordered a lottery winner to share his $80 million jackpot with his estranged wife.
Richard Zelasko, a longtime gambler, had challenged the court saying it was his good luck that made him win the lottery, as reported by The Washington Post.
When Richard won the lotto, they were already living apart from each other...
His lawyer Scott Bassett said:
“Rich was lucky. But it was his luck, not Mary’s, that produced the lottery proceeds.”
But the court ruled in favor of an arbitrator who argued that the couple had shared losses in the part, so they should share the fortune.
Richard and Mary were going through their divorce when he bought the winning ticket in 2013. They had filed for divorce in 2011, but their divorce didn’t come into completion until 2018.
HUSBAND "FAILED" TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT
When Richard won the lotto, they were already living apart from each other while an arbitrator ironed out details of their separation, including custody of their three children and child support payments.
Richard, whose lotto jackpot was reduced by half after taxes and deductions, had not paid child support in the months following his win, according to the arbitrator.
In its decision, the court also noted that Mary earned roughly three times more than Richard in the years they had been together. Mary had a job while Richard was self-employed, running a T-shirt shop.
A HAPPIER LOTTERY STORY
Not all lottery wins are married with the marital rift.
Smithville couple Robert and Sandra Donaldson were a picture of marital harmony as they became multi-millionaires with $23.3 million lotto win.
Sandra even recorded the moment she broke the news to her husband, who cried like a baby in sheer joy.
Robert had no idea that his wife of 36 years was hiding a huge secret while he was in China. A video of the moment she told him of the great news had views in tears.