A lot of couples have a weekly tradition of purchasing a lottery ticket and planning out what they would do with their millions. Obviously, most of us will never actually win, but it's fun to dream. For Denise Robertson and her partner, Maurice Thibeault, winning the lottery has turned into an enormous legal battle and the end of their relationship.
Robertson has filed a lawsuit against her former common-law partner after claiming that he left their home and tried to claim the lottery winnings from the ticket they purchased together without her.
"Together we dreamed about winning the lotto," she stated in the affidavit last October. "We both love muscle cars, we would each buy one and buy a large property in the country and build a large shop to work on our cars."
The confusion started when they heard that one of the winning tickets for the lottery was sold in Chatham, the town where they live. Robertson asked her husband if he had purchased a ticket, and they talked about the potential. She said that he "made it clear" that the ticket was not a winner, and so nothing about it was said.
However, just days later Thibeault was gone. Robertson found out that he had quit his job, packed up all of his clothes and taken his passport with him. But why did he leave? Robertson discovered that he had bolted as soon as he realized he had won the lottery. But she wasn't about to give up on her dream...
The statement from her lawyer said, "When Denise looks back, she recalls that he did approximately 15 loads of laundry of all his clothes the night prior, and didn't put them into the drawers and closets, as if they was preparing to pack up and leave."
Robertson said that after a few days of him being gone, she got word from a mutual friend that Thibeault had sent a text to his boss with a photo of his winning ticket and quitting his job.
Immediately after hearing about this, Robertson filed an injunction that would prevent the lottery from paying out her former partner the full amount, and has moved forward with a lawsuit to secure herself half of the prize money.
Robertson is seeking half of the $6.1 million prize, plus $500,000 in damages, and for Thibeault to cover the cost of the lawyers. Steve Prickard is representing Robertson and he said, "I think it's more appropriate that this kind of case is heard by a jury because it is something that touches on... what the standards of morality are and what the community wants their law to be."
Thibeault's lawyer has another opinion on the matter. "This is no more complicated than a game of bingo," Richard Pollock, said to CBC. "He purchased a ticket, he won the ticket, he has claimed the prize. He is a good and honest man and what is at stake here is his reputation."
As of now, the prize has only been partially given out. Thibeault was awarded a check for half of the amount of the winnings. A photo of him holding a large check worth $3,073,361.30 was released on January 5th, but the other half of the winnings are being held until after the ruling of the Superior Court.
Do you buy lottery tickets with your partner? Could you imagine if they bolted without telling you with a winning ticket? What would your reaction be?