A woman was heartbroken when her partner left, only to find out he walked out following a huge £3.5 million lottery win from a ticket that she purchased.
Denise Robertson of Canada launched a legal battle to pry away half of her ex-partner Maurice Thibeault's £3.5 million jackpot, as well as £286,000 in punitive damages.
Denise said the pair, from Chatham, Ontario, would play Canada's Lotto 6/49 every week with an agreement to share any lottery winnings. The couple dreamed of buying a big house where they could delve into their shared love of muscle cars.
Maurice denied that he agreed to share any winnings with his ex-partner, the Sun reports.
But Maurice and Denise had the same rights as a marriage from being in a common-law relationship, where partners have co-habited for at least a year under Canadian jurisdiction. Denise also had a teenage daughter living with Maurice from July 2015 until September 2017.
Denise's lawyer, Steven Pickard, said that Ontario’s lottery regulator had only paid Maurice half his winning when he collected it. The regulator left the other £1.75 million half with the courts to determine its rightful owner.
Lawyer Steven Pickard said: “They always agreed that if they had a winning ticket, the proceeds would be theirs, together as a couple.
“Maurice and Denise have been buying Lotto 6/49 tickets together for almost their entire relationship…Sometimes he would purchase the tickets and sometimes Denise would."
He added: “Sometimes Denise would give him money, and he would buy the tickets when he went to pick up cigarettes.”
Denise’s legal team alleged that Maurice “behaved with deceit, arrogance, high-handedness and a callous disregard” for her and her rights.
Once Denise heard that someone in her town had bought the winning ticket – which entitled the winner to half of a £7 million jackpot – she asked Maurice if he had bought a ticket that week. Maurice allegedly “made it clear to Denise that they did not have the winning ticket.”
The next day when Denise came home, she was said to be “shocked to see that Maurice had packed up and removed all of his clothes, his toiletries and most of his other personal items and his Canadian passport.”
She alleged she found out that her ex-partner texted his boss to inform him that he was quitting his job and adding that he had broken up with Denise.
The message read: “Denise and I are no longer together. Since I left her Monday another life-changing thing has happened. I am sad to tell you by text but I will not be coming back to work.”
Afterwards, Maurice allegedly followed the text with a photo message of the winning lottery ticket.
But Maurice's lawyer, Richard Pollock, said that he had done nothing wrong: "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."
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