Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Woman Sues Ex for Half of $6 Million Lottery Win after He Left with Ticket

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Woman Sues Ex for Half of $6 Million Lottery Win after He Left with Ticket

Article excerpt

Woman sues ex for half of $6M lotto win

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An Ontario woman is suing her former common-law partner for allegedly denying that the couple had won $6 million in a provincial lottery before claiming the full prize for himself.

Denise Robertson's lawsuit against Maurice Thibeault and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation alleges the winning ticket was purchased with the understanding that any winnings would be split between the two parties.

Robertson's statement of claim alleges Thibeault kept up a long-standing tradition and purchased a ticket for the Sept. 20, 2017 draw, but later denied that it was a winner.

Days later, she alleges he packed up his belongings, left their home and tried to redeem the winning ticket. The OLG has since paid Thibeault half the prize while the rest remains in legal limbo.

Robertson's suit accuses Thibeault of breach of trust and unjust enrichment and seeks the roughly $3 million that would represent half the winnings from the lottery ticket, plus an additional half a million dollars in aggravated damages. She is asking that a jury hear her civil suit.

Representatives of OLG declined to offer specific comment on the suit, but Thibeault's lawyer Richard Pollock said his client denies there was ever an agreement in place with his former partner.

Pollock said Thibeault has readily complied with an OLG investigation into the matter and criticized Robertson for not taking part in an agency arbitration process to resolve the dispute.

"There's a statement of claim, and there is the truth," Pollock said in a telephone interview. "And the truth is that my client has participated with the OLG investigation in every respect, including offering to take a polygraph examination."

Pollock added that Thibeault had gone through with the polygraph and passed "with flying colours."

Robertson's lawyer Steven Pickard said his client decided to pursue a lawsuit in lieu of the arbitration process, arguing a court procedure would give both parties a better opportunity for a full investigation and fair hearing.

"The jury is critical in this," Pickard said. "I think this is a case where the public and the community needs to weigh in and say what they think is appropriate and what's acceptable in society. …

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