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Siblings fight over lottery jackpot

InternationalInternational: Siblings fight over lottery jackpot
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Father died day after winning

The family of an Australian man who won almost $2 million in a lottery and died the next day has been fighting over who is entitled to the money.

Townsville Supreme Court has heard the fighting between Lajos Szanto's four children occurred over the wording of their father's will and whether or not he had bought the ticket for himself.

Lajos Szanto won $1,818,181.82 on February 13 last year, but was not able to enjoy his winnings after he died a day later, having bought the ticket earlier in the week.

His son Alexander Szanto last week took his siblings to court to determine whether he was entitled to share the money with brother Stephen Szanto and sister Margie Szanto, or whether the prize would go entirely to his sister Christina Aston and brother-in-law James Aston, who owned the home their father was living in.

The trial came as another unresolved dispute between the siblings goes through the courts to determine whether Lajos Szanto bought the ticket for himself or to share with son Stephen as well.

In the latest trial, Justice Kerry Cullinane had to determine what the ticket, which was found in Lajos Szanto's granny flat under the family's Townsville home, in far north Queensland, was defined as under the man's will.

One clause entitled "all furniture and chattels" in the home were to go to daughter Christina and her husband.

However, the next clause in the will said "the rest and residue of my estate both real and personal of whatsoever nature of any kind" was to go to his other three children to be shared equally.

The court heard of 11 previous cases before the judge reached a decision.

Justice Cullinane decided the prize money did not fall within the first clause and was deemed to be part of Lajos Szanto's "residual estate", meaning it was to be inherited equally by Alexander, Stephen and Margie Szanto.

However, the family feud is still not over, with the courts yet to decide on the separate matter of whether Lajos Szanto bought the ticket with the intention to share it with Stephen Szanto.

Townsville Bulletin, Lottery Post Staff

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36 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by rdgrnr.
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dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
Oklahoma
United States
Member #82391
November 12, 2009
5223 Posts
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Posted: April 19, 2011, 8:18 am - IP Logged

Such a  sad story his children should be ashamed of themselves for fighting like this.....the right thing to do is to split it between all the children......

RIP Mr. Szanto's.....

    sully16's avatar - sharan
    Listens to the wind

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    October 28, 2009
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    Posted: April 19, 2011, 8:53 am - IP Logged

    Such a  sad story his children should be ashamed of themselves for fighting like this.....the right thing to do is to split it between all the children......

    RIP Mr. Szanto's.....

    Very sad indeed, RIP Mr. Szantos

    There's only one US Flag

      rdgrnr's avatar - walt
      -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
      Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
      United States
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      Posted: April 19, 2011, 9:07 am - IP Logged

      It's hard to judge something like this.

      Were James and Christina trying to screw the others out of their rightful inheritance or did they feel they didn't deserve it because they never helped out taking care of Dad and had no use for him until he won the lottery? Maybe James and Christina had amassed considerable debt taking care of him and the others refused to contribute, who knows?

      Either way, it's terrible to see a family torn apart because of money.

      Family is far and away more important than money.


                                                   
                           
                                               

       

       

       

       

                                                                                                         

      "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                  --Edmund Burke

       

       

        foragoodcause's avatar - Lottery-021.jpg

        France
        Member #49288
        January 25, 2007
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        Posted: April 19, 2011, 11:41 am - IP Logged

        This story remind me of Analis Morisette's song:"And old man,turn 98,he won the lottery and died the next day" LOL

          themagician's avatar - artificial intelligence-1.jpg

          France
          Member #92437
          June 7, 2010
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          Posted: April 19, 2011, 12:23 pm - IP Logged

          well, it seems that money changes some peplo, for the bad.. too sad.. and they are going to be sorry..

          Imagination can take you anywhere

          http://www.artificialintelligencelotto.com 

            Lucki723's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
            Florida
            United States
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            July 6, 2008
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            Posted: April 19, 2011, 1:23 pm - IP Logged

            Another case of money tearing up a family. So Sad. Unhappy

            "To be the best, you have to work the hardest. You have to chase what seems impossible over and over and over again, because giving up is not an option, and when you feel like you've reached your limit, it's only the beginning, that's when it's time to dig deep, to find the courage to push some more, because if you've got the drive, the discipline, and the bizarre to do what it takes to make yourself great, then the rewards are endless.” L James 

              savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
              adelaide sa
              Australia
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              April 11, 2006
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              Posted: April 19, 2011, 1:50 pm - IP Logged

              more and more it doesnt matter what a will states. the court will over rule in a more equitable  way . especially among  siblings.

              even it it stated  all to go to 1 child, the court will over rule it.

              people must think lawyers are hard up and need the cash.

              2014 winnings

              JAN -$48.50;  FEB  -$77.5; MAR -$18.05;  APR -$96.05 MAY -$61.10; JUN $-85;

                BabyJC's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg

                United States
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                January 7, 2004
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                Posted: April 19, 2011, 2:40 pm - IP Logged

                Gosh yes!

                  TheOtherOne's avatar - Lottery-027.jpg
                  Nashville, TN
                  United States
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                  February 9, 2010
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                  Posted: April 19, 2011, 5:10 pm - IP Logged

                  They are his children, so they should split it equally, especially since his will basically says so.

                  What, is the one daughter trying to say that becuase the ticket was under or in the furniture that she should get it? Maybe I mis read that, but bottom line is the ticket is not "furniture" so it should be split between the kids.

                    Tenaj's avatar - michellea
                    Charlotte NC
                    United States
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                    June 18, 2005
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                    Posted: April 19, 2011, 5:38 pm - IP Logged

                    The will is clear, the daughter get the furniture and everything else is to be share equally among the other children regardless of what it is.

                    I took a refresher business writing/grammar class this winter and the instructor said that this type of legal battle caused the rules to change with the use of a comma in front of the word "and" in a series.

                    Janet, Mark and Sharon

                    Janet thought she should get 33 1/3 and that Mark and Sharon should split the other 33 between them.  So the comma rule was changed to put a comma in front of the word and.

                    Janet, Mark, and Sharon

                    takeemtothebank

                      TheGameGrl's avatar - p42a
                      Pennsylvania
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                      June 10, 2005
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                      Posted: April 19, 2011, 6:38 pm - IP Logged

                      It's hard to judge something like this.

                      Were James and Christina trying to screw the others out of their rightful inheritance or did they feel they didn't deserve it because they never helped out taking care of Dad and had no use for him until he won the lottery? Maybe James and Christina had amassed considerable debt taking care of him and the others refused to contribute, who knows?

                      Either way, it's terrible to see a family torn apart because of money.

                      Family is far and away more important than money.

                       Rd, until I read your commetary, as others should as well, its clear that your scenario does shed a different light on this. The issue though is, despite the scenario did the Father still want all his children included? Bottom line, it appears from the will he did want that. Maybe in their younger years they helped their mother and therefore were tapped out. Who knows. I do know this, the man left this world with children alive and some money to spare, no more a blessing can bestowed a person.

                      And each of the kids should sit in a corner for a five minute time out! Thats my ruling and I'm sticking to it :)

                      ________________________________

                      Signature quote-If I'd agree with you , we'd both be wrong.

                        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                        -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
                        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                        United States
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                        April 28, 2009
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                        Posted: April 19, 2011, 7:24 pm - IP Logged

                         Rd, until I read your commetary, as others should as well, its clear that your scenario does shed a different light on this. The issue though is, despite the scenario did the Father still want all his children included? Bottom line, it appears from the will he did want that. Maybe in their younger years they helped their mother and therefore were tapped out. Who knows. I do know this, the man left this world with children alive and some money to spare, no more a blessing can bestowed a person.

                        And each of the kids should sit in a corner for a five minute time out! Thats my ruling and I'm sticking to it :)

                        I've actually seen a couple scenarios like that with families of people I know . Deadbeat relatives who wanted nothing to do with old mamaw or papaw until they heard she or he passed and were right there immediately with their hands out for "their share". Sad situation.


                                                                     
                                             
                                                                 

                         

                         

                         

                         

                                                                                                                           

                        "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

                         

                         

                          Avatar
                          nassau
                          Bahamas
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                          February 22, 2009
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                          Posted: April 19, 2011, 7:25 pm - IP Logged

                          if the dad was living wit his sister and her husban.i tink the court should let them have some of the money 2,y because they were the 1 to take care of her brother not the kids and if there dad ment any ting 2 them he would have been living wit one of them and not his sister now the kids here daddy leave money they want 2 play like the good kids no i dont tink so

                            dphillips's avatar - littleuns
                            Albuquerque, New Mexico
                            United States
                            Member #5128
                            June 18, 2004
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                            Posted: April 19, 2011, 7:40 pm - IP Logged

                            Wow, there's even sibling rivalry in other countries. We often hear about family hostilities in the United States, but we're accustomed to hearing about jealousy here in our own backyard.

                            Perhaps, the deceased intended to make changes in his will, including some members, and leaving some out -- but that's a bit little too late, unfortunately.

                            Post members, if you don't have an iron clad Will, make one; and if you intend on making changes, don't waste time, do it now. Or better yet, leave $1.00 to each family member and give the rest to foundations, charities, or close friends, as long as you're legally sane and competent to do so.

                            Finally, live each day as if it were your last; life is too short for drama.

                            See Ya!-- Bye, bye!  When you win, may you glow as brightly as theSun Smiley