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Vancouver lottery winner loses in divorce case

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: Vancouver lottery winner loses in divorce case
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A $10 million lottery windfall brought an estranged Vancouver couple back together.

But eight years later, the marriage wound up in divorce court with a sticky issue to be resolved: What should be done with $2.2 million in an account the husband claimed was for his personal use?

In granting their divorce last week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Heather Holmes ruled the $2.2 million must be split between Minh Kien Le, 58, and his ex-wife, Mai Huong Cao, 55.

The couple escaped with their two young children by boat from their native Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975.

They settled in Terrace and later moved to Vancouver and scraped together enough money to buy a house on Fraser Street.

Le was laid off in 1996 and did odd jobs for cash until he became a multimillionaire in the Dec. 23, 1999 Super 7 draw.

After his win, Le gifted his three children $1.5 million each.

Together, the couple built a new house on West 59th Avenue and put it in Cao's name.

Both sides agreed that interest from a joint account containing $2.2 million paid household expenses of about $115,000 a year and should be divided equally.

But Le considered $2.2 million in an account in his name alone to be his, although he used some of the money for family purposes.

That was enough to satisfy the law on splitting assets.

"Challenged about how he could have paid from the joint account all the family expenses set out in his financial statement, [Le] responded that he would withdraw amounts from the second fund and place them in his own checking account as necessary to pay family or other expenses," said the judge, noting that amounted to paying the expenses from the second fund.

Vancouver Province

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29 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by KY Floyd.
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chasingadream's avatar - Archangel 01.jpg

United States
Member #38687
May 3, 2006
315 Posts
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Posted: April 17, 2007, 8:42 am - IP Logged

lol bless his lil heart.....he tried

Oogle  waiting patiently for my jackpot

    OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
    Gurnee, Illinois
    United States
    Member #49731
    February 12, 2007
    917 Posts
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    Posted: April 17, 2007, 8:59 am - IP Logged

    Although my wife and I have made a pact that we will never consider divorce as an option in our relationship, this is exactly why men and women who play the lottery absent their spouses participation should keep any win secret.  Just kidding.  But actually I wouldn't tell my wife if I ever won the lottery...she doesn't condone me playing it, so since she doesn't know I still play it, she doesn't need to know when I win it either.  Great logic don't you think?!  Well, hopefully for this guy he is on good terms with his children....he might need a place to stay since the house is in her name...how smart was that now?!!!

    Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

    The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

      tnlotto1's avatar - logo
      nashville
      United States
      Member #49896
      February 18, 2007
      1181 Posts
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      Posted: April 17, 2007, 9:33 am - IP Logged

      im single and i dont have any kids but it sounds like winning the lottery does put a strain on a few relationships.

        Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
        Zeta Reticuli Star System
        United States
        Member #30470
        January 17, 2006
        10355 Posts
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        Posted: April 17, 2007, 9:47 am - IP Logged

        OlsSchoolPa

        "...she doesn't condone me playing it, so since she doesn't know I still play it,..."

        If she's lurking on this board she knows now...

         Green laugh

        Sorry, but just couldn't resist 

        Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

        Lep

        There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

          justxploring's avatar - villiarna
          Wandering Aimlessly
          United States
          Member #25360
          November 5, 2005
          4461 Posts
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          Posted: April 17, 2007, 10:52 am - IP Logged

          I know Old School is joking, but it doesn't matter whether someone's spouse approves or disapproves of the lottery or what a person tells his/her spouse.  Although the Law in each state is different, if 2 people are legally married when the ticket is purchased, then it usually is considered to be joint property.  Sure it's very possible to hide assets, and many people do, but that means you are lying on a legal document about them.  You can always get a cheap no-contest divorce, but it's still lying if you don't list the lottery ticket where it asks you to list your income, your property and its estimated value.

            jeffrey's avatar - moon
            Hamilton, OH
            United States
            Member #4162
            March 27, 2004
            277 Posts
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            Posted: April 17, 2007, 11:43 am - IP Logged

            Money creates many options. Unfortunately, many couples stay together for financial reasons. Excess funds give people the option of looking for more personal happiness; hence, they divorce. It may be for the best.

              RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
              mid-Ohio
              United States
              Member #9
              March 24, 2001
              19831 Posts
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              Posted: April 17, 2007, 11:59 am - IP Logged

              I remember years ago when Ohio SuperLotto had $50M+ jackpots, a guy from Pennsylvania and his wife had drifted apart and was pretty much living their own lives happily with no problems until he won the Ohio lottery jackpot of $60M.  His wife had shacked up with some guy and he claimed his girlfriend/co-worker was a co-owner of his winning ticket thinking he would avoid splitting his winnings with his estrange wife.  His wife went to court and divorced him and also got half of his share of the winnings and the girlfriend decided to go her own way with her half and he ended up with just a quarter of the winnings which should have been all his.

               * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                 
                           Evil Looking       

                OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
                Gurnee, Illinois
                United States
                Member #49731
                February 12, 2007
                917 Posts
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                Posted: April 17, 2007, 1:13 pm - IP Logged

                I remember years ago when Ohio SuperLotto had $50M+ jackpots, a guy from Pennsylvania and his wife had drifted apart and was pretty much living their own lives happily with no problems until he won the Ohio lottery jackpot of $60M.  His wife had shacked up with some guy and he claimed his girlfriend/co-worker was a co-owner of his winning ticket thinking he would avoid splitting his winnings with his estrange wife.  His wife went to court and divorced him and also got half of his share of the winnings and the girlfriend decided to go her own way with her half and he ended up with just a quarter of the winnings which should have been all his.

                This is why I wouldn't tell my wife...not that we would get a divorce...I do not fear that...rather it is the point that she doesn't believe that I am still playing the lottery...so if I told her I (we) had won, she would know that I had not stopped playing the lottery.  In this case, this guy brought this all upon himself...sucker!  But at least he is a 1/4 Ohio SuperLotto jackpot sucker...better that than a never have won the jackpot sucker!

                Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

                The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

                  OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
                  Gurnee, Illinois
                  United States
                  Member #49731
                  February 12, 2007
                  917 Posts
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                  Posted: April 17, 2007, 1:20 pm - IP Logged

                  I know Old School is joking, but it doesn't matter whether someone's spouse approves or disapproves of the lottery or what a person tells his/her spouse.  Although the Law in each state is different, if 2 people are legally married when the ticket is purchased, then it usually is considered to be joint property.  Sure it's very possible to hide assets, and many people do, but that means you are lying on a legal document about them.  You can always get a cheap no-contest divorce, but it's still lying if you don't list the lottery ticket where it asks you to list your income, your property and its estimated value.

                  I wouldn't be trying to hide assets...oh my wife would know that our investment account would be huge...she would just think that I found a nice line of wealthy clients and businesses in my line of work...she would never know were the proceeds came from...yes, I know I would have to file taxes and that the lottery commission would send me a W-2G with "Lottery Commission" clearly printed on the outside of the envelop...that is why I would direct all lottery commission mail to a newly opened Post Office Box at my local post office and when we have our taxes done by a tax pro, I would cover up the line for lottery/gambling winnings as we review it so that she never sees the source (that might be the weak link in all my plans to keep it secret from my wife).  And no, she doesn't surf lottery websites...she's more into the fundamental christian websites.

                  Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

                  The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

                    tnlotto1's avatar - logo
                    nashville
                    United States
                    Member #49896
                    February 18, 2007
                    1181 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: April 17, 2007, 1:21 pm - IP Logged

                    I remember years ago when Ohio SuperLotto had $50M+ jackpots, a guy from Pennsylvania and his wife had drifted apart and was pretty much living their own lives happily with no problems until he won the Ohio lottery jackpot of $60M.  His wife had shacked up with some guy and he claimed his girlfriend/co-worker was a co-owner of his winning ticket thinking he would avoid splitting his winnings with his estrange wife.  His wife went to court and divorced him and also got half of his share of the winnings and the girlfriend decided to go her own way with her half and he ended up with just a quarter of the winnings which should have been all his.

                    that story is a nightmare because he had to give money to people who didnt want him anymore... but at least like the person above me said he has a quarter of the jackpot...Confused

                      OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
                      Gurnee, Illinois
                      United States
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                      February 12, 2007
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                      Posted: April 17, 2007, 1:23 pm - IP Logged

                      RJOH:  you mean to tell me that Ohio had a SuperLotto similar to California's Superlotto...starting at $7 million and increasing with each rollover just slightly less so than MM or PB?  What happened?!  I see your current lotto is getting up there, but it can't compare with CA SuperLotto.

                      Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

                      The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

                        LuckyLilly's avatar - savy chick.png

                        United States
                        Member #50124
                        February 26, 2007
                        601 Posts
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                        Posted: April 17, 2007, 1:30 pm - IP Logged

                        I remember years ago when Ohio SuperLotto had $50M+ jackpots, a guy from Pennsylvania and his wife had drifted apart and was pretty much living their own lives happily with no problems until he won the Ohio lottery jackpot of $60M.  His wife had shacked up with some guy and he claimed his girlfriend/co-worker was a co-owner of his winning ticket thinking he would avoid splitting his winnings with his estrange wife.  His wife went to court and divorced him and also got half of his share of the winnings and the girlfriend decided to go her own way with her half and he ended up with just a quarter of the winnings which should have been all his.

                        I disagree that it should have been all his.  Legally, half belonged to his estranged wife.  Then he had to go and try to cheat her out of her share by involving a person who would not have had a claim otherwise, and the fool ended up with only half of his share.

                        I think justice was served, and if I were his estranged/ex-wife wife, I'd be laughing my ass off everytime I enjoyed spending my full share.

                        Just one more reason to see a GOOD attorney before hopping off to cash the ticket. 

                          RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                          mid-Ohio
                          United States
                          Member #9
                          March 24, 2001
                          19831 Posts
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                          Posted: April 17, 2007, 5:38 pm - IP Logged

                          RJOH:  you mean to tell me that Ohio had a SuperLotto similar to California's Superlotto...starting at $7 million and increasing with each rollover just slightly less so than MM or PB?  What happened?!  I see your current lotto is getting up there, but it can't compare with CA SuperLotto.

                          At the time Ohio had the best game in the area, its jackpot increased $4M or more after every drawings if no one won so people from all five surrounding states played and often won.  Then Ohio decided that the maximum amount it would pay on a single ticket was $20M regardless of the jackpot size because some lawmakers thought more than $20M was more than a single player deserved and out of state players stopped playing.  Before Ohio got rid of that rules the other states lotteries became more popular and Ohio never regain it popularity and it added MegaMillions after Ohioan started going out of state to play PowerBall and BigGame.

                           * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                             
                                       Evil Looking       

                            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                            mid-Ohio
                            United States
                            Member #9
                            March 24, 2001
                            19831 Posts
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                            Posted: April 17, 2007, 6:05 pm - IP Logged

                            I disagree that it should have been all his.  Legally, half belonged to his estranged wife.  Then he had to go and try to cheat her out of her share by involving a person who would not have had a claim otherwise, and the fool ended up with only half of his share.

                            I think justice was served, and if I were his estranged/ex-wife wife, I'd be laughing my ass off everytime I enjoyed spending my full share.

                            Just one more reason to see a GOOD attorney before hopping off to cash the ticket. 

                            When his wife became estranged and started shacking up with another guy he should have divorced her then but that's what happens when a person doesn't take care of those legal things in a timely manner. 

                            If he wasn't planning on having a family with any those women then he would have been better off to have just played house and that way he could have just moved on when he won the lottery and kept it all.

                             * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                               
                                         Evil Looking