Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 6, 2016, 4:42 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Jury: Lottery winner must pay ex-boyfriend part of winnings

Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Jury: Lottery winner must pay ex-boyfriend part of winnings
51
Rating:

SANFORD, Fla. — A jury Thursday ruled that a former middle school teacher who won a $1 million lottery jackpot must pay $291,000 to her former sweetheart, who testified that he handed her the money to buy the winning ticket.

Lynn Poirier, 62, claimed the prize in 2007. Her live-in boyfriend, Howard Browning, 62, sued her a few months later, claiming they had a long-standing agreement: If one of them won a major lottery prize, they'd split it 50-50.

But Poirier gave jurors a very different version of events. She said there was no agreement and that four years earlier she broke off their romance and moved out.

"I told him that if I was married to him I'd divorce him. I told him I didn't want him around me," she said.

(See Florida lottery winner back in court for retrial, Lottery Post, Feb. 2, 2016.)

Jurors deliberated three and a half hours Thursday before returning their verdict. They ruled that the couple had a binding contract and that Poirier breached it.

They ordered her to pay $291,000.

It's not clear how they came to that total.

"It should have been a lot more," said Browning, who works on a landscaping crew.

"Right now I'm going to maybe take a couple of days off and relax. There's been lots of tension going on here," he said.

Poirier left the Seminole County Courthouse without comment.

Browning is entitled to substantially more money than $291,000, according to his attorney, Sean Sheppard, because he's due eight years of interest. That would likely add more than $100,000 to the judgment.

On Monday Browning told jurors that June 2, 2007, they were at an Oviedo convenience store, that he handed her $20 to buy the $1 million Florida Lottery raffle ticket and that she handed the money to the clerk.

But Poirier said she was alone, that she had stopped for fuel, bought the ticket then by chance bumped into Browning as she headed back to her car.

"Never under any condition, any place, anywhere did I say I would split lottery winnings with Howard Browning," she told jurors.

The two fell in love in 1991. She hired him to make improvements to her Geneva farmhouse then let him move in and live rent free. She had him evicted in 2009, two years after she won the jackpot and one year after he sued her, demanding half of her winnings.

Sheppard told jurors that Poirier was the one who suggested in 1992 that they share any future jackpots. She also raised the issue again in 1993, the last time they discussed it, Sheppard said.

Poirier's attorney, Mark Sessums, said the couple may have had an agreement in the early 1990s but their relationship had changed dramatically over the years.

Their romance ended in 2003, Poirier said, a claim Browning said was untrue.

Although Browning continued to live in the farmhouse, she moved a short distance away to her mother's house on Lake Pickett Road, she said.

Sessums said when she won the jackpot, Poirier was engaged to marry a bail bondsman in Arkansas and Browning had started a romance with a local 7-Eleven clerk.

Browning described his relationship with that woman as a close friendship. He told jurors he saw Poirier's engagement ring but insisted that that did not stop her from having sex with him.

At the time of the lottery drawing, he said, they were still sweethearts.

"She was definitely lying on the stand.... Lynn and I lived there all that time," Browning said.

Sheppard showed jurors Poirier's concealed weapons permit, which she applied for in April 2007. The address listed on it: the Geneva farmhouse.

The same address appeared on a 2007 tax form sent to Poirier by the state of Florida, documenting her lottery winnings.

At the time of the jackpot, Poirier, who has a doctorate degree, worked as a special education teacher at South Seminole Middle School and Browning, a high school dropout, was an out-of-work mechanic. She has since retired.

Orlando Sentinel

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

38 comments. Last comment 10 months ago by HaveABall.
Page 1 of 3
larry3100's avatar - larry icon2.jpg
Redwood City,California
United States
Member #70503
February 3, 2009
200 Posts
Offline
Posted: February 5, 2016, 1:44 pm - IP Logged

It's another " He said, she said " case. There's got to be a law in state lotteries that would not allow oral agreements. If Howard had signed that winning ticket with Lynn at the time of that lottery ticket purchase, there would be no lawsuit and Lynn would have had to share the winnings with Howard.

    OneTrickpony's avatar - thought

    United States
    Member #167657
    July 25, 2015
    70 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 5, 2016, 1:46 pm - IP Logged

    Oh great.  Now anyone who even THINKS that they  have an oral agreement with a lottery winner will be suing for half of their winnings.  Like these jerk store employees who constantly say to everyone buying tickets "Now if you win, you are splitting this with me, right?"  This woman must have an idiot for an attorney, as it isn't even mentioned that this jerk won a brand new car and didn't sell it and split to proceeds with HER.  I don't understand how they can award him $291k, and then his lawyer has the cojones to say they want the interest too?!  Only in Florida...

      sookie's avatar - nw femalewiz.jpg

      United States
      Member #142686
      May 17, 2013
      94 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 5, 2016, 2:00 pm - IP Logged

      This isn't good.  People will show up out of no where and say hey 15 years ago we had an agreement to split the winnings!

      If it's not in writing, it's not valid.  Anyone can claim they made an agreement.   I also used to get comments like that too. People would see or hear I play and say omg you'll remember your best friend right! 

      They get disappointed when I explain that no I won't be sharing it.   I've had clerks make comments hey you gonna share that?  To which I say no. People are always taken a back but hey its crap like this that makes me very curt on this. 

      Want to win?  Buy your own ticket.  So glad my state is anonymous

        noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
        Bay Area - California
        United States
        Member #136477
        December 12, 2012
        4107 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 5, 2016, 2:35 pm - IP Logged

        That is why it pays to play SOLO.

        Even if you in a relationship with someone,  under NO circumstances should you bring up the topic of " join me in a lottery pool for two" unless you dead certain that this person is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with.If you don't share a checking account with your gf/ bf at present- there is " No us" when it comes to money,  especially lottery wins. This woman got screwed by this jury.

        People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

          Avatar
          Alpharetta, GA
          United States
          Member #169547
          October 23, 2015
          123 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 5, 2016, 2:55 pm - IP Logged

          Not the way I hoped this case would turn out. 

          This opens the door for all kinds of these "he said she said" or what have you   And turning this matter over to a jury likely jealous of the winner and wanting to punish them- well look at how well this turned out for this gal 

          Definately play solo. No "oral agreements". Heck don't even tell

          people you play lest you get into this mess.  Frivolous lawsuits are a real

          problem. Too bad in this case the frivolous person won.

            Avatar
            Alpharetta, GA
            United States
            Member #169547
            October 23, 2015
            123 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 5, 2016, 2:58 pm - IP Logged

            This isn't good.  People will show up out of no where and say hey 15 years ago we had an agreement to split the winnings!

            If it's not in writing, it's not valid.  Anyone can claim they made an agreement.   I also used to get comments like that too. People would see or hear I play and say omg you'll remember your best friend right! 

            They get disappointed when I explain that no I won't be sharing it.   I've had clerks make comments hey you gonna share that?  To which I say no. People are always taken a back but hey its crap like this that makes me very curt on this. 

            Want to win?  Buy your own ticket.  So glad my state is anonymous

            That's correct. Oral agreements mean diddly squat.  I'm annoyed but I'm not surprised by this jury.  Total case of "jackpot envy". Oh she won so she MUST share.  What nonsense.  That was her ticket not his.  And dollars to

            donuts this fella is a total mooch anyways and that is part of the reason why they broke up.  He didn't share his winnings with her.  Moron jurors.

              Avatar
              Alpharetta, GA
              United States
              Member #169547
              October 23, 2015
              123 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 5, 2016, 3:03 pm - IP Logged

              Oh great.  Now anyone who even THINKS that they  have an oral agreement with a lottery winner will be suing for half of their winnings.  Like these jerk store employees who constantly say to everyone buying tickets "Now if you win, you are splitting this with me, right?"  This woman must have an idiot for an attorney, as it isn't even mentioned that this jerk won a brand new car and didn't sell it and split to proceeds with HER.  I don't understand how they can award him $291k, and then his lawyer has the cojones to say they want the interest too?!  Only in Florida...

              I totally agree but I can't believe I am

              about to defend an attorney but the

              blame truly lies with the idiot jurors... Likely a case of "jackpot" envy.  And the poorer jurors wamted

              to punish the winner.  I'm just saying.   I don't entirely trust the "jury of your peers"

              concept either since people have biases and prejudices that can't always be ascertained and most people of a lower socioeconomic status would have a bias or a dislike against rich people ( especially those who won money). I'm not saying that judges are much better just pointing out that these biases exist and that is why people need to be so careful.

                savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                adelaide sa
                Australia
                Member #37136
                April 11, 2006
                3300 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 5, 2016, 3:26 pm - IP Logged

                I believe at one point they did have an agreement to split, maybe when the romance was young. but over the years of one person buying all the tickets, and the other mooching free rent, although with  house repairs as  a sort of payment, I can see why the split wouldnt seem fair. no idea where the truth lies in this. some where in the middle i would guess.  personally as juror, i would have awarded $20k on the off chance the moocher  had any real validity in his claim.
                I bet if you asked the store clerks who do they recall seeing buying  tickets, non  would point at him.

                2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

                keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

                  TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
                  Brooklyn, NY
                  United States
                  Member #169723
                  October 29, 2015
                  877 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: February 5, 2016, 3:40 pm - IP Logged

                  So...they had a verbal agreement to split any proceeds from a lottery win. Probably they did, when the romance was young. But, now that they split up, do they have to have an end of verbal agreement?

                  You know like....Remember we had that agreement to split any lottery or other wins....well now that we're splitting up, that agreement is over too! 

                  The Meatman

                  “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

                  Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

                    savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                    adelaide sa
                    Australia
                    Member #37136
                    April 11, 2006
                    3300 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: February 5, 2016, 3:42 pm - IP Logged

                    well meat man, it is prob a good idea to mention it. i mean  verbal agreements do seem to have a standing in court now.

                    2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

                    keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

                      TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
                      Brooklyn, NY
                      United States
                      Member #169723
                      October 29, 2015
                      877 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: February 5, 2016, 3:47 pm - IP Logged

                      well meat man, it is prob a good idea to mention it. i mean  verbal agreements do seem to have a standing in court now.

                      I guess so

                      This may sound funny, but I would suggest that anytime you make an oral agreement, take the time to put it down in writing and get all interested parties to sign it,

                      It no longer becomes an oral agreement, but at least it won't be he said / she said.

                      The Meatman

                      “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

                      Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

                        travelintrucker's avatar - morph
                        Greenville, SC
                        United States
                        Member #169870
                        November 4, 2015
                        374 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: February 5, 2016, 3:50 pm - IP Logged

                        Was the ticket bough while they were together or after the split?

                        May the balls bounce in your favor!

                          TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
                          Brooklyn, NY
                          United States
                          Member #169723
                          October 29, 2015
                          877 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: February 5, 2016, 3:53 pm - IP Logged

                          Was the ticket bough while they were together or after the split?

                          He was still living in her home, but she was engaged to another man and he was seeing a 7-eleven clerk.

                          The Meatman

                          “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

                          Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

                            travelintrucker's avatar - morph
                            Greenville, SC
                            United States
                            Member #169870
                            November 4, 2015
                            374 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: February 5, 2016, 4:00 pm - IP Logged

                            I doubt any jury in their right mind would award money to a person whom came out of the woodwork after 15 years and said we had a verbal agreement. That's got shake down written all over it. However, in this case, I think the chick was lying. Why would you get a lottery tax document sent to your "former" address if you moved out years prior to the win. Sounds fishy to me. I address I stay at is different from the address on my CDL. I make sure that all my important mail comes to my living address.

                            May the balls bounce in your favor!