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Man who won millions from lottery during divorce case must share

Jun 20, 2019, 7:14 am

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Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Man who won millions from lottery during divorce case must shareRating:

A suburban Detroit man who was in the middle of a divorce when he won more than $30 million must share the lottery windfall with his ex-wife.

The Michigan appeals court says a marriage isn't over until it's over. It means Mary Beth Zelasko can keep $15 million awarded by an arbitrator, although she and Rich Zelasko had been separated for two years when he bought the Mega Millions ticket in 2013. Their divorce wasn't final until 2018.

In a court filing, an attorney for Rich Zelasko said, "Rich was lucky, but it was his luck, not Mary's, that produced the lottery proceeds." But arbitrator John Mills said the ticket was marital property. The couple had agreed to have Mills make certain decisions during the divorce case.

The appeals court last week found no errors.

AP

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21 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by Stack47.
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music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
USN United States Navy
Fresno, California
United States
Member #157851
August 2, 2014
3959 Posts
Offline

 A marriage becomes a business transaction after a divorce. 

 "Their divorce wasn't final until 2018." They separated in 2011.

 I hope that they will become friends again who can celebrate their win.

Ponder

 "We are all in this together!" 

    TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
    A long and winding road
    United States
    Member #17083
    June 10, 2005
    6526 Posts
    Offline

    So the former Mrs and uncle Sam get their share. 

    I suppose she sleeps with her greed better when it's covered in cash. Next she'll want spousal support. 

    He did agree to a third party to negotiate the divorce terms. So sounds like he has some sensibility.

    Count your smiles.

      Artist77's avatar - batman14

      United States
      Member #121741
      January 16, 2012
      7766 Posts
      Offline

      Lol. Simple case. They were still married, not divorced. It has nothing to do with greed.  Of course, we all recall the bum who was supported by his ex wife for years. When he won, she asked for nothing and she was still paying spousal support.

      Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

        Avatar
        Simpsonville
        United States
        Member #163184
        January 22, 2015
        2389 Posts
        Offline

        It is only fair IMHO.   Just like the military where a Colorado Senator I believe had legislation passed that if you are married for greater than 10 years in the military and divorce, he or she automatically forfeits 50% of their retirement.

         

        Now LP members, especially you legal types, had Michigan been an anonymous state, do you think he could have pulled a fast one and got away with the whole kit and caboodle? 

          Raven62's avatar - binary
          25
          New Jersey
          United States
          Member #17842
          June 28, 2005
          137548 Posts
          Online

          I guess he didn't have one:

          A Legal Separation: Legally create a space between you and your spouse. You live separately. Your Finances are Separated. Child custody, child support, division of marital assets and debts, and spousal support (called alimony if you divorce) are all ordered by the court.

          A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

          Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

          Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

            wander73's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

            United States
            Member #153769
            March 24, 2014
            4785 Posts
            Offline

            Sucks for him,  a win for her.  Money is the root of all evils.  In the end, technically it doesn't matter.  Then again not my business.

              Avatar
              Chasing $ Millions.
              White Shores- California
              United States
              Member #136473
              December 12, 2012
              6488 Posts
              Offline

              Rich had options. He could have stopped playing the lottery after his separation or he could have broomed Mary permanently.

              friend gets GIF

               * Voice of Reason *   

               

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

                dpoly1's avatar - driver
                PA
                United States
                Member #66139
                October 16, 2008
                1998 Posts
                Offline

                NO!

                Cussing Face

                dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                 

                Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                  music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
                  USN United States Navy
                  Fresno, California
                  United States
                  Member #157851
                  August 2, 2014
                  3959 Posts
                  Offline

                  Sucks for him,  a win for her.  Money is the root of all evils.  In the end, technically it doesn't matter.  Then again not my business.

                  wander73, It is, "The love of money ..."

                   I do not think that money is good or bad. It is paper, digits. 

                   Law Enforcement follows the trail of the money in a crime scene. "Follow the money"

                   Corruption and corrupt officials are usually discovered by following the money.

                   "We are all in this together!" 

                    Artist77's avatar - batman14

                    United States
                    Member #121741
                    January 16, 2012
                    7766 Posts
                    Offline

                    It is only fair IMHO.   Just like the military where a Colorado Senator I believe had legislation passed that if you are married for greater than 10 years in the military and divorce, he or she automatically forfeits 50% of their retirement.

                     

                    Now LP members, especially you legal types, had Michigan been an anonymous state, do you think he could have pulled a fast one and got away with the whole kit and caboodle? 

                    No. I think the lottery officials must have claiming forms which includes marital status.  They likely have an IRS contact since they withhold a certain percentage so they must know info for any claimant. Your marital status is not private info so it can be shared between state entities.  They probably ask about back child support, etc.

                    Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

                      LiveInGreenBay's avatar - driver
                      Green Bay
                      United States
                      Member #169386
                      October 15, 2015
                      2629 Posts
                      Offline

                      15 million before taxes isn't too bad.  Every hot blond in Michigan will be hunting that guy down.  LOL

                      Never give up.  Banana

                        TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                        A long and winding road
                        United States
                        Member #17083
                        June 10, 2005
                        6526 Posts
                        Offline

                        Lol. Simple case. They were still married, not divorced. It has nothing to do with greed.  Of course, we all recall the bum who was supported by his ex wife for years. When he won, she asked for nothing and she was still paying spousal support.

                        Yes. In certain states you are either married or a dissolution has been rendered. There is no acknowledgement for "legal separation". 

                        Totally understand that Michigan is of the former. 

                         

                        Doesn't mean.she HAD to go after his win. She sure as honey wouldn't be accountable for his debts during the separate residency. 

                        I would have signed a waiver not to claim. But that's just me. I tend to not piggyback  off another's luck.

                        Count your smiles.

                          Avatar
                          Kentucky
                          United States
                          Member #32651
                          February 14, 2006
                          9070 Posts
                          Offline

                          It is only fair IMHO.   Just like the military where a Colorado Senator I believe had legislation passed that if you are married for greater than 10 years in the military and divorce, he or she automatically forfeits 50% of their retirement.

                           

                          Now LP members, especially you legal types, had Michigan been an anonymous state, do you think he could have pulled a fast one and got away with the whole kit and caboodle? 

                          Ohio might be an anonymous claiming state but their lottery's claim form asks if the winners if they defaulted on child or spousal support.

                          I am / am not (circle one) in default of an administrative or court order in Ohio requiring the payment of child or spousal support (Knowingly making a false affirmation regarding default under a child or spousal support order is a criminal offense under Revised Code section 3770.99(B)).

                          The Michigan claims form only mentions IRS obligations. And Zelasko agreed to arbitration and the arbitrator called it marital property.

                            Artist77's avatar - batman14

                            United States
                            Member #121741
                            January 16, 2012
                            7766 Posts
                            Offline

                            Yes. In certain states you are either married or a dissolution has been rendered. There is no acknowledgement for "legal separation". 

                            Totally understand that Michigan is of the former. 

                             

                            Doesn't mean.she HAD to go after his win. She sure as honey wouldn't be accountable for his debts during the separate residency. 

                            I would have signed a waiver not to claim. But that's just me. I tend to not piggyback  off another's luck.

                            Property is property regardless of the luck factor.

                            So, in a reverse situation with you winning a jp, you would have expected your separated spouse to waive his share?

                            Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!