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PA man ordered to give former girlfriend half of $100,000 lottery prize

Oct 12, 2020, 12:30 pm

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Pennsylvania LotteryPennsylvania Lottery: PA man ordered to give former girlfriend half of $100,000 lottery prizeRating:

He broke up with her a week after winning

By Kate Northrop

CARBONDALE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel ruled on Friday that a man who split from his long-time girlfriend one week after winning $100,000 from a scratch-off lottery ticket must give her half the winnings.

During a period of attempted reconciliation in February 2018, Jeffrey Jones and Ruthann Colachino were ecstatic to win a $100,000 prize from the "Bingo Squared" scratch-off game.

The money used to buy the winning ticket came from a sizable tax refund of $5,501 from claiming their child as a dependent, therefore Jones agreed to share the refund with Colachino. Shortly after midnight on Feb. 22, 2018 Jones received the money in his bank account, and the pair immediately went out to the local Turkey Hill Minit Market to buy some lottery tickets.

Court documents cite that both Jones and Colachino were frequent shoppers at the convenience store and were well-known for purchasing lottery tickets in each other's company. The couple returned to their shared home, where Jones scratched off the winning ticket to discover that it was a prize-winning ticket worth $100,000.

"The parties were understandably elated, and loudly professed their shared intention to use the money to leave public housing and buy a home together with the winnings," court documents read.

That same day, the winners claimed their prize at the Pennsylvania Lottery Office in Middletown, which totaled $72,930 after taxes. Despite the joyous windfall, things weren't happy for long.

One week later on March 3, 2018, Jones broke off his relationship with Colachino. They never bought a home, and Jones did not share a single cent of the lottery winnings with his former girlfriend.

Colachino promptly filed a complaint on March 15 that accused Jones of violating the agreement they had to equally share the lottery winnings.

Following a lengthy and in-depth review of the case, including surveillance footage at the convenience store and testimonies from Jones, Colachino, and even the clerk who sold the winning ticket, a Lackawanna County judge ruled on Oct. 8, 2019 that both Jones and Colachino were involved in a joint venture, and that Colachino was entitled to one half of the proceeds from the winning lottery ticket.

Jones appealed the decision, arguing that there was truly never a joint venture between him and his then-girlfriend because they did not combine resources for the purposes of purchasing lottery tickets. Rather, he claimed, they made their own individual purchases. He also inferred that any verbal agreement to split the winnings is a resulting trust, and that the imposition of a resulting trust can only be made through a court in equity.

Judge Mary Jane Bowes denied his post-trial motions on Nov. 15, 2019 and concluded that Colachino was indeed entitled to her fair share of the prize based on testimony, video evidence, and the fact that the pair had jointly bought the ticket. Even after the purchase, both parties "enjoyed a 'right of mutual control' over the lottery tickets, as evinced by their inability to differentiate amongst the tickets purchased."

"Contrary to Mr. Jones arguments, his testimony evinces a clear intent to use the winnings for the mutual benefit of the parties," Bowes determined.

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15 comments. Last comment 12 days ago by noise-gate.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
25
New Jersey
United States
Member #17842
June 28, 2005
132190 Posts
Offline

Party Congrats to the Ex Couple! Party

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.

    Avatar
    Chasing $ Millions.
    White Shores- California
    United States
    Member #136473
    December 12, 2012
    6337 Posts
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    .. so in Jeff's world, Ruthann is worthy of carrying his child, but not worthy of geting half the winnings? Good to read that the judge saw through his BS

     * Voice of Reason *   

     

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

      ConstantlyB's avatar - chi
      Wilson
      United States
      Member #54514
      August 21, 2007
      2818 Posts
      Offline

      BOTH should have signed the ticket. Greed reared it's ugly head.

      "Stay focused and keep pushing!"Lep Pets 394*385*734*752*707*648

      wisdom from Tyler Perry's Madea:"It doesn't matter what people call you....it's what you answer to."

        TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
        A long and winding road
        United States
        Member #17083
        June 10, 2005
        6507 Posts
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        BOTH should have signed the ticket. Greed reared it's ugly head.

        I hadn't thought of that. If it was claimed together . 

        When an associate won a large chunk, he and his friend had to file the claim based on ratio of split funds. 60-40, 50-50. Whatever their agreement was. So would not muddy the waters .

        2500,2202,4441,6506,202, *13***

          TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
          A long and winding road
          United States
          Member #17083
          June 10, 2005
          6507 Posts
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          .. so in Jeff's world, Ruthann is worthy of carrying his child, but not worthy of geting half the winnings? Good to read that the judge saw through his BS

          You might want to apply that voice of reason. 

          The offspring is irrelevant. 

          This is about a verbal contract. A he said, she took. Typical ....*sigh*

          2500,2202,4441,6506,202, *13***

            Avatar
            Kentucky
            United States
            Member #32651
            February 14, 2006
            8998 Posts
            Offline

            You might want to apply that voice of reason. 

            The offspring is irrelevant. 

            This is about a verbal contract. A he said, she took. Typical ....*sigh*

            "The money used to buy the winning ticket came from a sizable tax refund of $5,501 from claiming their child as a dependent, therefore Jones agreed to share the refund with Colachino.  "

            Didn't read the trial transcripts, but since it's in the article, it appears the offspring is very relevant. It would be more likely a "he said, she said" if they didn't live together and have a child. I really doubt any judge would ignore the relationship they were in the day the ticket was purchased.

            Edited to add: If two LP members agreed to split an MM, PB, or lotto prize and posted it in one of the forums, is that a binding agreement?

            Mister we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again

              Avatar
              Chasing $ Millions.
              White Shores- California
              United States
              Member #136473
              December 12, 2012
              6337 Posts
              Offline

              You might want to apply that voice of reason. 

              The offspring is irrelevant. 

              This is about a verbal contract. A he said, she took. Typical ....*sigh*

              You obviously have no children, since you not thinking like a Mother. However If you had a child from this Jeff & he pulled the same shenanigans with you- would you feel it was no big deal? How about that reasoning? 

               * Voice of Reason *   

               

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

                Raven62's avatar - binary
                25
                New Jersey
                United States
                Member #17842
                June 28, 2005
                132190 Posts
                Offline

                Party Congrats to the Ex Couple! Party

                And Welcome to the World of Palimony!

                Palimony is the division of financial assets and real property on the termination of a personal live-in relationship wherein the parties are not legally married.

                FYI: The term palimony is not a legal or historical term, but rather a colloquial portmanteau of the words pal and alimony.

                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.

                  Artist77's avatar - batman14

                  United States
                  Member #121741
                  January 16, 2012
                  7679 Posts
                  Offline

                  And Welcome to the World of Palimony!

                  Palimony is the division of financial assets and real property on the termination of a personal live-in relationship wherein the parties are not legally married.

                  FYI: The term palimony is not a legal or historical term, but rather a colloquial portmanteau of the words pal and alimony.

                  And that is taken directly from Wikipedia.  I know I have pointed this out before but it is always better and honest to attribute your sources and verbatim quotes.

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

                    cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

                    United States
                    Member #197033
                    March 28, 2019
                    548 Posts
                    Offline

                    I feel sorry for that child.

                    ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...

                      DrMiracle's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcSZfr3g-6xRNhDA2-tgWdb5fVaacJgb_ybXvQWgy-qL1s6p
                      MARYLAND
                      United States
                      Member #119880
                      December 5, 2011
                      1742 Posts
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                       I have no clue what kind of jobLurking they do for a living, and since they are living in "public housing"Patriot,    they might be getting Subsidized CoverageEek 

                      But they do spend money on gambling. ROFL

                      Since Jones lost the case in Court, he has to pay the attorney fees for both parties out of $ 72,930.  And now they may not qualify for state benefits. Do they?

                      "I've always won, and I'm going to continue to win. And that's the way it is." -Donald J. Trump

                        TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
                        Brooklyn, NY
                        United States
                        Member #169719
                        October 29, 2015
                        1494 Posts
                        Offline

                        After taxes, they collected $72, 930.

                        I wonder how much remained after all the legal and lawyer's fees were paid.

                        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

                          TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                          A long and winding road
                          United States
                          Member #17083
                          June 10, 2005
                          6507 Posts
                          Offline

                          You obviously have no children, since you not thinking like a Mother. However If you had a child from this Jeff & he pulled the same shenanigans with you- would you feel it was no big deal? How about that reasoning? 

                          And obviously you'd be incorrect.  Parent of two fine men. They are adults. 

                          As I stated the issue is about the agreed upon  'claim' and how it was filed. 

                          And yes I would feel it's no big deal. Then again i'd have filed the form that allows multiple claimants that the state lottery has . Smart folks under stand that much. 

                          So there goes your reasoning ...down the drain.

                          2500,2202,4441,6506,202, *13***

                            TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                            A long and winding road
                            United States
                            Member #17083
                            June 10, 2005
                            6507 Posts
                            Offline

                            The PA state lottery requires all claimants of the winning ticket to fill out the claims form BEFORE hand . The primary claimant then sends in the documents with winning ticket. . This is then processed and reported to the IRS for large claims. After which the main claimant is then required to distribute n accordance  with the claims percentage. 

                             

                            His lawyer could have easily researched if that form was remitted for both to claim .

                            2500,2202,4441,6506,202, *13***