A provincial Supreme Court judge has ruled that a Newfoundland woman must share her lottery winnings with her former fiancé.
In 1999, Susan Devereaux of Petty Harbour, Nfld., won $750,000 in an Atlantic Lotto draw. She and her fiancé, Jim Everard, paid off the mortgage of the home they were sharing and each bought a vehicle.
But shortly after the win, they split up.
That's when the court battle began over the remaining $250,000, as well as the division of property bought with the original winnings.
"Fellows often say that money changes you. Money doesn't change you," Devereaux said. "The people around you change. Or at least some of them. You really find out what people are like."
In court, Devereaux claimed her former fiancé wasn't entitled to a cent because she had bought the winning ticket.
But Everard said he should get half because the money was in a joint account and they had invested it together.
The judge agreed with Everard and ordered that the disputed money and property be split between them.
If lottery winners don't want to share their money with domestic partners, they should sign an agreement about what happens in the dvent of a split or keep the money to themselves, said Owen Myers, Everard's lawyer.
"Once one has received the money, if you want to keep the money separate from other persons, you could take definitive steps and put the money in your own bank account, and make it very clear afterwards that anything else you do simply constitutes a gift and doesn't in any way create a right in another person," he said.