May 26, 2024
$1B lottery winner sued by family claiming he lied about sharing loot

$1B lottery winner sued by family claiming he lied about sharing loot

The winner of a $1.35bn Mega Millions jackpot, one of the biggest lotto prizes in American history, is the target of a new lawsuit alleging he stiffed his family out of their promised portion of the funds.

The Maine man, identified only as John Doe, beat the huge odds and claimed the Mega Millions prize back in January 2023. He purchased the ticket at Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon and opted to cash out with a lump-sum payment of $723,564,144, or nearly $500 million after taxes.

Since then, he’s worked to keep his identity a secret, going as far as to sue his ex-girlfriend, who is also the mother of his child. In a lawsuit filed in November 2023, he accused her of violating a non-disclosure agreement, which required she keep his lottery win a secret until June 1, 2032, when their daughter turns 18. Instead, his, ex, identified by the pseudonym Sarah Smith, allegedly discussed his newfound fortune with his father, stepmom and sister.

In response, Smith alleged that her ex was actually the one who blabbed the news to his family, according to new court documents obtained by the Press Herald. Her claims were corroborated by Doe’s father, who said he learned of the lotto win from his son.

“February or March of 2023, my son came to my house … and informed me and my wife that he won a large amount of money in the Maine State Lottery,” his father wrote in the court documents, according to the outlet.

At that time, Doe also promised to build his father a garage and to buy him some cars to fix up, per the latest round of filings. Doe also allegedly offered to purchase his father’s childhood home and to cover medical expenses for both his father and stepmother if necessary. His father has since said he did not ask for any of the money.

The tensions in their relationship were ignited when Doe’s father said he would not cut off communications with Smith despite his son’s request. His father said the woman was a “good mother and we did not want to turn our back on her.”

“I told him that, ‘You are not the son I knew.’ He got angry, calling me a ‘dictator,’ ” the court documents said. “I have not heard from my son since, and he has not done any of the things he promised.”

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