Woman Wins Lottery! Or Was It She And Her De Facto?
After moving to Australia from Sierra Leone a young de facto couple hit the jackpot when the woman purchased a lottery ticket from her local newsagency winning $3 million!
However, because of her limited English, her partner assisted her in collecting the money, which then went into his bank account! After splurging on properties, cars and gifts to relatives, the couple split up few months later. At this point, the funds were so mixed and dispersed in different accounts, properties and purchases that the Court was needed to decide how the winnings would be divided.
The woman claimed that she bought the ticket so she was entitled to the winnings. However the Judge decided that the money should be regarded as a “joint contribution” of the parties and therefore be split equally between them. This is because the ticket was purchased from joint funds and in circumstances where both parties were contributing to expenses while they were together.
Such an expensive litigation battle is not always necessary. Property settlements after the break down of de facto relationships are treated the same as marriages, so remember that winnings will generally be divided according to the same principles as other matrimonial property.