Michigan man, Rich Zelasko who won more than $30 million playing Mega Millions lottery while separated from his wife has been ordered to give her nearly half the money as part of their divorce settlement.
A Pontiac, 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 according to a recent court ruling.
The Michigan appeals court in making its judgement said a marriage isn’t over until it’s over. It means Mary Beth Zelasko can keep $15 million awarded by an arbitrator, despite her and Rich Zelasko having been separated for two years when he bought the Mega Millions lottery ticket in 2013. Their divorce wasn’t final until 2018 CBS in Detroit reported.
Court documents showed the former couple marrying in 2004 and having three children.
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 man is now obliged to share almost half of his lotto winnings as part of the couple’s divorce settlement after it was ruled the winnings constituted marital property. It appears whether the couple being together or in the process of divorce had no impact on defining what in fact constituted marital property.
The appeals court last week found no errors when evaluating arbitrator John Mills’ decision the Detroit Free Press reported.