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$6M lotto prize in limbo after common-law couple splits

From CTV - October 12, 2017

A $6 million lottery prize is caught in the middle of a break-up between an Ontario man and his common-law spouse.

The 46-year-old Chatham father of three is said to have told his live-in girlfriend a Lotto 6/49 was not a winner before moving out of their home five days after the Sept. 20 draw. She apparently caught wind of the situation when she found out, through mutual friends, that he had quit his job.

The woman filed an emergency court injunction to prevent him from getting his hands on the disputed millions. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has frozen the funds until the matter is resolved.

The spat over the ticket was first reported by the Toronto Star on Thursday.

CTV Legal Analyst Boris Bytensky said the fact that they are not legally married will eliminate some of the division of property rules that would otherwise apply. If the matter goes to court, he said, the fate of the money could be decided by circumstantial evidence, or whoever wins over the judge with their testimony.

The key to the wifes claim will be that . . . they had this plan to buy tickets together and share the winnings. Really that is going to be the nub of the case, Bytensky told CTV News Channel on Thursday.

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