Denise Robertson and her boyfriend, Maurice Thibeault, had been buying lottery tickets together for almost their entire relationship, according to court documents. They would each take turns: sometimes Thibeault would purchase the tickets and sometimes Robertson would, The Toronto Star reported.
The Ontario, Canada couple “dreamed about winning the lotto” said the sworn statement of claim. So when Robertson learned there was a winning ticket sold in the area, she excitedly texted Thibeault and asked him to check it, according to CTV News.
But Robertson says Thibeault told her they didn’t have the winning ticket, CTV News reported.
Five days later, the pair left their home in the morning, Robertson said, but when she returned that afternoon, Thibeault was gone, according to the Windsor Star. All of his stuff was gone, the publication said.
“Maurice had packed up and removed all of his clothes, his toiletries and most of his other personnel (sic) items and Canadian passport,” according to court documents.
Robertson later learned Thibeault had quit his job, court documents said. He texted his boss that not only are he and “Denise” no longer together, but “another life-changing thing has happened,” according to court documents, The Windsor Star reported.
“I am sad to tell you by text but I will not be coming back to work,” Thibeault said, according to the statement of claim. The suit says the text was followed by a photo of the winning ticket, The Windsor Star said.
Robertson filed a court injunction to stop the $6.1 million prize payout, CBC News reported. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission paid half to Thibeault last month but held onto the other half, pending a resolution between them or a court decision, CBC News said.
Robertson’s lawsuit, filed this week, says the couple had always agreed that if they had a winning ticket, the winnings would be theirs as a couple, The Toronto Star reported.
“It’s a question of morality,” Robertson’s attorney, Steven Pickard, told the Star.
Pickard told the newspaper that Robertson is seeking not just her cut of the lottery winnings, but also $500,000 in punitive damages.
Thibeault’s lawyer, Richard Pollock, told CTV News Thibeault denies that any agreement was made.
The couple lived together with Robertson’s teenage daughter from July 2015 to September 2017, The Star reported.
This is just the latest case in which a winning lottery ticket has led to a lawsuit. A waitress in Arkansas recently claimed that she and her co-worker had agreed to split the winnings if either of them had ever won the lottery. The suit said the woman’s co-worker ended up with a $300,000 ticket, but cashed it without telling her.