Ontario woman sues ex-boyfriend after he left with $6.1M lottery prize

Click to play video: 'A tale of three winning lotto tickets in Ontario, U.S.'
A tale of three winning lotto tickets in Ontario, U.S.
WATCH: A Hamilton-area couple is celebrating after receiving their $23-million Lotto 649 winnings Wednesday, but other recent winners are fighting battles over their own tickets. Mark Carcasole reports – Feb 7, 2018

An Ontario woman is taking her ex-boyfriend to court after he moved out without telling her, taking a $6.1-million Lotto 6/49 ticket with him.

On Monday, Denise Robertson filed a statement of claim in a Windsor, Ont., court against, Maurice Thibeault for half the jackpot prize and $500,000 in punitive damages.

READ MORE: Ontario man moves out without telling girlfriend they won 6/49 jackpot

Robertson’s suit accuses Thibeault of breach of trust and unjust enrichment and seeks the roughly $3 million, plus an additional $500,000 in aggravated damages. She is asking that a jury hear her civil suit.

“I think it’s a case that the public has an interest in it, as it’s something that offends a sense of morality and juries are a way to allow the public to decide what is right,” her lawyer, Steven Pickard, said.

Story continues below advertisement

Thibeault and Robertson lived together from July 2015 to September 2017 in Chatham, Ont. Robertson said the two routinely bought lottery tickets together as it was their dream to win big and spend the prize as a couple.

WATCH: Who should get the jackpot from this winning lottery ticket?

Click to play video: 'Who should get the jackpot from this winning lottery ticket?'
Who should get the jackpot from this winning lottery ticket?

In Robertson’s statement of claim, she said she and Thibeault loved muscle cars and dreamed of purchasing a vehicle each, a large piece of country property near their home in Chatham, and a shop in which they could indulge their shared hobby.

On Sept. 20, 2017, Thibeault bought the lottery ticket that won half the $12-million jackpot, but Robertson said he didn’t tell her. Two days later she said he packed up his belongings and moved out — taking the winning ticket with him.

Story continues below advertisement

He then quit his job and tried to claim the cash. But Robertson quickly hired lawyers who were able to get an injunction to freeze the payout until Ontario’s lottery regulator, the OLG, determined the rightful winner.

READ MORE: Ontario man gets half of $6.1M lottery prize after leaving his girlfriend

On Dec. 5, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) said after reviewing the prize claim, it verified that the “ticket in question was purchased by Maurice Thibeault and will proceed to pay him one-half of the prize on or about December 30, 2017.”

He was paid $3 million.

Now the other half is in a legal battle, which a lottery spokesperson said would be paid to the court pending a decision in the case.

VIDEO: Workplace dispute over $50-million Lotto Max jackpot

Global News reached out to Thibeault ‘s lawyer, Richard Pollock, who said he has no intention of paying anything to Robertson.

Story continues below advertisement

“Mr. Thibeault said there was never any agreement between him and Ms. Robertson,” Pollock said. “He has co-operated fully with OLG including offering a polygraphic examination. He submitted to one and passed with flying colours.”

READ MORE: Grey Cup 50/50 prize winner almost threw out ticket

“What’s at stake is here is his good name,” Pollock said. “And since he won his ticket, the OLG promised a piece of mind to a lottery winning prize winner, and that has not cut the mustard.”

Thibeault and his lawyer have 20 days to file a statement of defence.

It took may take two to three years for the case head to court, according to Robertson’s lawyer.

A photo of the Lotto 649 in question was included in the statement of claim.
A photo of the Lotto 649 in question was included in the statement of claim. Handout / Steven Pickard

Sponsored content