Mega Millions Lottery Winner Ordered to Give Half His $80m Win to His Ex-Wife Despite 2-Year Split!

Richard ‘Dick’ Zelasko could be labelled both lucky and unlucky; after bagging an $80,000,000 Mega Millions lottery win, but his new-found fortune has led to a messy divorce battle and a ruling which didn’t exactly go in his favour. In 2004, Dick married Mary Beth and spent seven long-years with her and during this time, he fathered three children with her. Sometime in 2011, the couple split and filed for divorce but almost two whole years later, Dick scooped an $80m fortune.

He may have been apart from his estranged wife for more than 24 months, but this didn’t stop the Michigan court ruling in favour of Mary Beth and this then led to a letter landing on the desk of Dick’s attorney; Scott G Bassett, ordering that Dick must pay Mary Beth $15,000,000. How can one man be so lucky and unlucky at the same time? The arbitrator in the divorce case; John Mills stated that the divorce was not yet final and that determined that the lottery winnings were ‘part of the martial estate’ – but how? They’d been apart for two years! John Mills based his assumptions on one thing; Dick probably bought lottery tickets when he was still married to her and living with her, which is really rather strange.

Don’t Argue!

Scott argued in court that “Rich was lucky, but it was his luck, not Mary’s, that produced the lottery proceeds” by John Mills was having none of it. Rightly so, Dick was surprised and extremely baffled by the ruling and has instructed his attorney to appeal at the Court of Appeals and if reconsiderations are denied, they tend to take the appeals all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court.

“An equal split of an asset acquired so long after separation, and in this case after the conclusion of the divorce arbitration hearing, is extremely unusual. We believe the arbitrator violated controlling Michigan law when he awarded Mrs. Zelasko half of the $30 million net lottery proceeds.”

 There are people who would side with both parties in this case, but one comment left on the news report really struck a chord with people, it read; “During those two years of separation whilst the divorce was in full swing, if Dick had accumulated debit of $80,000,000 – would half that debt be his wife’s? No, it wouldn’t, so why should half of his winnings be half hers?”