Lottery winner forced to split his $30 million winnings with ex-wife

Lottery winner forced to split his $30 million winnings with ex-wife

Winning the lottery is one of those things so many of us wish would come true every single day. Winning a jackpot into the millions can help put an end to the mundane life you live now, and help you start all over again. However, one winner found out that his tainted victory meant he couldn't escape the past he was trying to leave behind.

A Michigan man has been forced to split his $30 million lottery winnings with his ex-wife, even though they had been separated for two years when he bought the ticket.

Tribune Media reports that Rich Zelasko and his estranged wife Mary Beth had been separated for roughly two years when he bought the winning Mega Millions ticket in 2013.

An image of divorce papers. Credit: Getty

But an appeals court ruled that the huge winnings represented part of the marital estate, with his wife Mary Beth expected now to take home $15 million of the jackpot.

This lottery winner blew every penny of her winnings, and she says she couldn't be happier:

An arbitrator surmised that this was likely not the first ticket Zelasko had purchased, and following on from that logic, "losses throughout the marriage were incurred jointly, so should winnings be shared jointly."

Couple lottery Credit: Getty

However, Zelasko's attorney is arguing that "Rich was lucky, but it was his luck, not Mary’s, that produced the lottery proceeds".

Court documents show that Zelasko and his wife had been married since the year 2004, and currently have three children together. Their marriage was finally dissolved last year. An appeals court went over the decision again last week and found no errors.