The Lottery Winners Also Cry
Imagine winning the lottery millions – the first thing you’ll realize is that your life will change forever. Your home will probably change. The same applies to your house and your vacation. Heck, you’re your spouse could change! There’s one thing, however, that will remain the same. This one thing is ungrateful kids. No amount of money could ever change a spoiled brat who’s expecting to get everything in life from their parents.
You don’t think that such a thing is possible? Here’s an actual story to illustrate the amount of suffering that people can undergo at the hands of their loved ones.
A Family Battle in Court
This is the story of Dave Dawes and his wife Angela. In 2011, Dave became a massive EuroMillions winner after snatching the jackpot of 101 million pounds. The lucky British couple bought a house in Surrey, set up their own charity and gave almost a third of the prize to family and friends.
Little did they know at the time that one of their closest people would prove to be the greediest and that their generosity would backfire.
The former factory worker turned millionaire and his wife gave almost 30 million pounds to their dearest people. Over the period of two years, Dave gave almost 1.5 million pounds to his son Michael.
There’s evidence that at one point of time, Michael was breezing through 20,000 and 30,000 pounds per month! His grocery bill per week alone was 1,000 pounds and we find it a bit difficult to figure out exactly what the money was spent on (booze? Gourmet delicacies? What’s your choice?).
In time, the sums decreased and the payments from Dave eventually stopped because of some family quarrels. Michael was obviously not happy with such a development that deprived him of his dad’s millions. Eventually, he went to a London court with the argument that he was promised payments for the rest of his life.
The Plot Thickens
According to Dave and Angela’s legal representative, Michael wasted a lot of the money that he was given. According to a statement quoted by the Evening Standard, he developed a sense of entitlement to his father’s fortune.
In 2011 and 2012, Dave added funds to his son’s accounts multiple times. The father eventually got worried by the speed with which his son burned through the cash. Eventually, Dave took the decision to stop supporting Michael’s lavish lifestyle.
According to Dave’s lawyer, Michael was never misled to believe that he was going to be financially secure for as long as his father’s jackpot funds lasted. Michael, on the other hand, said that he was reassured multiple times that his father would provide financial assistance in the long run.
Michael also said that the reassurance made him and his civil partner finalize a number of important decisions. James Beedle, Michael’s partner in life, allegedly quit his job on the hope of easy access to riches.
In court, Michael accused Dave and his step mother Angela of being arrogant and greedy (look who’s talking!). In essence, the family aired their dirty laundry for the entire world to see.
Who Won the Court Battle?
Obviously, regardless of the court decision, everybody is a loser in the story. A massive rift has been formed in a family over money. This isn’t the first such case, but needless to say, quarrels over funds are both sad and pathetic.
Speaking in legal terms, however, the development in the court case was more than expected.
At the end of May 2017, a Central London County Court judge stated that there was sufficient evidence Michael behaved in a financially-irresponsible way. He was also accused of verbally abusing his step-mother Angela.
Judge Nigel Gerald said that Michael’s level of expenditure was “astonishing,” as quoted by Metro.
The publication quoted the full court decision as stating that “there was no basis on which any rational or normal human being could conclude that they could go back for more money whenever they wanted.” In this situation, we agree with the wise judges 100 percent!
A Family Affair
It seems that lottery jackpots have the power to split even the most united of families. Dave and Michael’s story isn’t a precedent.
In 2015, a mom from Brooklyn decided to sue her daughter over a jackpot prize. Barbara Quiles said that she had authorized her daughter to cash in the one million dollars. After doing so, Linza Ford simply went under the radar. According to the mom, the two had entered into a sort of legally binding agreement (sort of being the most important keyword here) in which both of them were supposed to have access to the funds.
Later on, Linza made a statement, as well. She said that her departure wasn’t caused by a desire to keep all the money to herself. Rather, she was running away from her mom’s psychological problems.
The final straw in this telenovela story was that Linza eventually got married and she didn’t even invite her mom to the ceremony. Ouch!
Here’s another story of a man who sued a family and actually won.
At the beginning of 2017, the court gave David Walsh a compensation of 480,000 pounds – one sixth of Mary Walsh’s (his step-mother) lottery prize of 2.9 million pounds.
The High Court of Ireland produced the ruling in February, concluding that David was a part of a syndicate and was thus entitled to a portion of the prize.
David was one of six people who signed on the back of the winning ticket. He told court, however, that Mary didn’t share anything with her late husband’s son. Mary’s case was built on a ridiculous claim – that she and five other people had signed the back of the ticket to avoid paying taxes. Needless to say, the court ruled out that Mary’s argument was filled with self-contradiction and it was not credible.
The Moral of the Story
You’ve probably reached a conclusion already based on the stories that we’ve shared. Still, we’d like to re-emphasize once again the importance of being diligent when it comes to playing the lottery with others or being generous.
People are greedy and they will often envy somebody else’s happiness. Even if you have the utmost faith in your kids, you never know when the tables will turn.
While winning the jackpot isn’t such an easy task, it may be a good idea to come up with an upfront agreement about where the money would go. Also, don’t promise anyone anything! Who knows, a joke you made in the past could eventually be used against you in court.