What happens when a lottery win turns really sour and the money that was supposed to bring joy and happiness corrupts the people that win it, and in turn destroys the lives of the people they love around them? This is one such story, and the dramatic case continues. Read on to find out about the woman who sues her former partner over his lottery win.
Denise Robertson and Maurice Thibeault’s Story
This stranger than fiction story is exactly what occurred when Ontario-based couple Denise Robertson and Maurice Thibeault, won $6 million on the Canadian Lotto 649. Back on 20th September 2017 Thibeault, knowing how much the couple had won, packed a bag, took his belongings, and vanished from the home the couple shared, without telling his partner, Denise.
Court Injunction Followed
After his disappearance, Robertson, 46 lodged a court injunction which has frozen the huge payout until the matter can be successfully resolved between her lawyers, Thibeault, and the Ontario Lottery Regulator.
A pre-prepared statement issued by the law firm, handling Roberston’s case was issued and in it, she stated “I am greatly saddened and disappointed by what has happened here. This could have been a very happy and exciting time for us as a couple to do things we could only dream of doing.”
Robertson had actually discovered Thibeault has gone to strange and bizarre lengths to keep the lottery win a total secret and prevent her from taking a share of the money.
The brave lady outlined the fact that the couple had always bought their lottery tickets and agreed that if a winning ticket was purchased that the proceeds would be split between them as a couple.
On the day the draw was made, she heard on the local radio station they always tuned into that one of the winning tickets had been purchased in their hometown of Chatham.
On telling Thibeault about it, he assured them that they hadn’t won – and also said the same to their friends and loved ones. Robertson thought no more about it and let the matter drop.
On the morning of September 25th this year, as usual, Thibeault left for work. During the day Robertson repeatedly tried to contact him via text but received no response to her messages.
When she returned home that night she discovered he’d removed all his belongings, including clothes and toiletries – and that his Canadian passport had also been taken too.
Thibeault Messages His Employers
In the meantime, Thibeault had contacted his employers, saying he wouldn’t be coming back to work anymore and sending them a picture of the winning lottery ticket which he had actually bought and lied about.
It was then the story was uncovered when a friend of Robertsons shared the rumor that theirs was the winning ticket.
A text from Thibeault to his boss was recovered in which he said that he and Robertson were no longer together.
In her statement, she also said that she feared Thibeault would leave the country, and therefore she would not get the portion of the winnings she was owed.
A spokesperson for the Ontario Lottery Group indeed confirmed that an injunction had been slapped on the ticket and that the payout had been frozen until the matter could be resolved and the rightful people got their winnings.
It is a story that has got many people talking, with many taking the side of Robertson.
“I think he owes her $3 million, it’s life-changing money,” said Dakota Hodgson of Chatham
Whilst Chatham’s Clair Culliford remarked that the whole tale was terrible and she wouldn’t fault Robertson for taking action to recover money that was hers. “Morally, he should give her some. He should avoid the court action,” she added.
Case Goes to Court
Now Robertson is hoping that a jury will help her claim the $3 million that has been stuck in legal limbo since the case came to light.
Denise Robertson filed a statement of claim against Maurice Thibeault in a Windsor Court. The claim was for “breach of trust, unjust enrichment, conversion, deceit, and general damages”
Robertson’s lawyer, Steve Pickard, said she is also seeking a declaration that she is the owner of half of the winnings. Alongside this, she’s claiming $500,000 in damages and that also Thibeault covers her court costs. The same lawyer has also asked for the matter to be tried by jury.
In her sworn affidavit, she says “’Together we dreamed about winning the lotto. We both love muscle cars, we would each buy one and buy a large property in the country and build a large shop to work on our cars.”
Her lawyer commented that “I think it’s more appropriate that this kind of case is heard by a jury because it is something that touches on… what the standards of morality are and what the community wants their law to be,”
Robertson still maintains they had an agreement to share any lottery winnings. A claim Thibeault denies.
In response, Thibeault’s lawyer claims “This is no more complicated than a game of bingo. He purchased a ticket, he won the ticket, and he claimed the prize. He is a good and honest man and what is at stake here is his reputation.”
Robertson also alleges that she and Thibeault had been in a common law relationship and buying Lotto 6/49 tickets together. They had also been splitting any winnings for years.
After an investigation by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission, half the money was paid to Thibeault. A photo was released of him holding up a cheque for $3,073,361.30 on January 5th 2018. The other half of the win will be temporarily handed over to Ontario Superior Court, according to OLG spokesperson Rui Brum.
”It really is the only option [to get the money],” said Pickard. “In this particular case we think … a jury is going to agree that he should not be keeping the winnings and that Denise Robertson is truly entitled as the owner of half of that ticket.”
The case continues.