$1.35 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Winner Sued By Family


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The winner of a $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot is being sued by his family after allegedly promising and failing to share the winnings.

The unidentified man who bought the ticket in Lebanon, Maine, on January 13, 2023, was sued by the mother of his daughter last November in an ongoing legal battle. The jackpot winner claimed the woman, identified in the lawsuit by a pseudonym, Sara Smith, violated a non-disclosure agreement by telling other relatives about his new fortune prior to their daughter's 18th birthday in 2032, the Independent reported on Tuesday (May 14).

Smith, however, argues that the Mega Millions jackpot winner was the one who revealed his historic lottery win, a claim echoed by his own father.

“February or March of 2023, my son came to my house … and informed me and my wife that he won a large amount of money in the Maine State Lottery,” the lottery winner's father wrote in the court documents obtained by the Independent.

“I understand that my son has stated that he told me nothing about his money ‘other than the simple fact that I had won,'" he added. "That is not true."

The father specified that he didn't ask for money, though his son made several unsolicited high-dollar promises, including claiming he'd build his dad a garage to fix old cars, purchase his childhood home and set up a million-dollar trust fund to pay for future medical expenses for his father and stepmother. The father also claimed his son demanded he end all communication with Smith, the mother of his granddaughter, amid the conflict, which led to their own rift.

“I told him … ‘You are not the son I knew,’” the father wrote via the Independent. “He got angry, calling me a ‘dictator’ and an ‘a–hole.’ I have not heard from my son since, and he has not done any of [the] things he promised.”

The lottery winner shared a different recounting of the issue in court documents.

“I made the mistake of telling my father that I had won the lottery without having him sign a confidentiality agreement,” he wrote via the Independent.

“Our relationship deteriorated quickly thereafter,” he added. “I did not tell him what I was doing with my money, how I was going to benefit my daughter, or any facts other than the simple fact that I had won.”

The $1.35 billion drawing was the second-highest in the game's history and offered the fourth-largest jackpot in the U.S. lottery history at the time of the drawing.

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