Two women in British Columbia are embroiled in a bitter legal battle over a $12.5 million lottery ticket. Maria Ganguin has decided to sue her former business partner, Maria Fehr, for what she believes is her fair share of the lottery prize, claiming that the ticket was bought their money from their company’s cashbox rather than by Fehr’s husband.
When Fehr and Ganguin first started their business, the two women agreed to purchase lottery tickets with money they had earned. They would split the prizes 50/50.
But, when Fehr discovered that she was in possession of the winning lottery ticket, she immediately turned it in to claim the prize for herself. She stated that the $20 she used to buy the ticket was supplied by her husband, meaning that the winning are hers to keep. In a waiver supplied by the BCLC, Fehr agreed that she did not purchase the ticket using funds from her company.
However, Ganguin is not convinced. When news of the lottery win was first published, the story claimed that Fehr purchased the ticket while making a delivery for their catering business. It also stated that the BCLC had initially written Ganguin’s name on the cheque for the $12.5 million prize.
The defendants, which includes the BCLC, initially wanted a summary trial. During this type of trial, the judge would make their decision based solely on affidavits. Ganguin, however, wants a full trial, which would seek to disprove the credibility of Fehr and her husband via cross examination.
Ganguin’s lawyer states that there is currently no evidence showing where the lottery ticket money actually came from. As such, he will have to rely on cross-examination to discredit the couple and provide Ganguin with her fair share of the winnings: over $6 million.
Many cases like this have occurred around the world. Friends always seem to be at odds over lottery ticket or gambling winnings, and the cases usually favour the defendant. It is hoped that the same situation plays out in Ganguin’s case, awarding her half of the winnings and salvaging her friendship with Fehr.