A Canadian couple are involved in a tug-of-war of sorts after the man allegedly ran away with a winning lottery worth a whopping $6.1m (£3.8m).
Maurice Thibeault had moved out of the apartment that he had been sharing with his partner Denise Robertson just five days after winning the lottery on 20 September. When the woman realised what had happened, she took the help of authorities to stop Thibeault from cashing in the amount, The BBC reported.
Now the couple have headed to court to clear the dispute. According to the Toronto Star, the pair had been living together for almost two and a half years. Robertson's daughter from her previous marriage was also staying with them.
In a sworn affidavit the woman said she "and Maurice have been buying Lotto 649 tickets together for almost our entire relationship. Sometimes he would purchase the tickets and sometimes I would. Sometimes I would give him money and he would buy the tickets when he went to pick up cigarettes".
"We always agreed that if we had a winning ticket, the proceeds would be ours, together as a couple," Robertson said.
However, on 25 September when the woman came home she found the father-of-three had already cleared out his belongings from their shared home. Robertson also discovered from their mutual friends that her partner had quit his job. She got to know of the lottery after a colleague of Thibeault at a local granite and glass supply company shared information about the win to his entire team, the Toronto Star reported.
In her affidavit, the mother-of-one said she remembered asking Thibeault days earlier whether the ticket with the numbers 6, 17, 29, 37, 45 and 47 had won, but he had responded in the negative.
After discovering the truth, Robertson soon contacted a lawyer who called the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) headquarters in Toronto and obtained an injunction on 28 September.
However, Thibeault's associates have refuted Robertson's claims and said there was no such agreement between the couple. They said he had bought the ticket at a convenience store using a debit card linked to his personal bank account. His friends also claimed that Thibeault had been planning to separate from Robertson a long time ago, and had only been able to do so after his lottery win.