May 15, 2024 3 min read


$1.35B Lotto Winner Embroiled in Family Drama

The ongoing dispute highlights how winning the lottery may come with unintended consequences, souring the thrill of victory

A $1.35 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot winner faces a legal battle with the mother of his daughter as he tries to keep his identity a secret. The winning ticket, purchased in Lebanon, Maine, was claimed by the winner through an LLC to maintain his anonymity. However, a complicated series of events led to a significant fallout with family and friends.

The Winner’s Father Expressed Disappointment

Despite efforts to hide his identity, the winner, referred to in court documents as John Doe, is now at the center of a legal battle with his daughter’s mother, identified only as Sara Smith. The lawsuit, initiated in November, accuses Smith of violating a non-disclosure agreement by revealing Doe’s jackpot to the family prematurely. According to the agreement, the nature of the winnings was not to be disclosed until their daughter turned 18 in 2032.

Adding to the dispute, Doe’s father submitted a statement claiming his son personally informed him and his wife about the windfall, contradicting the lotto millionaire’s court statements. The father recalled how Doe promised to cover his parents’ medical expenses, buy them a house, set them up with a trust fund, and cover their needs.

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

Doe’s father

The father insists he never asked for money, but Doe’s suggestions to cease all contact with Smith caused a rift between the two men. According to the father, Doe had become distant and cold after winning the money, and after an angry exchange, his son ceased all communication without fulfilling any of his promises.

The Winner’s Father Expressed Disappointment

These revelations support Smith’s claim that Doe himself disclosed the lottery win to family members, a claim her legal team argues nullifies his suit. Smith also alleges that Doe had employed a security team to follow her and their daughter daily, further intensifying the legal and personal battle stemming from the billion-dollar jackpot.

Doe, for his part, accuses Smith of trying to expose his identity and falsely accusing him of attempting to kidnap their daughter after he refused to finance a vacation for Smith and her boyfriend. He admits a mistake in confiding in his father without securing a confidentiality agreement, noting that their relationship had quickly deteriorated after their argument.

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.

John Doe

As the case unfolds, it brings to light the complexities and strains that can accompany sudden wealth, especially when promises and expectations within families collide. Unfortunately, lottery wins tend to attract such drama, and as demonstrated by this case, even people attempting to remain anonymous can still face unexpected conflict.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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