Man Who Won $30 Million Lottery While in Middle of Divorce Ordered to Share Winnings With His Ex-Wife
PONTIAC, Mich. — A suburban Detroit man who was in the middle of a divorce when he won more than $30 million must share the lottery windfall with his ex-wife.
The Michigan appeals court says a marriage isn’t over until it’s over. It means Mary Beth Zelasko can keep $15 million awarded by an arbitrator, although she and Rich Zelasko had been separated for two years when he bought the Mega Millions ticket in 2013. Their divorce wasn’t final until 2018.
This Detroit man only has half as much luck as he thought he did.
He was ordered to split his $30 million lottery winnings with his now ex-wife since he won during the middle of their divorce.
Rich Zelasko and his wife Mary Beth had been separated for two years when he bought the Mega Millions ticket in 2013. The former couple’s divorce wasn’t finalized until 2018 and now the Michigan appeals court said Zelasko has to share.
“Rich was lucky, but it was his luck, not Mary’s, that produced the lottery proceeds,” Rich Zelasko’s attorney argued in a court filing.
Arbitrator John Mills disagreed, saying the ticket was marital property. The couple had agreed to have Mills make certain decisions during the divorce case.