This Guy Might Have to Share His $38 Million in Lottery Winnings With His Ex-Wife

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Even in the best of circumstances, divorce is unpleasant. If you get along with your ex, you can typically get through the process with minimal stress and decide on how to divide up your assets without a lot of time in court.

Not so with Richard Zelasko. He and his ex-wife, Mary Elizabeth Zelasko, filed for divorce in 2011, but while they were going through arbitration Richard won an $80 million Mega Millions jackpot, which came to $38 million after taxes.

Since the divorce wasn’t finalized, Richard was ordered by the arbiter to share almost half of his winnings with his ex-wife.

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Michigan is an equitable distribution state when it comes to divorce, which means that assets need to be divided equitably.

This doesn’t mean it’s an even 50/50 split, though.

Typically, each partner keeps what he or she brought into the marriage, and then the rest is divided up based on several factors, including how long they were married and how many children they have. The couple was married in 2004 and they have three children.

Part of the arbiter’s reasoning is that Richard likely bought lottery tickets during the marriage and they shared the losses, so it’s only fair to share the winnings too.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

The couple has been separated since 2009, though. Richard is considering his options for appeal, but it’s often difficult to overturn arbitration.

What do you think? Should Richard have to share his winnings with his ex?

Should he share a bit less than the $15 million that was rewarded?

Let us know!