A Michigan man who won the lottery during his divorce got taken to the cleaners by his ex-wife.
Richard Anthony Zelasko, 50, learned the decision by an arbitrator who made him share half of the $80 million he won with his ex-wife, Mary Elizabeth, 48, was upheld last week by the Michigan Court of Appeals after a six-year legal battle, the Daily Mail reports.
According to the Daily Mail, the arbitrator, John Mills, determined Zelaskos winnings are marital property and ruled “losses throughout the marriage were incurred jointly, so should winnings be shared jointly.”
Mills said: “Its true the defendant spent $1 to purchase the winning lottery ticket, however, the dollar spent was arguably marital money and, as such, a joint investment.”
Elizabeth filed for divorce after being married to Zelasko for seven years from 2004 to 2011. During the divorce proceedings in 2013, Zelasko hit the jackpot, winning $80 million in the Mega Millions lottery. Zelasko ended up taking a lump sum payment of $38 million.
Zelasko had fought the arbitrators decision since 2013, but Mills recently passed away and Zelasko tried to void all the decisions made by the deceased arbitrator. Instead, a new arbitrator was assigned and Mills decisions were upheld.