According to the Associated Press, a Detroit man has been ordered to share his $38 million lottery winnings with his ex-wife. Rich Zelasko and Mary Beth Zelasko got married in 2004 and had three children together, and after they separated in 2011 and had been apart for two years, Rich bought a winning Mega Millions ticket in 2013. However, their divorce wasn't finalized until 2018, and as such Mary Beth will be receiving a portion of the winnings.
The $80 million Mega Millions prize resulted in a $38.8 million payout, and Mary Beth was awarded $15 million by an arbitrator, despite them separating before he won the lottery, per the Oakland Press.
An attorney for Rich Zelasko said in a court filing, "Rich was lucky, but it was his luck, not Mary's, that produced the lottery proceeds." Arbitrator John Mills dictated that due to their legal status as a couple at the time Rich Zelasko acquired the ticket, it's marital property. The Michigan Appeals court sided with the Oakland County Circuit Court judge who had ruled in Mary Beth's favor.
Previously, the couple agreed to let Mills make decisions for them during the divorce case, and the appeals court found no errors. While this might not sound very lucky for Rich Zelasko, he still walked away with over $20 million of his own.
As HuffPost reports, a lottery ticket got between two exes earlier this year when a New Jersey woman requested to end alimony payments to her ex-husband following his $273 win in the Mega Millions. Prior to his big win, Eileen Murray was ordered to pay Mike Weirsky spousal support following their 2018 divorce.