(Screen grab courtesy OLG website)

Court Showdown Looming Over Lotto Winnings

The lawyer for a Chatham woman fighting for what she says is her rightful half of a $6.1-million jackpot says the dispute will most likely end up in court.

However, Steve Pickard says he’ll reach out to Maurice Thibeault’s lawyer, Richard Dinham of Mousseau, DeLuca, McPherson, Prince in Windsor, to try and reach a settlement first.┬áThe Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has verified that the winning ticket in question was bought by Thibeault and he will get half of the winnings, leaving the other half in limbo.

Pickard says the fight is not over and a statement of claim to get the case to court can come anytime.

“Barring any other settlements or discussions that happen, the next step is a statement of claim to bring it to court to have the issue heard by a judge or a jury,” says Pickard.

The $3-million sought by Denise Robertson will be paid into court in 45 days unless the parties resolve the matter privately or take part in a lottery dispute arbitration process. If the money goes to the court to be held securely, it can be held indefinitely.

The Lotto 6/49 Jackpot Prize was won on September 20.

Pickard says a settlement is possible but the dispute will likely end up being resolved by the courts.

“We think we have a very strong claim and if he wants to dispute that claim then I imagine that we’re going to end up in court and he’ll be able to make his case and we’ll make our case as to why Denise is entitled to her half,” Pickard says.

Pickard doesn’t blame the OLG for its decision and believes it is more comfortable letting a court decide who is entitled to the other half of the money.

“They did not feel that they should pay this out completely to him. So, they obviously have some concern of their own and maybe they’re seeing the same things that we see and taking the position that they’re not going to make the decision. They’re going to leave it to a court or the parties to decide who is entitled,” says Pickard.