A Florida man is still trying to get half of his ex-girlfriend’s $1 million (€910,000) lottery prize, eight years after he says she took the winning ticket and left him. He says she reneged on a promise they’d split any winnings if either hit it big.
The Florida Supreme Court agreed this week that if they were still romantically involved, any spoken agreement made years earlier was still valid. Now a jury will have to decide if a pact was ever made and if the couple was still an item when Lynn Poirier’s lucky number was drawn.
Howard Browning says he and Poirier agreed in 1993 to share any lottery money they might win.
On July 2, 2007, Browning and Poirier walked into a gas station convenience store 20 miles north-east of Orlando and separately bought $20 tickets for the raffle. Two days later, Poirier’s number was drawn. She said nothing about winning and left the house she owned with no explanation, Sheppard said. About five weeks later, Poirier, then a 54-year-old special education teacher claimed the prize, saying she was going to use it to pay off her second mortgage and upgrade her collection of vintage cars. That confirmed what Browning suspected. The raffle tickets were numbered sequentially and when Browning checked his, he realised it was one number away from a $1m winner.
The couple had lived together since 1991. Poirier’s lawyer, Mark Sessums told the US Supreme Court in December the couple had broken up and Poirier was living with her mother when she bought the ticket.