Splitting Up Lottery Winnings

Splitting Up Lottery Winnings

Hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers play the lottery each week. Imagine if you and a significant other bought a ticket together- split up- and that ticket ended up winnings hundreds of millions of dollars? Who would get that money?
Hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers play the lottery each week.

Imagine if you and a significant other bought a ticket together- split up- and that ticket ended up winnings hundreds of millions of dollars?

Who would get that money?

It happened to a couple in New Jersey.

They were never married, but had been together over ten years, had a child, and owned a business together.

WFFT investigated lottery laws here in the Hoosier state and asked some of you what you would do in that situation.

"I think it'd be really difficult because the courts are going to look at what was the source of income,” says attorney Tracey Rosswurm.

Family law attorney Rosswurm has handled similar cases here in Indiana.

She says according to state law, if the couple was not married, and since the boyfriend bought the ticket, it would be difficult for the ex-girlfriend to prove her claim to the winnings.

"Unless these parties were to marry after he received these lottery winnings- then it's not going to come into play as far as sharing these winnings from a family law perspective,” Rosswurm says.

She says the real issue is potential financial support for the couple's child.

"Lottery winnings are prizes and prizes fall under the definition of income in Indiana for child support purposes. And that can be considered in determining child support obligations,” Rosswurm says.

So one of the biggest points about this is if the couple is married or not.

Now here in Indiana, there is no common law marriage.

So, if you want some of that money, you really have to prove your case.

We asked some of you, what you would do.

"Not with us being not married. I honestly think I would not be entitled to it... If we were breaking up, probably not,” says Alexis Ellis.

"Yes, I do. First of all you said they had a kid together? Well i think part of it should at least go to helping take care of the kid,” says Courtney Jones.

We contacted the Hoosier Lottery.

They said in a statement that the Lottery awards the prize to the person who signs the ticket, and what that person does with the winnings is their business.

So make sure when you buy that ticket- put your name right here- so that you've made your claim to the winnings.

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