Lotto winner has to pay

An Ontario man who left his common-law partner after buying a winning lottery ticket has been awarded half the roughly $6 million jackpot while the rest of the prize remains in legal limbo.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. has ruled on the dispute, saying it confirmed Maurice Thibeault purchased the ticket in the Sept. 20 draw and will pay him half the winnings around the end of the month.

The agency says it will hold on to the other half for 45 days, during which Thibeault and his ex-girlfriend Denise Robertson, who argues she's owed half the winnings, can still settle the matter privately or decide to take part in the OLG's arbitration process.

After that, however, it says the money will be turned over to the courts to rule on.

When it was announced that one of the winning tickets had been bought in their city, Robertson asked Thibeault if they had won, which he allegedly denied, her lawyer said.

A few days later, Robertson came home from work to find that Thibeault had moved out and taken all his things, Pickard said. She then learned from mutual friends that Thibeault had won the lottery and quit his job, the lawyer said.

But before Thibeault could collect the money, Robertson and her lawyers obtained an injunction barring the OLG from doling out the prize. The agency sent a letter to Robertson last week saying it had completed its investigation and would pay Thibeault around Dec. 30.

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