Funny? Sad? I don’t really know what to think about this one but one thing that I am sure: Sisters, next time sign up for lottogopher.com and create a pool. 🙂 That way LottoGopher will split the lottery winnings for you – no drama!
Here is the story reported by USA Today
By William M. Welch, USA TODAY
An 87-year-old Connecticut woman doesn’t have to share a $500,000 lottery prize with her 84-year-old sister, a judge ruled in a case where money fractured family ties.
A winning 2005 lottery ticket left the sisters angry and not talking with each other after one claimed the other had reneged on a deal to share any gambling winnings.
“What came between these sisters was money,” New Britain, Conn., Superior Court Judge Cynthia Swienton wrote in a decision released Wednesday.
“There is something in this tragedy that touches most people,” she wrote. “While the court may be able to resolve the legal dispute, it is powerless to repair the discord and strife that now overshadows the once harmonious sisterly relationship.”
The ruling came in a case of divided sisters that has worked its way through Connecticut courts for five years. During that time, court documents say, the sisters ended once-routine casino trips together and “did not speak or have any contact.”
The case arose from Powerball winnings split by Rose Bakaysa, 87, and her brother, Joseph Troy Sr., in 2005. Their sister, Theresa Sokaitis, sued Bakaysa, claiming the two sisters had a written agreement to share their lottery and casino winnings, and demanding that her sister give her half of her share of the prize.
While they once had a rudimentary contract, signed and notarized, agreeing to share gambling and lottery prizes, Bakaysa contended the sisters had canceled that deal by mutual consent in 2004, a year before the Powerball win, in a dispute over repaying a $250 loan.
Sokaitis, the judge said, told her sister during an argument that she didn’t want to be a part of such a family sharing deal anymore. The judge ruled that contract was no longer in force because the sisters had ended it a year before Bakaysa and her brother won the Powerball prize.
“Of course it’s a tragedy, but things happen in life,” said William Sweeney, attorney for Bakaysa, about the sisters’ disagreement. “My client had pretty much taken care of this woman for a long time, and pretty much had had it with her.”
Samuel Pollack, attorney for Sokaitis, did not return a call seeking comment.
Sokaitis argued that she thought the dispute would get resolved, and that she never intended for it to end their relationship — or their contract.
Sweeney said Bakaysa hopes the decision and time “will allow the bonds that have been broken by this case to heal.”
Contributing: The Associated Press