A North Carolina woman who made it big with a lucky Powerball ticket faces an unexpected challenge for her winnings – submitted by her ex-fiancé, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for drug trafficking.
The News & Observer reports that Marie Holmes made it big in 2015.
Holmes was only 26 years old at the time. She worked five jobs to support her children when she won a $ 188 million Powerball jackpot. Even after Holmes paid tax on the lump sum, he walked away with nearly $ 88 million in cash.
The payout was the largest North Carolina had ever given.
Now Holmes’ ex-fiancé Lamarr Andre McDow has filed a lawsuit against his former’s wealth.
In his lawsuit, McDow alleges that Holmes spent a significant portion of their profits on lavish gifts for McDow. But after the couple split, Holmes reportedly sold many of the items she gave to her ex.
Prison cell; Image by Ichigo121212, via Pixaby, CC0.
According to News & Observer, McDow says that Holmes “violated their fiduciary duty” by giving away his 77 acre dirt road, auto repair shop, and tens of thousands of dollars in clothing, jewelry, and other luxury items.
Holmes allegedly sold McDow’s gifts after being sentenced to jail for drug trafficking.
In response to McDow’s lawsuit, Holmes’ attorneys say the ex-fiancé is trying to claim possessions, prizes and profits that never actually were his.
“This case is the embodiment of the expression”[w]What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine. ‘The problem here, however, is that McDow has nothing of his own,’ wrote Holmes’ attorneys in a petition to dismiss the case. “Instead, McDow is Holmes’ disgruntled, currently incarcerated former fiancé with multiple criminal convictions and an unfortunate desire to have an unsubstantiated legal battle against Holmes, whose generosity is at the center of this litigation after winning the Powerball lottery.”
Ironically, Holmes spent nearly a quarter of her after-tax profits – about $ 21 million – to repeatedly get McDow out of jail.
Still, McDow is demanding at least $ 25,000 in damages.
“MS. Holmes’ unconditional commitment to act in the best interests of Mr. McDow did not cease because the relationship between Mrs. Holmes and Mr. McDow ended,” wrote McDow’s attorney.
The Washington Post notes that Holmes’ attorneys did not respond to requests for comment. However, their court records suggest that Holmes believes that McDow did not legally own any of the items he is seeking compensation for, as all land and vehicle titles were written in Holmes’ name.
Holmes’ attorneys also plan to argue that McDow’s lawsuit was filed outside of the three-year statute of limitations.
She won $ 188 million in the lottery and was then sued out of jail by her ex
She won $ 188M Powerball. Now her ex-fiance is suing her out of jail, says NC-Klage