'Dead to me': Aunt says she didn't agree to split Chase the Ace jackpot with nephew
Published Friday, July 13, 2018 12:15PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 13, 2018 5:00PM EDT
A woman awarded half of a $1.2-million lottery prize in Nova Scotia says her nephew is “dead” to her after he took half of the prize money, and that she only wrote his name on the ticket for “good luck.” Meanwhile, at least one lawyer says she may have a case.
Barb Reddick and her nephew, Tyrone MacInnis, each received cheques for $611,319.50 on Thursday after a $1,222,639 ticket with both their names on it was pulled Wednesday night at a Chase the Ace draw in Margaree, N.S.
Reddick surprised the organizers by telling the media soon afterward that she would be “taking (MacInnis) to court.”
On Friday, Reddick explained to CTV News Channel that, although MacInnis purchased the ticket, she sent him $100 for tickets, and “told him to put his name on it for good luck.” She says she only planned to give him $150,000 if he won.
“He bought other tickets and didn’t put my name on it,” she said.
“I’m not greedy,” she went on. “If he would have won, I wouldn’t have (gotten) nothing out of him,” Reddick added.
Reddick said she will never speak with her nephew again “in this life or the next,” adding, “He’s dead to me. I don’t want nothing to do with him.”
Reddick maintained Friday that she would be “taking him to court” and said that she had called a lawyer but had not yet heard back. She said pursing legal action is “for the principle.”
“It don’t matter if the judge give me the money back or not,” she said.
A member of MacInnis’ family told CTV Atlantic that they would not comment, saying only that they plan to get a lawyer.
Does Reddick have a case?
Halifax-based lawer David Hutt, who was not representing Reddick when he spoke to CTV News Channel on Friday, said that she “may” have a case, although he’s waiting for more details.
“It’s a question of contract,” Hutt said. “It’s not really between her and the organizers of the event. It’s actually between her and her nephew, and right now we’re really scant on analysis.”
Hutt said that MacInnis’ name being on the ticket would be evidence the court would consider, but how that’s interpreted “depends on what the two discussed.” He said it’s also likely the court would consider whether there was an “oral, informal” contract between the two.
“If it was just a gratuitous promise on her part, it’s quite possible that she does have a case and (if) there is no contract, she should get the whole amount,” Hutt said.
Hutt emphasized that “we’re really scant on details” and pointed out that he has yet to hear MacInnis’ version of events. MacInnis has not yet commented publicly.
“It’s terribly sad and it suggests to me that more of us should formalize these agreements,” Hutt said.
Hutt suggested that Canadians who play the lottery together – including in office pools – should write down their contracts, perhaps by using forms available from lottery corporations online.