Woman forced to hand over entire $1.3m lottery win to ex-husband after trying to hide it from him

Published on Aug 02, 2023 at 11:12 AM (UTC+4)
by Kate Bain

Last updated on Aug 02, 2023 at 6:04 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

Woman forced to hand over entire $1.3m lottery win to ex-husband after trying to hide it from him

A woman has been forced to hand over her entire lottery jackpot to her ex-husband after trying to hide it from him. 

When Denise Rossi entered a lottery syndicate with a group of work colleagues, they discovered they’d won $6.68 million.

The Californian woman was in the process of divorcing her husband at the time, but the win came in before the papers were officially filed.

READ MORE! $300 Million lottery winner enrages neighbors with his own music festival 

Rossi got the cheque for her share of the win – $1.3 million – sent to her mother’s house so her then-husband wouldn’t accidentally open it.

Years went by and Rossi’s husband Thomas was none the wiser. 

But years later, her ex-husband found out when he got a letter in the mail. 

The letter was sent by a company that claimed to help lottery winners finance their money.

The court – yep this ended up in court – heard that Rossi wanted to get out of her marriage for years. 

“I was afraid to tell [Thomas] because I knew he would try to take the money away from me,” she said.

“I went to the Lottery Commission office and told them I was married but contemplating divorce.

“They told me to file before I got my first check, which I did. I believed that the lottery winnings were my separate property because they were a gift.” 

Rossi’s ex-husband Thomas said he was left confused and blindsided when his wife suddenly left him after the win. 

“She wanted me to move out of the house very fast. It wasn’t like her to act this way,” he told People at the time.

The court found that Rossi had violated laws surrounding the disclosure of her assets during the divorce. 

According to the case law, she was ordered to pay her ex-husband 20 installments of $66,800 from 1996 to 2015.

That totaled the entirety of her $1.3m lottery win. 

Rossi’s lawyer Connolly Oyler said his client might have had a better chance at keeping the money if she hadn’t tried to hide it. 

“I could have argued successfully that it was her separate property,” he said. 

“But the judge got mad and gave it all to him.” 

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Kate Bain

Kate Bain is the Page Editor at supercarblondie.com. She is based in Dubai and coordinates coverage of the latest news across automotive, technology, and lifestyle. Kate has a bachelor's degree in business and post graduate in journalism. She is an experienced editor and journalist who has worked for News Corp, Daily Mail Australia, and Sky News. When she's not at work, you'll find her attached at the hip to her dog, Thor. Kate is currently on maternity leave following the birth of her first child.