In the first UK case of its type, the High Court has refused to award a man a half-share of his ex-wife’s lottery prize. The case was brought by a hotel porter whose wife had won £500,000 on a National Lottery ticket she had bought more than a decade ago. The money was used to buy a new matrimonial home in London, where they lived until the marriage broke down three years later.
When they got divorced, the husband, who now has a low income and lives in a housing association flat, applied to the High Court to have the lottery winnings counted as part of the matrimonial assets for the purposes of a financial settlement.
Mr. Justice Mostyn ruled, however, that a prize won by one spouse, without the others’ participation or knowledge, could not be included in the matrimonial property. As such the husband was not entitled to a share of this prize.
However, he said, the matrimonial home should always be designated matrimonial property and could thus be included in the joint assets for division. Because the husband had only lived at this property for a relatively short amount of time, he was only entitled to a small share of its £500,000 value, Mostyn ruled. He awarded the man a capital sum of £85,000.