Kids Squabble When Father Dies Day After Jackpot Win

April 20th, 2011   ·   Read Comment...

Lajos Szanto won $1,818,181.82 on the Australian lottery. But sadly died the very next day.

Unfortunately the four children he leaves behind are now fighting in court over who gets the cash.

Lajos did leave behind a will in additionl to the jackpot winning lottery ticket. But it wasn’t entirely clear under the terms of the will which of the children are legally entitled to the money.

At Townsville Supreme Court, Justice Kerry Cullinane had the job of trying to resolve the siblings squabbling.

Lajos lived in a granny flat beneath his daughter Christina Aston’s house, in Townsville, Queensland.

His will declared “furniture and chattels” should go to his daughter Christina. Whereas the rest of his estate should go to the other three children equally.

The judge determined that the ticket did not fall under the declaration of “furniture and chattels”, so should therefore go to the other three children.

Tragically, however, even that doesn’t complete the bickering.

The court has yet to hear a separate case regarding if Lajos Szanto had bought his ticket with intent to share just with son Stephen Szanto.

One can only hope Lajos is not aware of the squabbling between his children. Especially given that this has now been dragging through the courts for over a year, since the original win on 13th February 2010.

How would you resolve this if you were in their position?

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  • Gavin

    Sadly, for the daughter, a Will is the final and legal requests of a dead person and it is a legally binding document. If I was presiding over the case, I would have to divide the money amongst the 3 children equally. Chatels refers to movable property within a home such as furniture etc. A lottery ticket wouldn’t fall under this category, it is more like stocks, bonds, and securites. The man probably had very very little income and thought he was doing his daughter a favor by giving her his possesions and leaving the sons with nothing except the mans home (if he had it) and whatever little money he had. The boys probably would have been left with debt (like a unpaid mortgage) rather than anything with value. Saddly he didnt change his will after winning and died the next day. Therefore his daughter gets screwed and his sons get the loot.

    For one son to try and bring suit and say the father wanted to split it with him is stupidity. There is no way to prove that, and he should be shunned for being so greedy. This family does not sound like they have much money. Any normal family would be happy with 1/3 of the jackpot. In fact, any family of decent souls would decide to divide the money equally including the sister. They would all still end up with 450k.

    Poor people are sometimes greedier than the rich. I know in my family, I’d be more concerned my dad died, and be thankful he left such a wonderful gift for us after his passing. I would gladly take a 4th share and be thankful that my sister, my brothers, and myself could be so fortunate and be able to have stronger bonds amongst each other.

    All they are doing is spending large portions of his winnings on legal fees. When it’s all said and done there won’t be much left to divide. To top it off, the lawyers will end up with a very handsome percentage of the money. They will likely end up with much less than they had if the split it as the judge wanted. Curse the greedy lot, burn it in front of them. Their father is looking on with such disappointment from heaven.

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