A Mega Millions winner is suing his daughter’s mother for allegedly telling his family about his $1.35bn jackpot.
The Maine man, who has not been identified, was the recipient of the fourth-largest lottery payout in US history, and has accused his child’s mother of telling his parents about his newfound billionaire status and thus violating a non-disclosure agreement to keep his jackpot win under wraps until 2032, according to a federal lawsuit filed anonymously on Tuesday, obtained by The Daily Beast.
The man won the $1.35bn after buying the winning ticket at Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon, Maine, and chose to receive his prize in a one-time lump-sum payment of $723,564,144, or nearly $500 million after taxes.
He is now demanding a six-figure sum from his daughter’s mother, who he claimed violated the NDA by exposing his lottery win in “one or more telephone communications” with his dad and stepmom in September.
He also claims his sister was told about his lottery win, which has caused him “irreparable harm,” the lawsuit claims.
According to the lawsuit, the man is now asking for an injunction barring his daughter’s mother from revealing any further information to anyone else about the Mega Millions prize.
Experts recommend that lottery winners protect their wealth by keeping their win a secret, and changing their phone number, as well as setting up a P.O. box to fend off any requests for money. They also recommend lottery winners hire an attorney to collect the money and “keep your name out of the spotlight.”
The man has followed this advice and gone to great lengths to keep his fortune a secret, signing a non-disclosure agreement with his child’s mother “to promote the safety and security” of the pair, as well as their daughter, according to the lawsuit.
By signing the NDA, the man’s partner agreed not to tell anyone about the lottery win other than an “authorized recipient,” defined as the pair’s daughter, as well as his lawyers, financial advisors, accountants, or “others who… need to know.” Anyone else would require Doe’s permission, in writing, according to the lawsuit.
The NDA will stay in effect until 1 June, 2032, which is when their daughter will turn 18, the lawsuit states.
“I understand why someone would want to remain anonymous with this kind of money. We wish them well and hope they do good things with it,” Michael Boardman, deputy director of Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operation, told the Associated Press.
A news release issued by the Maine State Lottery said: “The winner is thoughtfully considering the best uses of the life-changing prize.”