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Stepson suing stepmother for share of Lotto win had his signature on back of ticket

Mary Walsh says she was told by the National Lottery to let family sign the ticket.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

A WOMAN BEING sued over a one sixth share of a €3.38m Lotto win by her stepson has told the High Court that the winning ticket was hers and did not belong to a syndicate.

Mary Walsh told the court she was the “sole winner” of the lottery prize and the first she heard about her stepson David Walsh claiming a €560,000 share of the €3.38 million lotto win on 22 January 2011 was in a solicitors letter sent on her stepson’s behalf in mid 2013.

Giving evidence before Justice Richard Humphreys on what was the fifth day of the action, Walsh said she had played the lotto regularly.

She said she bought tickets on behalf of a four person syndicate at the barber’s she and her late husband Peter Walsh operated, a ticket for her husband and her own ticket.

She said that it wasn’t until late on the Sunday night following the draw when she realised that she was the owner of one of two tickets that had won the previous night’s lotto jackpot.

She told her counsel Michael Delaney SC after she checked the numbers online she woke her husband Peter, who at the time was suffering from cancer and told him:

I think I have won the lotto.

“He said that’s grand and went back to sleep,” she said.

Walsh said that her win was confirmed after she contacted and spoke with an official with the National Lottery the following morning.

Signed

Following advice she said she received from the National Lottery official about gifting any winnings to family members she said she got several relatives of theirs to sign the back of the ticket.

This was so they would not have to pay tax on the win.

The signatories included Peter Walsh, her son Jason who she gave €300,000, her son Tony who she gave £380,000 (about €456,000) and Kevin Black a nephew of her husband who she gave €100,000.

She said David Walsh, who also signed the back of the ticket was offered the option of having €200,000 from the lotto win or the former home that she and her late husband shared at Knocknagreena, Ballinasloe and opted for the house. David Walsh denies that.

The transfer of the property, which has been valued at €135,000, was completed in December 2011 around the time Peter Walsh died.

She said that David Walsh never spoke to her about the lotto being won by a syndicate and the first she heard about that claim was in a solicitor’s letter she received in mid 2013.

Under cross examination by Dervla Browne SC for David Walsh, Mary Walsh said she told the official at the National Lottery on the day that she had the win confirmed that the winning ticket was hers.

Counsel had put it to her that two National Lottery communications issued shortly after contacted them described the winners as “seven person syndicate” from Co Galway.

50-50

Walsh did accept that she was also sent information by the lottery with instructions for syndicates on how to claim the prize.

She did accept that as far as she was concerned the win was 50-50 between her and her husband.

Mary Walsh also accepted that a sworn statement filed on her behalf to revenue in 2012 was done so she could extract probate did not include certain details including the number of Peter Walsh’s children’s or details about joint bank accounts they had held together.

The form, which could be viewed by anyone claiming an interest in the late Mr Walsh’s estate, was completed in order to obtain a €50,000 which was in a bank account in Peter Walsh’s name.

She accepted details were omitted, including that Peter Walsh had four children from his previous marriage and details about assets they had held jointly.

She said details were “not material” because Peter Walsh had left her everything in his will, which was signed in 2007.

She denied the affidavit contained lies and that any omissions were made “in error” and that she didn’t accept that she had anything to hide from Peter Walsh’s four children.

It was she said “common knowledge” within the family she had won the lottery.

Gift

She also accepted that David was to be gifted the house was not contained in the file of a solicitor who had handled that transaction. She said that it had been mentioned to the lawyers and should have been included in correspondence exchanged between David Walsh’s on her behalf.

File Photo THE NATIONAL LOTTERY is to introduce changes next month that will see the cost of playing increase. Two extra numbers will also be added to the selection grid, lengthening the odds for winning the jackpot. Customers will, from next month, have Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

She had reservations about giving David the house and did not feel he deserved it because he had been estranged from his father for about year before the win.

He had only resumed contact three weeks before the lotto win following a request from one of their relatives. She said she went along with her husband’s wishes to give him the house

In his action David Walsh (52), of Knocknagreena, Ballinasloe claims he is entitled to a one sixth share of the windfall.

He claims that as his signature is among six signatures on the back of the ticket and Mary Walsh and the estate of his late father hold the €560,000 in trust for him.

Mary Walsh (66), of Perssepark, Ballinasloe, who is being sued personally and as personal representative of Peter Walsh’s estate, denies David Walsh was part of a syndicate that won the €3.38 million prize or that she holds €560,000 in trust for him.

The case continues.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

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Aodhan O Faolain

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