Sunday 25 June 2017

Lotto winner 'laughed' at stepson who asked for a share of €3.4m jackpot

Mary Walsh leaving the Four Courts. Photo: Collins Courts
Mary Walsh leaving the Four Courts. Photo: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

A man has told a court his stepmother "laughed at me" when he asked her, some months after his father's death, for a one sixth share of a €3.38m Lotto win.

"She laughed at me and said I got the house and that was that," David Walsh said.

He denied suggestions there was no basis for his claim to a one-sixth share of the win.

He agreed he had not contributed to the €12 cost of the winning ticket, but denied he had falsely claimed the ticket was his father's because he was disappointed he got nothing in his father's will and all was left to his stepmother. The numbers used on the ticket reflected birthdays of his father's siblings and other dates of significance.

Mr Walsh (52), of Knocknagreena, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, was being cross-examined in his High Court action against his stepmother Mary Walsh for a €560,000 share of the €3.38m Lotto win of January 22, 2011.

His is among six signatures on the back of the winning ticket. The others were Mary Walsh, her late husband Peter Walsh, his nephew Kevin Black, and Mrs Walsh's sons Jason and Tony.

Mrs Walsh (65), of Perssepark, Ballinasloe, who is being sued personally and as personal representative of Peter Walsh's estate, denies David Walsh was part of a six-person syndicate that won the prize or that she holds €560,000 in trust for him.

She claims she bought and owned the ticket, intended to make gifts from the prize and was advised having the potential beneficiaries sign the back of the ticket would avoid them having to pay tax on those gifts.

The court heard various cheques were sent on behalf of Mrs Walsh to some of those signatories, including a €300,000 cheque to her son Jason; one for £380,000 (€435,000) to her son Tony and one for €100,000 to Mr Black.

Mrs Walsh claims David Walsh was offered the option of having €200,000 from the Lotto win or the former home of herself and his late father at Knocknagreena and opted for the house. Mr Walsh, who obtained a €135,000 valuation for the house in 2013, denies that.

Earlier, Mr Walsh told his counsel, Dervla Browne SC, his solicitors in August 2013 received a letter from the National Lottery confirming he was a member of a six-person syndicate that won €3.38m.

Under cross-examination by Michael Delaney SC, for Mrs Walsh, he denied never verbally raising with Mrs Walsh the issue of getting a share of the Lotto win and said he raised it three times. The third time, about May 2012, she laughed at him, said he got the house and that was that, he said.

He denied he was asked to sign the ticket when it was contemplated he might get a money gift out of the Lotto win and said there was no such discussion.

The case resumes on January 26.

Irish Independent

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