Sons Smash Up Dad's Cars With Hammer After He "Refused to Share" $3.6 Million Lottery Win
“This lottery win was the worst thing that ever happened to us — it ripped our families apart."
Lotteries have attracted major headlines on both sides of the pond this summer—in the U.S., it's because of the record-smashing $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot, which was finally claimed. In the UK, it's because a man claimed his girlfriend cut him off from their $4 million lottery winnings after they broke up. It's not the only time a lottery jackpot has caused a family feud. Read on to find out how winning the lottery brought really bad luck to some.
This summer, the Sun revisited a dozen bus drivers from Corby, England, who won $44 million in the EuroMillions lottery in 2012. The group were able to retire from their jobs and enjoy their winnings—some splashed out on cars and boats, while others lived relatively normally, continuing to shop at discount stores. But one family came to literal blows over the windfall. When Alex Robertson refused to share any of his $3.6 million winnings with his sons, one of them smashed up his new cars.
"We ended up taking hammers to his two new 4×4 Shoguns," said Alex Robertson, Jr. "We walked up his driveway at 11 o'clock at night and put two claw hammers through the windows of the car. We then reported ourselves to the police."
"This lottery win was the worst thing that ever happened to us — it ripped our families apart," the junior Robertson told the Sun. His brother William, 44, was charged with harassing their father by sending him threatening text messages. But authorities dropped the case against William when Alex Robertson, Sr., who had moved to Spain, declined to testify at trial.
Sometimes splitting up the money doesn't go smoothly either. In 2018, CTV News reported on a feud that erupted between a Nova Scotia woman and her nephew over a winning $1 million lottery ticket. When lottery authorities offered the pair two checks dividing the winnings exactly in half, things got ugly. "I'm taking him to court. I'm getting my lawyer tomorrow," Barb Reddick told CTV News. She claimed that her nephew's name was on the ticket only "for good luck" and that she had only agreed to split a consolation prize, not the entire jackpot if they won it. They soon settled in court, with Reddick claiming about 75% of the winnings and her nephew about 25%.
Buying lottery tickets as a group (sometimes known as a syndicate) can cause major controversy too. This year, a group of 250 people won a $60 million lottery jackpot in Australia and split the prize among them. Then a man sued the organizers of the group, claiming he had bought into the syndicate and was due a share of the winnings. The organizers claimed he had bought into a previous group that wasn't entitled to the jackpot. That case is now heading to court.