A lottery prize of approximately $666,775 has driven a wedge between an Australian family.
When 92-year-old Queensland, Australia resident William John Bampton won the $657,440 lotto prize in March 2018, it flipped his world upside down.
The old father’s relationship with his two children deteriorated when he attempted to recoup a $200,032 “present” he had given to his daughter, leading to a contentious court dispute.
Mr. Bampton, soon after winning the lotto, put down a deposit of $33,338 on a four-bedroom property, according to a Brisbane District Court verdict last month.
To buy the house in joint ownership with his son Larry Bampton, he subsequently paid an extra $336,741.
He left his daughter Suzanne Elaine Vourlides $200,032 in August of that year.
Mr. Bampton wanted the money set aside because he said Mrs. Vourlides had unfairly influenced him or subjected him to unconscionable behavior, and this transaction became the center of the dispute.
Court records indicate that Mr. Bampton said that he was “overwhelmed” and forced to make the payment after an incident with his daughter in early August 2018. However, according to Mrs. Vourlides, her father voluntarily gave her $200,032 as a present.
Both sides provided substantial evidence, which Judge Suzanne Sheridan acknowledged in her 39-page ruling.
Crucially, the court records made it clear that Mr. Bampton had not been diagnosed with dementia before the hearing.
Judge Sheridan rejected the claim notwithstanding Mr. Bampton’s pleading, dropping hints about possible cost orders without a settlement.
She said, “The medical evidence was to the effect that Mr. Bampton had full ability and was competent to handle his financial affairs,” notwithstanding his late age and physical issues.
According to Mrs. Vourlides, her family had been devastated by the conflict.
The brother caught up in the chaos, Larry, who lives on the Sunshine Coast, said his father had cut off all contact with him.
“No one’s triumphant in this; it only devastates the whole family,” he informed the media. “He won a million dollars, the worst thing that could have occurred.”