In a recent case in the High Court, additional guidance
has been given as to how lottery winnings should be treated in the
context of divorce proceedings, showing us that where the money
came from to buy the ticket can make a difference as can how the
winnings are used.
The case SG –v- AG was notable in that neither party
was particularly wealthy before the wife won £500,000, being
her one half share of a lottery win as part of a syndicate with her
friend. Apparently only one ticket was ever purchased at a cost of
The Court made it clear that these cases must always be
considered individually and are fact specific. The Judge was
interested in the source of the funds, making the distinction
between tickets which were purchased out of joint income or capital
and cases such as this where the husband was not aware that the
wife had purchased the ticket and formed a syndicate with her
The Court will also be interested in how the lottery winnings
are applied. In this instance, the wife purchased a mortgage free
property in her own name but subsequently resided in the property
with her husband, allowing him to make some claim over its
As in all matrimonial cases, needs are at the forefront of the
Court's mind when determining who should get what, whatever the
source of the finance. The Judge felt that the husband's
housing needs were adequately provided for but was concerned that
he was in need of some capital provision upon his retirement. The
result in this case is that the husband was awarded the sum of
£85,000 in order to meet his retirement needs. The Order was,
in some way, rationalised by the Court by the fact that the money
had been invested in a property in which both parties lived. The
husband's share in that property was limited to only 15%- 20%
on the basis that he had not lived there for very long.
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