Stepson hits the jackpot as court rules he's due €560k share of win
The High Court has ruled in favour of a man who had sued his stepmother for a one-sixth share of a €3.38m Lotto win.
Mr Justice Richard Humphreys ruled that David Walsh was part of a syndicate and was a co-owner of a winning ticket, and that he was entitled to an approximately €560,000 share of the jackpot.
The judge added that his stepmother, Mary Walsh, had lied on oath.
Mr Walsh, who was one of six signatories on the back of the winning ticket, sued Mrs Walsh, who was married to his late father Peter Walsh, claiming he was entitled to a one-sixth share.
The judge said evidence given by Mrs Walsh during the seven-day hearing was inconsistent, "not credible", contained "self-contradiction" and was "unreliable".
Mr Walsh claimed his late father had told him shortly after the win that he would be looked after and would not have to worry about money again.
Mrs Walsh opposed the claim and argued that she was the sole owner of the winning ticket, which was bought in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, on January 22, 2011.
She had claimed that she, her late husband and four of their relatives had signed the back of the ticket to avoid paying gift tax.
The court heard that Mrs Walsh's son Jason received €300,000, her son Tony £380,000 (€449,000), while Kevin Black, a nephew of Peter Walsh, received €100,000.
She also said David Walsh 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. Mr Walsh denied that.
The transfer of the property, which has been valued at €135,000, was completed in December 2011 when Peter Walsh died.
Mr Justice Humphreys said he accepted evidence tendered by David Walsh as being credible. This was in contrast to evidence tendered by his stepmother, who the judge said had given evidence that was "fundamentally inconsistent" and that she "lied on oath".
While it had initially been denied by the defendant, there was an acceptance during her evidence that David Walsh was a co-owner of the ticket.
The judge said he was satisfied from the evidence that after it was discovered that they had the winning ticket, the intention was that three members of Mrs Walsh's family and three members of the late Peter Walsh's family would benefit from the win.
The judge did not accept that Mrs Walsh was the sole owner of the winning ticket.