A Surrey woman is suing her ex-business partner for what she says is her rightful share of a $12.6-million lottery jackpot won more than two years ago.
Maria Ganguin has filed a lawsuit with the B.C. Supreme Court in which she claims she is owed half the winnings picked up in 2008 by Maria Linsenmeier and Daniel Fehr.
Ganguin said she and Linsenmeier ran a catering business together and had agreed to share any winnings from lottery tickets they purchased.
The lawsuit claims that Ganguin was led to believe it was her partner's husband who bought the ticket.
"My client says she was notified by her partner that there had been a winning," said Ganguin's lawyer, Stephen Herman. "But that it was a winning on a lottery ticket purchase by her partner's husband, Mr. Fehr."
Herman said if that was so, Ganguin might not have a claim.
But there's evidence it was actually Linsenmeier who bought the ticket, Herman said.
A news story in the Vancouver Province newspaper, written a few days after the win, quotes Linsenmeier as saying she bought the ticket while on her catering route, saying, "I just bought the Quick Pick with the Extra, $11 in total, and when I went to validate it, I thought something was wrong because all the numbers came up on the screen."
The B.C. Lottery Corporation has also been named by Ganguin in the legal action.
"The lottery corporation has an obligation to ensure before they release the funds that the rightful owner receives the winnings," said Herman. "And to the extent that was not done in this case, we say that the lottery corporation may well have failed in its obligation to my client."
Ganguin is seeking half the lottery jackpot, plus damages, alleging the conduct of Linsenmeir and Fehr was "egregious, high-handed and offensive."
Linsenmeir and Fehr couldn't be reached for comment and a B.C. Lottery Corporation spokesperson said officials were still reviewing the lawsuit and preparing a legal response.