Former Maple Ridge, B.C., councillor Franz Prokop has lost a lawsuit that claimed his ex-partner's son had stolen his winning $3.6-million lottery ticket.
Prokop's lawyers told the court in New Westminster that he bought the Lotto 6/49 ticket while shopping in August 2007 with his common-law partner, Angelina Dushop, and that after the draw, she realized the ticket was a winner.
The Coquitlam realtor claimed Dushop's son, Peter Dushop, had access to the couple's home, took the ticket from Prokop's desk and then claimed the ticket 11 months later.
Dushop — who is also a realtor — denied the accusation, and testified that he had bought the ticket. He also noted the winning ticket contained numbers representing his and his mother's birthdays.
In a ruling released this week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Crawford found problems with the testimony of Dushop, his mother and Prokop.
"I was not impressed with the semantic dance over the purchase of the lottery ticket," Crawford said in his reasons for judgment.
Crawford ruled it was likely Dushop's mother used her credit card to buy the ticket, using Dushop's numbers, and that Prokop paid the Visa bill.
The judge believed the ticket was put away in a safety deposit box, because Angelina Dushop feared Prokop would want a share of the winnings.
But Crawford ruled Prokop failed to prove his case the ticket was his, and that it was stolen by Peter Dushop.
"The plaintiff has failed to establish both of these facts and accordingly the plaintiff's claim must fail," the judge said.
The common-law relationship broke down around the time of the lottery win, and the ruling notes Angelina Dushop had a settlement meeting with Prokop just days after her son's win was announced.
"Rather sadly, I observe that Ms. Dushop had Mr. Prokop forgive Peter Dushop’s $13,000 car loan Mr. Prokop had loaned him when he had just claimed to be the winner of a $3.6-million lottery," Crawford said.
The case was delayed for a number of months, because Franz Prokop was shot twice, by an unknown assailant in August 2013. He was hospitalized, and left with partial paralysis, but Prokop told the trial his memory had not been affected.
No one has been arrested for the shooting.