Estranged husband loses bid to take share of wife's record Alberta lottery win

Robin Walker’s boyfriend Brett McCoy won a $60 million Lotto Max jackpot in September 2017. Walker’s estranged husband Lonnie Roth is trying to get his share, since they were still married on paper at the time of the win.

Judge ruled the couple could keep their winnings

Brett McCoy and Robin Walker of Peers, Alta., have won the largest lottery jackpot in Alberta history. (Western Canada Lottery Corporation)

A rural Alberta couple who won Alberta's largest jackpot have won a court battle to keep the winnings in their own bank accounts.

Brett McCoy won a $60-million Lotto Max jackpot in September of last year. He decided to share half of his winnings with his girlfriend, Robin Walker. 

But Walker's estranged husband Lonnie Roth asked the court to grant him part of the lottery win and transfer it into a secure trust. 

The Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the application, ruling that Roth did not have grounds to force his former partner to transfer part of her winnings into a trust.

According to court documents, Roth brought forward a case asking for $15 million of Walker's winnings.

The couple separated in October 2009 after nine years of marriage, but they were still legally married at the time of the lottery win, according to court documents.

Walker issued a Statement of Claim for Divorce and Division of Property in November 2009. Court documents said high conflict litigation occurred until April 2012.

No "new steps were taken" until Roth brought forward a claim asking for a preservation order to freeze $15 million of Walker's money, reads the documents.

He asked for $7.5 million of his request be paid in trust.

The court papers showed that Roth also asked for Walker to pay for $200,000 in legal fees.

On Tuesday, Justice D.A. Sulyma decided not to grant Roth a preservation order.

Since there was no evidence that Walker was "dissipating assets or moving assets offshore," or defying the court process, the judge rejected Roth's request.

The ruling also exempted Walker from paying for Roth's legal fees.

"I conclude that Mr. Roth has not made out his case for a preservation order or advance costs. I dismiss the application with costs."

The Lotto Max jackpot was from the draw on Sept. 22, 2017.

The couple was together, buying chicken feed at the corner store, when they bought the winning ticket from McLeod Trading Post in the hamlet of Peers, 35 kilometres northeast of Edson.