Nova Scotia

'Dead to me': Aunt's feud with nephew over $1.2M Chase the Ace win hasn't cooled

As an aunt continues to feud with her nephew over a $1.2-million jackpot, a Dalhousie University law school professor suggests the family members seek an alternative to taking the matter to court.

Lottery court cases 'are all quite sad and none of them end very well,' says Dalhousie law professor

Barb Reddick of Guysborough, N.S., said she cashed a cheque Friday for half of a $1.2-million Chase the Ace jackpot won at the Margaree Forks, N.S., fundraiser for two area fire departments. (Barb Reddick photo)

It's been 24 hours but the anger Barb Reddick feels toward her nephew, the co-winner of a $1.2-million Chase the Ace jackpot, hasn't cooled.

On Friday, the Guysborough, N.S., woman repeated her vow to sue nephew Tyrone MacInnis of Glace Bay, N.S.

"He's dead to me," Reddick told CBC's Maritime Noon on Friday.

"What I can't understand is, of all the people in the family, Tyrone would lie on me. I would have gave Tyrone $200,000 and he would have got most of the rest of the money anyway."

Reddick went on to say the young man was like "the son I never had."

Meanwhile, a Dalhousie University law school professor has suggested the feuding family members seek an alternative to taking the matter to court.

"Taking a matter like this to court, oh boy," Rob Currie told CBC's Information Cape Breton.

"This one is really, in my mind, much more suited for some kind of alternative dispute resolution." 

Barb Reddick and her nephew, Tyrone MacInnis, of Glace Bay, are shown Thursday with an image of the $1.2-million Chase the Ace cheque. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

Reddick remains bitter with her nephew for collecting half of the money won with a ticket purchased for the Margaree Forks, N.S., fundraiser for two area fire departments.

She said she did not intend to split the winnings with MacInnis and was shocked when she saw that the organizer of the Chase the Ace fundraiser had divided the money into two cheques.

"I'm heartbroken because I don't think he should have got half of the money," she told Maritime Noon. "It wasn't his ticket.

"I always put Tyrone's name on the ticket for good luck. We had no discussion of money."

Through a relative, MacInnis declined to be interviewed.

The winning ticket from a July 11, 2018 draw in Margaree Forks, N.S. The ticket was worth $1.2 million. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

A spokesperson for Service Nova Scotia, responsible for the enforcing the province's alcohol and gaming regulations, said Friday it is not uncommon for multiple names to be listed on one ticket in these kinds of ticket lotteries.

"In these instances, we expect the licensee to split the prize equally amongst those named on the winning ticket," Marla MacInnis said in a statement. (She is not related to Tyrone MacInnis.)

"From our perspective, the prize has been awarded and the lottery is concluded. If there is a dispute between the winners, it should be resolved by the parties involved.‎"

Because the amount of money is more than $25,000, the case cannot be heard at small claims court. It would have to go before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Currie said.

That would mean "lots of evidence gathering, lots of filing of documents. People can represent themselves in Supreme Court, but they often find the procedure a bit daunting so lawyers inevitably end up getting involved."

He estimated the cost in lawyers' fees would be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

"There are lots of cases in Canadian law based on disagreements about who is entitled to lottery proceeds.  And they're all quite sad and none of them end very well," he said.

"And they all end up with a lot of money going out the door to the lawyers."

With files from Information Cape Breton and Maritime Noon