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On Friday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Panel ruled that the man who broke up with his long-time girlfriend, just a week after winning $100,000 from scratch-off must share the winnings with her.
Jeffrey Jones and Ruthann Colachino were thrilled to win a $100,000 prize from the "Bingo Squared" scratch-off game, during a period of attempted reconciliation in February 2018. The money they used to purchase the winning ticket came from a tax refund of $5,501, from claiming their child as a dependent, which is why Jones agreed to share the refund with Colachino. And shortly on February 22, 2018, Jones received the refund money in his bank account, and the pair immediately went out to the local Turkey Hill Minit Market to buy some lottery tickets.
The documents submitted in the court suggest that both Jones and Colachino were frequent visitors at the convenience store to purchase lottery tickets in each other’s company. After getting the winning ticket, both of them returned to their shared home, where Jones scratched off the lottery ticket to win $100,000.
As the court documents, both the parties were understandably elated and were professed to use the money to leave public housing and buy a home together with the lottery winnings. That same day, the winners claimed their winnings at the Pennsylvania Lottery Office in Middletown, which totaled to $72,930 after taxes. Despite such an amazing windfall, things weren't amazing for the couple.
A week after the win, Jones broke off his relationship with Colachino. They never bought a home together and Jones did not share a single penny of the lottery winnings with his former girlfriend.
On March 15, 2018, Colachino, filed a complaint against Jones for violating the agreement according to which they had to share the lottery winnings equally.
Following heavy investigations and in-depth review of the case, including the surveillance footage at the convenience store, testimonies from both of them, and even the clerk who sold the winning ticket, the County Judge ruled on Oct. 8, 2019, that both Jones and Colachino were involved in a joint venture, and that Colachino was entitled to half of the proceeds from the winning lottery ticket.
Jones appealed against this decision, arguing there never was a joint venture between him and his then-girlfriend because they did not combine resources to purchase the lottery tickets. Rather according to him, they purchased their individual tickets.
But going through all the trials and reports submitted, Judge Mary Jane Bowes, on November 15, 2019, denied his post-trial motions and concluded that Colachino was indeed entitled to her fair share of the prize based on testimony, evidence, and the fact they had jointly bought the lottery winning lottery ticket.
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