Lottery prize frozen two weeks
Adam Rodgers and Barbara Reddick
-by Anne Farries
Port Hawkesbury lawyer Adam Rodger won a temporary injunction preventing Tyrone MacInnis, 19, from spending money that Margaree lottery organizers paid to him last month.
August 10th, at Supreme Court in Port Hawkesbury, Justice Patrick Murray ordered MacInnis to leave the $611,319 lottery pay-out in the bank for two weeks, during which the judge will decide whether to continue to freeze the money pending a trial into the question of who owns it.
“It’s in the bank,” MacInnis told the court. “I haven’t touched it.”
Rodgers is representing MacInnis’ aunt Barbara Reddick, whose name, along with that of MacInnis, her nephew, was on the winning ticket.
In July, Reddick gave MacInnis $100 to buy tickets for her in the $1.2 million lottery, a fundraiser for the NE Margaree Volunteer Fire Department.
MacInnis bought 60 tickets and wrote Reddick’s name, his name, and his phone number on them. He also bought other tickets, on which he wrote only his name, and he sent his aunt a cell phone video showing both sets.
“I asked him for a copy of my tickets, because he bought his own tickets,” Reddick testified.
When a lottery official pulled a ticket with Reddick’s name out of a crate holding hundreds of thousands of tickets, for a total prize of $1.2 million, lottery organizers split the prize equally between the aunt and nephew.
Reddick told the court she had instructed her nephew to write his name on her tickets for luck, but that she never intended to split the prize with him, and that the pair never discussed if or how they would share the prize if one of the tickets was drawn.
She said she was astounded on the evening that the ticket was drawn when MacInnis delayed returning her texts and voice mail.
“I said, ‘call me, it’s urgent’” and “o.m.g, we got it, but we never discussed the share, what do you expect?”
MacInnis, a second-year Cape Breton University student, testified that he didn’t call back because he was working as a temporary supervisor at Tim Hortons with only one other person on the shift and so couldn’t take time to go to the phone.
Reddick heard from MacInnis the following day.
“I said, ‘what is going on’ and ‘how much do you expect?’”
“He went off, and that’s when Betty (MacInnis’ mother) grabbed the phone, and his mother said, ‘his name is on the ticket and he is entitled to half’.”
“I said, ‘Betty, stop it’.”
“And I hung up on him.”