A man from Queens, New York, is suing a friend over his over claims that he reneged on a deal that they made to split a large lottery prize.
Terry Hollenquest, who lives in the Ozone Park area of Queens, will represent himself in court as he attempts to prove that a deal was made between himself and the man who lives next door to him, Leonard Owens, to share any lottery prize worth over $100,000 while they were still neighbours. In June of this year, Mr Owens won a prize worth $1,000 per year for life on a Win $1,000 A Week For Life scratch card but allegedly did not carry out the deal and split his winnings with Mr Hollenquest.
The agreement, according to Mr Hollenquest, was made on July 6th 2014, and was sealed with a handshake. The two men were eager to achieve a big win and would both spend up to $50 every day on lottery draw games and scratch off tickets.
One year later, Mr Owens won the top prize on the New York Lottery’s Win $1,000 A Week For Life game. The lottery winner scratched off his ticket on Saturday June 27th as he sat in a local park, and he told lottery officials on claiming the money that he almost fell of the very bench he was sitting on.
Mr Owens chose to accept the lump sum payment from the New York Lottery which was worth $1 million before taxes and fees were taken, leaving him with just under $500,000 in prize money, a far cry above the agreed amount to be split. However, Mr Hollenquest says that when he asked his neighbour about their agreement, Mr Owens told him that he would not be sharing the prize, and in actual fact he told lottery officials that he would be using the winnings to enjoy himself, help his wife to retire and pay off some bills.
Mr Hollenquest is asking for $300,000 in damages from his neighbour, and he hopes to be luckier than the Indianapolis lottery winner’s ex-wife who was unsuccessful in suing him for more than 50% of the winnings.
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