A Canadian teenager who won more than half a million dollars in a local lottery has lost half his jackpot prize after a family feud that made international headlines.
Tyrone MacInnis, 19, and his aunt Barbara Reddick, from Nova Scotia, an island of Canada’s east coast, won the top prize in the Margaree Chase the Ace lottery on July 12.
Both names had been written on the winning ticket, so lottery organisers split the jackpot down the middle, awarding each person AU$615,000.
But then Ms Reddick took her nephew to court, saying she had never agreed to split the money with the teenager.
Instead, she claims she transferred $100 to her nephew to buy the tickets on her behalf and asked him to include his name on the ticket for “good luck”, according to The Telegraph UK.
When it was revealed that the duo had won, they were photographed by reporters holding a giant novelty cheque with both their names written on it.
In the picture, Tyrone is grinning widely, but his aunt doesn’t look so happy.
When the cameras stopped clicking, Ms Reddick turned to her nephew and said: “See you in court.”
The pair then engaged their lawyers – and engaged in a nasty public feud.
“I bought the ticket,” Ms Reddick told Canadian news network CBC.
“Now he’s trying to lie and say I said ‘split’ the winnings.
“I put his name on the ticket for good luck because he’s like a son to me – he was.
“He was lucky, but not for half a million dollars. Tyrone is getting nothing from me.
“He’s dead to me.”
In August, a judge froze Tyrone’s share of the winnings while the dispute was mediated out of court.
The family reached an agreement that Tyrone would receive $373,507 – less than half the original amount awarded to him – while his aunt would pocket the lion’s share of approximately $931,000.
While the pair are reportedly “happy” with the outcome, many of those following the story took to social media to slam the teenager’s aunt as “greedy” and “shameful.”
“Money ruins families,” one person tweeted. “Greed and entitlement ruins families. Shameful behaviour.”
“She chose the love of money over her own nephew,” wrote another. ‘Very sad!”