Bay Area store owner sues lottery winner for half of prize

Mar 5, 2015 10:29 AM by News Staff

MILPITAS, Calif. (AP) - A woman who won $1 million from the California lottery is being sued by a San Francisco Bay Area liquor store owner who sold her the winning scratch-off ticket.

KNTV reports ( Laxmi Bhardwaj, owner of USA Liquors in Milpitas, claims 53-year-old Eva Reyes promised to evenly split the prize.

Each would receive about $350,000 after taxes.

Bhardwaj claims he loaned her the money to buy lottery tickets, the television station reports.

Court documents show Bhardwaj has a note signed by Reyes guaranteeing him half of the prize.

But Reyes claims she agreed to only give him $50,000 as a sign of good will.

Bhardwaj declined comment.

Nelson McElmurry, the woman's attorney, says Reyes has the legal right to change her mind since the money is a gift.

The disputed $350,000 is in an account until the lawsuit is settled.


Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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