Connecticut Lottery Agreements: Mo Money Mo Problems

money The Connecticut Appeals Court has ruled a 1995 pact struck by two widowed sisters to split each other’s future gambling winnings is still binding despite the fact they no longer speak to one another.  Boston Herald, 02/04/2008

The case of Sokaitis v. Bakaysa has it all: money, a bitter family feud, lots of luck,  and an interesting legal controversy.

In 1995, the plaintiff and the defendant, who are sisters, created and signed a written agreement in which they promised to share equally in each others lottery winnings.

As fate would have it, 10 years later, the defendant, Rose Bakaysa’s brother won $500,000.00 from Powerball. Rose evidently had a similar arrangement with her brother and received $249,999 (minus taxes)  from her brother’s winning ticket. Rose evidently did not share any portion of the $249,999 with her sister as she had promised to do in 1995.

At issue in this case was a gambling law passed in 1902  prohibits agreements to split or share money won at any game.  Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 52-553 

The appellate court held in a 2-1 decision that the gambling statute does not apply to the agreement between the sisters and remanded the case to the trial court.

This means that the sisters will continue their fight either in the trial court or in the Connecticut Supreme Court.

I think The Notorious B.I.G. said it best:

Its like the more money we come across
The more problems we see

This is truly a case of Mo Money Mo Problems.

Ryan McKeen is a trial attorney at Connecticut Trial Firm, LLC in Glastonbury, Connecticut. In 2016, he was honored by the CT Personal Injury Hall of Fame for securing one of the highest settlements in the state. He is a New Leader in the Law. ABA 100. Avvo 10. 40 under 40 for Hartford Business Journal. He has been quoted in Time Magazine, the New York Times, Hartford Courant, Wall Street Journal Law Blog and the Hartford Business Journal. He focuses his practice on Connecticut Personal Injury law. He loves what he does. Contact him or 860 471 8333

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