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Family feud over lotto winnings unfolds in Brisbane court

An Australian family has been torn apart over a lotto win worth nearly $666,775.

William John Bampton, 92, from Queensland, Australia, had his life turned upside down after winning the $657,440 lottery jackpot in March 2018.

But things soured when he tried to claw back a $200,032 “gift” he gave to his daughter, ending in an ugly legal battle that has left the elderly father estranged from his two children.

According to a Brisbane District Court ruling last month, Mr. Bampton put down a $33,338 deposit on a four-bedroom home shortly after winning the lottery.

William John Bampton, 92, from Twin Waters on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, had his life turned upside down after winning the lottery jackpot in March 2018. Stephen VanHorn – stock.adobe.com

He later paid an additional $336,741 to purchase the property in co-ownership with his son Larry Bampton.

In August of that year, he gave $200,032 to his daughter, Suzanne Elaine Vourlides.

This transaction became the focal point of contention as Mr. Bampton sought to have the cash set aside, alleging he was unduly influenced or subjected to unconscionable conduct by Mrs Vourlides.

Bampton tried to give back a $200,032 “gift” he gave to his daughter, ending in an ugly legal battle that has left the elderly father estranged from his two children.
LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS – stock.adobe.com

Mr. Bampton claimed an argument with his daughter in early August 2018 left him feeling “overwhelmed” with no choice but to make the payment, according to court documents

On the other hand, Mrs. Vourlides maintained that her father willingly gifted her $200,032 of his own accord.

Judge Suzanne Sheridan, in a comprehensive 39-page judgment, noted the extensive evidence presented by both parties.

Importantly, the court documents clarified that, at the time of the hearing, Mr. Bampton did not have a dementia diagnosis.

Despite Mr. Bampton’s plea, Judge Sheridan dismissed the claim, hinting at potential orders for costs unless an agreement between the parties could be reached.

“Although Mr. Bampton was of advanced age and had medical conditions, the medical evidence was to the effect that he had full capacity and well understood and was able to manage his financial affairs,” she said.

“I am unable to accept that Mrs. Vourlides took unconscientious advantage of Mr. Bampton.

“I am prepared to accept that the gift was fair, just, and reasonable in the circumstances.”

Mrs. Vourlides said the dispute had crushed her family.

“At the end of the day, I’m over it, quite frankly, it’s destroyed people’s lives. The whole thing is terrible,” she told the Courier Mail.

Larry, the brother caught in the turmoil and a resident of the Sunshine Coast revealed that his father had ceased communication with him.

“No one’s a winner out of this, it just destroys everyone in the family,” he told the publication.

“Although Mr. Bampton was of advanced age and had medical conditions, the medical evidence was to the effect that he had full capacity and well understood and was able to manage his financial affairs,” Judge Suzanne Sheridan said.
mehaniq41 – stock.adobe.com

“The worst thing that ever happened was that he won the million dollars.

“One of the tragic lotto stories, I think.”

Mr Bampton said he intended to appeal the court’s decision, lamenting that no winnings were left.

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Written by SaleemBaloch

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