- A 92-year-old Australian man won $642,664 in the lottery.
- He paid his daughter $195,051, but later sued her, claiming he was bullied into giving the money.
- But a judge dismissed the case, ruling that the man was unlikely to have been coerced into it.
A 92-year-old Australian man unsuccessfully attempted to sue his daughter, alleging in a lawsuit that she bullied him into transferring nearly a third of his lottery winnings to her.
In March 2018, William John Bampton from Queensland, Australia, won $986,210 in Australian currency, the equivalent of $642,664 in US dollars, in the TattsLotto.
A few months later he paid roughly $195,051 in US currency to his daughter Suzanne Vourlides, a little less than a third of his total winnings.
He later regretted his decision and said he was pressured into it.
However, a Brisbane District Court ruling released late last month rejected Bampton’s allegations that he was pressured, or even bullied, into writing the cheque.
Bampton sought to have the money set aside, but the judge ultimately dismissed the case.
According to evidence provided in the ruling by Vourlides and her husband, much of which conflicted with Bampton’s account, he repeatedly promised to give $300,000 in Australian currency to both of his children.
However, he then used a chunk of the winnings to purchase a property, listing his son, Larry Bampton, as a co-owner but excluding Vourlides, the ruling said.
Bampton told his daughter that she was excluded because he didn’t want her husband to be able to use the money, according to the ruling.
He also changed his will to ensure that Vourlides would not be able to receive any of his money until her husband died, with the will then being amended multiple times.
An argument then arose about the money Vourlides would receive, with Bampton claiming that she blocked him in the kitchen, leaned over him, and shouted at him, causing him to feel “frightened.”
Bampton claimed he felt “overwhelmed” and like he had “no alternative” but to transfer the money, according to the ruling.
Vourlides disputed the timing and nature of the disagreement, the ruling said, with the father and daughter giving conflicting accounts on numerous incidents.
The judge, Suzanne Sheridan, said that Bampton appeared to be the less timid of the two, noting a power imbalance between the family members.
Though Bampton claimed that Vourlides was taller and more “robust” than him, the judge said this was clearly false.
Sheridan ultimately concluded that Bampton was unlikely to have been bullied into making the transfer.
“Mr. Bampton was a strong and forceful personality,” the judge said.
The case was dismissed, with Sheridan stating that she did not believe Vourlides took advantage of her father and that the gift was fair, just, and reasonable as it “involved more or less equal treatment of his children.”
Legal representation for Bampton and Vourlides did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comments, which were sent outside of business hours.
A Wells Fargo lottery advisor told Business Insider last year that winners frequently struggle to know how to say “no” to family members.
As such, Emily Irwin, senior director of advice for Wells Fargo’s southern division, said she often advises winners to consider hiring a family governance or family dynamics coach.