COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A Rathdrum woman who split the second largest lottery jackpot in US history may have to split her winnings again with her estranged husband.
A marriage license in the Kootenai County Recorder's office shows Josh Lahti and Holly Alford were wed in Coeur d'Alene in May of 2001.
However over time, relatives say, the pair stopped living together.
A check at the court house revealed there is no record of any divorce proceedings in Idaho or Washington and according to John George, an attorney with the law firm Palmer and George, if a divorce never happened, Josh Lahti can legally claim half of his estranged wife's winnings which would be worth approximately $40 Million.
?Any property acquired during marriage under Idaho law is presumed to be community property which means there's a presumption that he has an equal interest in the lottery winnings that were acquired during marriage,? George said.
There are a few exceptions to the community property rule, like if Holly Lahti could prove she got her winning ticket as part of a gift or inheritance. Legal experts say she faces an uphill battle keeping all of her money.
?It would essentially [be] her burden to establish that it was acquired in some manner that excepts it out of the presumption of being community,? George said.
It?s not known if Lahti planned to share her winnings with her estranged husband, though Josh Lahti said he found out about his wife?s good fortune from a reporter.
- North Monroe project to move forward despite lingering concerns
- Bloomsday looking for more volunteers
- Historic Ridpath hotel to be turned into affordable housing
- Problematic drug house in Spokane boarded up
- Local school district tackles '13 Reasons Why'
- Humane Society volunteer wins award for shelter