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Wife’s lottery win is not an asset – or is it?

Michelle Uppal considers S v AG (financial remedy: lottery prize) 2011 in which the question arose whether the Wife’s lottery win during the marriage should be classed as matrimonial or non matrimonial property ie should the husband receive a share of it?

The court took the view at trial that because the husband did not have knowledge of the fact that his wife played the lottery and because she brought the tickets from her own income, it was classed as non matrimonial property. However since the wife used the money to purchase and renovate what became the new family home and it was at that point her win became matrimonial property.

The Judge in this case considered the sharing and the needs of the husband in determining the outcome. This was a long marriage where both children were over the age of 18. The husband required a lump sum on a clean break basis of £85,000. The wife’s share of the lottery win was £500,000. The judge concluded that the source of the matrimonial property was the wife’s non matrimonial property rather than joint monies, and in view of the fact that the husband had only lived in the new family home a relatively short time, equal sharing was not justified. The judge deemed that a share of 15 – 20% would be fair and reasonable.

If you would like more information about this matter, please contact Michelle Uppal at

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

Michelle Uppal, Miles & Partners Solicitors, London

Michelle Uppal

Mediator and Solicitor | Head of the matrimonial department

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