- A mainland court has ordered a man who hid millions in lottery winnings to pay a portion to his wife as part of a divorce settlement
- The man concealed the money after winning a jackpot 2 years ago by hiding money with his family and a previous wife
A Chinese lottery winner who tried to conceal 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million) in prize money from his then-wife has been ordered by a mainland court to pay millions of yuan in compensation.
A court in Wenzhou in eastern China’s Zhejiang province made the order on February 1, after the man’s wife sought a divorce and a share of the lottery money concealed by her husband, the Hangzhou Daily reported.
The man, surnamed Zhou, won the lottery worth 10 million yuan two years ago and received 8.43 million yuan after tax.
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Instead of sharing the news of his win with his then-wife, surnamed Lin, Zhou decided to conceal it from her. On the day the prize money was deposited into his bank account, he transferred 2 million yuan to his older sister. A few days later, he withdrew 700,000 yuan (US$103,000) to help his ex-wife buy a flat.
When Lin eventually discovered Zhou’s deception she filed for divorce. She sought to divide the couple’s common property equally but asked the court to order Zhou to pay her two-thirds of the combined 2.7 million yuan he had concealed from her with his sister and ex-wife.
The court found that the money Zhou transferred to his sister and ex-wife from the lottery winning was a part of the couple’s common property. The steps he took after receiving the prize to hide the money from his then-wife constituted embezzling the couple’s common property. The court agreed to Lin’s request for 60 per cent of the concealed winnings.
Neither party has sought an appeal of the court’s ruling, the Hangzhou Daily reported.
The case has trended widely on mainland social media and generated thousands of comments on Douyin alone.
“He used the couple’s common property to buy a lottery ticket and won the top prize. He wanted to enjoy it alone [after receiving the prize]?” Asked one person.
A second person said: “The 10 million-yuan prize has only deepened the rift between these two people.”
“It served as another reason for me not to get married,” a third commenter wrote.
It’s not the only recent case in China of a lottery windfall being kept from a partner. In October last year, a man in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region who won 220 million yuan (US$32 million) in the lottery told the media that he did not plan to let his wife and child know so they wouldn’t become “conceited”.
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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
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