What I’d Do with $380,000,000…

Intern Rebecca here with questions about ex-con lotto winners…

If you’ve been playing the Mega Millions jackpot, you’ve probably heard that the second largest lotto prize in US history – $380,000,000 – was claimed by two folks last week: Jim McCullar, 68, of Washington, and Holly Lahti, 29, of Idaho. Lahti is the kind of* single mother of two.

*Kind of, because although Lahti is several years separated from her husband, Joshua Lahti, the two are not officially divorced, a technicality which is now haunting Holly like, well, the relentless memories of her horrible marriage…

While the papers were never served or filed, the evidence of their residency in Splitsville is plenty: Holly’s been living with her mother and children in the small town of Post Falls, Idaho, and has been so out of touch with Joshua that the Mr. heard of his sort-of-ex-wife’s winnings from a news reporter, not family or friends. He of course resurfaced in Holly’s life to claim his share of her winnings, but she’d already quit her job and ran the heck out of Dodge, asking the Mega Millions to give her a chance to get her life in order before she’s put on the daytime talk and late night interview circuit.

Unfortunately, Holly might also be using the time to seek serious legal advice. Idaho is a common property state, meaning all material wealth acquired during marriage is split 50/50. After taxes, Holly will be left with $80,000,000. Should she be forced to give her estranged husband $40,000,000?

But wait – this case is slightly more complicated that a mom and dad who forgot to make their separation legal. Turns out a big reason Holly left Joshua is because he’s not such a nice guy. The bumbling Neanderthal of a man, who looks like he could have been busted with Brett Favre’s sister at the meth lab last week, has 20 legal charges filed against him. He’s collected such gems as second-degree kidnapping, battery, a DUI, and violating a no contact order. Add stalking and burglary to the list and he’s well on his way to the Idaho Crime Hall of Fame, and perhaps a special appearance on America’s Most Wanted.

Here’s my big question: can a man who’s spent most of his life disobeying the law really use the law to gain $40,000,000 that’s not his? I hope the answer is no, for the sake of abused single moms everywhere.

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