He sued his ex to keep his identity private. But now it appears that lawsuit is backfiring against Maine’s anonymous Mega Millions winner.

In November, the man who won $1.35 billion after buying a lottery ticket from a gas station in Lebanon filed a complaint in U.S. District Court against the mother of his child, alleging she violated a nondisclosure agreement by talking to his father about the winnings.

He convinced a federal judge to seal various court records and approve the man’s use of pseudonyms in the case, further shielding his identity from the public.

But in February, his ex accused the lottery winner of having an ulterior motive – to financially pressure her to give up custody of their young daughter.

In court records, the man’s attorney disputed claims that his client was extorting his ex. Instead, he said, they’ve tried to settle, but the winner wants “full disclosure” about anyone she’s shared protected information with and assurance that she will not discuss his winnings. Records indicate the woman has denied ever sharing that information and has rejected those settlement offers.

The former couple has now filed for competing sanctions against one another, with the woman arguing that he lied about her violating their agreement and the lottery winner accusing her of smearing his reputation (despite the fact that his identity has not been made public).


The parties’ dueling requests offer a richer look at the life and background of Maine’s overnight millionaire, who has gone to great lengths to avoid being identified.

Their fight is also playing out as U.S. District Judge John Woodcock agreed last week to unseal various court records involving the winner’s requests to remain anonymous – after the Press Herald filed a motion to intervene – although Woodcock has not yet agreed to release either party’s name.

Woodcock is giving the man a month to appeal the order. His attorney declined Monday to say whether they will.


The key argument at the heart of the original lawsuit is whether the woman violated the nondisclosure agreement she signed not to share information about the lottery winnings, which the winner said he claimed jointly with a woman who he has been dating for two years.

He had alleged his ex told his father about the winnings, but in the latest round of filings the father renews his insistence that it was his son who shared the news. His father said the man visited their house about a month or two after buying the ticket to tell him he had won a billion dollars and would build his father a garage and buy him some cars to fix up for fun.


The lottery winner also offered to buy his father his childhood home, but his father didn’t want that, according to a signed statement he submitted to the court. The winner then allegedly said he wanted to set up a $1 million trust fund for his father that would pay for 24-hour care and save him from an assisted living facility.

“I questioned him about how that would work with taxes, and why we needed to have a trust fund,” the father wrote. “As a retired police chief in my 70s, I did not see the need for a trust fund at my age.”

Their relationship started to sour when the father said he didn’t want to cut off communications with his son’s ex. His father said the woman was a “good mother and we did not want to turn our back on her.”

“I told him that, ‘You are not the son I knew.’ He got angry, calling me a ‘dictator,’ ” the father wrote. “I have not heard from my son since, and he has not done any of the things he promised.”


In his recent court filings, the lottery winner also signed a nine-paged declaration “to set the record straight” about the allegations from his ex that he kidnapped their daughter last year.


He said his ex was “verbally, psychologically, and physically” abusive during their long relationship. He said that he briefly raised their daughter on his own during the pandemic, relying on “some close friends for support” after he lost his job in 2021 because of a “non-legislative COVID vaccine mandate.”

In her rebuttal, the woman says she never stopped taking care of their daughter. She was working as a traveling nurse to support their family and “was the only source of income for our family.” She said the man often visited her with their daughter while she was working in other states “which had higher wages” than where they lived, and she even gave him money to start a business.

The two go back and forth in court records over the custody of their child, especially after the lottery winnings were announced.

The winner said, based on the advice of a consultant, he convinced his ex to let him take their daughter away for three weeks to an undisclosed location to lay low before the lottery news broke. But he said that trip ended early when his ex tried to report him to police for kidnapping – a decision he alleged was made because he wouldn’t pay for his ex’s boyfriend to attend a trip to Disney World with their daughter.

But the woman said she reported him after learning he had pulled their daughter out of public school without her knowledge and mailed back a GPS device so she could no longer keep up with her daughter’s location. She also alleges that her ex has paid a “security team” to stalk her.

Before she was served with a copy of the complaint while at her job in an emergency room, she said she “was frequently being followed by an unknown car.” She said she was “mortified” that she was served at work and called it “downright creepy” when the attorney texted her personal cellphone after she went home to advise her that she should immediately hire an attorney.

She said other parents at their daughter’s school have complained about the security team and she’s afraid that they’re monitoring her electronic devices at home.

The judge has yet to rule on either of their sanctions.

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