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Former fiancé sues $188 million Powerball jackpot winner

Feb 16, 2021, 11:28 am

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After the Big Win

By Kate Northrop

The ex-fiancé of a North Carolina Powerball winner is suing her for allegedly giving away over a million dollars' worth of property he claims were gifts given to him by her.

Lamarr McDow, the former fiancé of $188 million Powerball winner Marie Holmes, filed a lawsuit against her after she reportedly gave away his gifts consisting of cars, clothes, and miscellaneous property that totaled over $1.4 million in value.

Holmes lived with her then-boyfriend McDow at the time of her win. She met him back in 2012 when she was working at McDonald's and Walmart and living with her mother and three children in a mobile home. Since the couple began dating, they had two children together.

After splitting the $564 million Powerball jackpot with two other winners in February 2015, Holmes opted to receive a lump sum payout of $127 million and kept $88 million after taxes. She used her lottery winnings to buy a $250,000 house and moved in with McDow for about a year.

Between 2015 and 2016, the Powerball winner lavishly spent her winnings on her boyfriend. According to the federal lawsuit, these purchases included a $250,000 modified 2015 Chevrolet Stingray, $100,000 worth of clothes and jewelry, and an automotive restoration business for $600,000. Overall, the value of her gifts to him exceeded $1.4 million.

Documents state that, although "the automobiles and trucks listed above were titled in different names, there were witnesses, including the title holders that were present when Ms. Holmes voluntarily relinquished her ownership and control of the purchased vehicles by immediately turning over the keys to the vehicles to Mr. McDow for his exclusive use."

In January 2016, McDow pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic heroin following his arrest in November 2014. He was sentenced as part of a plea agreement to a minimum of 7.5 years in prison and was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.

The lawsuit states that that McDow executed a general Power-of-Attorney in January 2016 naming Holmes, his then fiancée, as his agent in anticipation of his impending incarceration. Therefore, it claims that Holmes wrongfully sold or gave away personal property that was entrusted to her for safekeeping without disclosing any of the transactions to McDow.

"As Mr. McDow's agent, Ms. Holmes was a fiduciary with respect to matters within the scope of her agency," the lawsuit says. "Mr. McDow authorized Ms. Holmes to store, maintain, and protect his real and personal property during his incarceration."

According to court documents, the couple also appeared on a television show in 2016. In an interview, she openly acknowledged purchasing the items listed in the lawsuit as gifts for McDow.

McDow is set to be released from prison in 2023.

DOCUMENT: Read the full lawsuit

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