Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, February 21, 2021

She won $188M Powerball. Now her ex-fiance is suing her from prison, NC lawsuit says

LotteryholmesMarie Holmes was working five jobs when she won the $188 million Powerball jackpot in 2015, which was the largest jackpot winnings in North Carolina history. 

After taxes, the winnings amounted to $87.9 million. Holmes stated that she planned to give a portion of her winnings to charities and religious organizations. Holmes also said she planned on using some of the money to go back to college and buy her mother a house. 

Holmes' ex-fiance, Lamarr Andre McDow, claims that Holmes spent money on generous and lavish gifts for him. McDow alleges that Holmes has given away or sold these gifts after they split up and now he is suing to get them back. 

McDow claims that Holmes breached her fiduciary duty "when she reportedly gave away his 77-acre dirt bike track, his car repair shop and tens of thousands of dollars worth of clothing and jewelry while he was in prison." 

Holmes' defense attorney stated in a motion to dismiss, “This case is the embodiment of the phrase ‘[w]hat’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own.’ The problem here, however, is that McDow has nothing of his own.”

McDow was convicted of drug trafficking in April 2016 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He is projected to be released in June 2023. 

McDow made Holmes his power of attorney before he went to prison. 

Apparently, McDow heard that Holmes began dating someone else after their split, and began giving away McDow's things. According to McDow's attorney, “Ms. Holmes’ unconditional obligation to act in the best interests of Mr. McDow didn’t stop because Ms. Holmes and Mr. McDow’s relationship ended.” 

As of now, McDow has not responded to the motion to dismiss. 

See She won $188M Powerball. Now her ex-fiance is suing her from prison, NC lawsuit says, Yahoo News, last visited February 21, 2021.

Special thanks to David S. Luber (Florida Probate Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.


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