Detroit man ordered to share $57 million lottery winnings with ex-wife

An American man separated from his wife when he won NZ$57 million has been ordered to share the winnings with her.

Richard and Mary Beth Zeasko, from Michigan, had been separated for two years when Richard purchased a lucky Mega Million lottery ticket in 2013, reports the Associated Press.

Although he won NZ$121 million - pulled back to NZ$57 million after taxes and deductions - he's now been ordered to share the winnings with Mary Beth as the pair weren't formally divorced until 2018.

The money was considered by an arbitrator, who determined that Richard's winnings were part of the marital estate and awarded her NZ$22.7 million.

The case ended up going to an appeals court, which didn't buy an argument from Richard's lawyer Scott G. Bassett that it was Richard's luck that produced the lotto win, not Mary Beth's.

The court upheld the arbitrator's decision.

Bassett told People that Richard is after a reconsideration and if that was denied they intended to appeal the decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.

"An equal split of an asset acquired so long after separation, and in this case after the conclusion of the divorce arbitration hearing, is extremely unusual."

Mary Beth's lawyer did not immediately respond to People magazine's request for comment.