North Carolina woman who won $188 million Powerball jackpot sued by jailed ex-fiancé

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SHALLOTTE, N.C. (WBTW/WWAY) — A North Carolina woman who won a $188 million Powerball jackpot is being sued by her ex-fiancé — who is currently in jail — after she allegedly gave away some of his personal property.

Fontella Marie Holmes won the prize in 2015, according to CBS affiliate WWAY. She elected to take the lump sum and ended up walking away with $88 million, according to the lawsuit.

Lamarr McDow was arrested in November 2014 by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Department for trafficking narcotics, according to the lawsuit. McDow goes by the street name of “Hot Sauce,” according to WWAY.

In the lawsuit — which was filed in September 2020 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina — McDow claims Holmes bought a home for $250,000 for the two to move into together shortly after winning the lottery.

Due to his arrest and her winning the lottery, Holmes moved about a year later due to the media attention around her winnings and his arrest, the lawsuit states.

In January 2016, Holmes and McDow moved into a new home, according to the lawsuit. While living there, Holmes was interviewed for a TV show. The lawsuit claims that while on the show, Holmes acknowledged purchasing various gifts for McDow totaling more than $1.4 million.

In January 2016, McDow — in anticipation of incarceration — executed a power of attorney and named Holmes as his agent, according to the lawsuit. Doing this allowed Holmes to store his personal property until he got out of jail.

In August 2017, they broke off their relationship but kept in touch through mail concerning the daughter they had together, the lawsuit shows.

The lawsuit claims Holmes didn’t “act openly, fairly, and honestly” and gave away McDow’s personal property.

McDow is seeking compensatory damages from Holmes up to $25,000, punitive damages up to $25,000, tax interest, attorney’s fees, and other costs.

WWAY reports McDow is currently serving his sentence and is expected to be released in June 2023.

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