Covering her assets?
Denise Rossi had been married for a quarter century when she won $1.3 million in the California Lottery in 1996. One of her first moves was to ask for a divorce from her husband -- who had no idea she had hit the jackpot.
Thomas Rossi uncovered the news a few years later when he opened a letter asking if she wanted to take her winnings in a lump sum rather than in annual payments. So, he sued.
In 1999, according to the Los Angeles Times, a judge declared that Denise Rossi had violated state asset-disclosure laws. The result? Her ex-husband received all of her winnings.
He had described a friendly marriage in his court filing. "We even shared the same electric toothbrush," he noted.
During an interview with People in 2004, when he was enjoying collecting close to $50,000 a year from his court victory -- he didn't seem to miss the toothbrush togetherness.
"If it wasn't for the lotto, Denise and I would probably still be together," Thomas Rossi said. "Things worked out for the best."
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