Man wins lottery, divorces wife, then picks up winnings

Yuan Li sued her husband for a share of the winnings

Serina Sandhu
Wednesday 16 September 2015 20:23 BST
A man from China divorced his wife before claiming his lottery ticket
A man from China divorced his wife before claiming his lottery ticket (LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

A man who won half a million pounds in China's national lottery promptly divorced his wife - before collecting his winnings the next day.

Liu Xiang found out he had scooped 4.6 million yuan (£467,000) in February, but proceeded to initiate the divorce with his wife, Yuan Li, without telling her about his win and picked up his money a day later.

His ex-wife sued him for half of the sum after learning of his windfall and a court ordered him to pay her a quarter of the winnings from the ticket he purchased on Chinese New Year’s Eve, according to The Times.

The relationship between Mr Liu and his wife had started to break down in June 2013, South China Morning Post reported.

She granted him the divorce after Mr Liu, from Chonging city in the south west of the country, offered to pay off their debts worth £35,000 (250,000 yuan).

And she would have remained in the dark about her husband’s win had a friend not phoned to congratulate the couple, according to the Chongqing Morning Post.

Mr Liu told Chongqing TV it was merely a coincidence he had claimed his win the following day, but was ordered to pay his wife around £120,000 (1.15 million yuan), The Times reported.

China's state-run lottery has been running since 1987, with ticket sales rising in recent years.

"As living conditions have improved, Chinese people have wanted to have more fun, to have a wider range of experiences. A stronger desire to gamble is part of that," Cheng Haiping, a professor with the China lottery research centre at Beijing Normal University told the Financial Times in 2013.

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