And it's been almost a year since the Urquhart and her husband Bob have seen any of the money. Instead, they claim in a lawsuit filed April 23 in Kern Superior Court in Bakersfield, Calif., that Etta May's son Ronnie Lee Orender commandeered the winning Mega Millions ticket, leaving his parents with walking-around money while he took the lion's share of the cash.
The court papers claim Orender bought 10 cars and four homes and put millions into accounts that the Urquhart's are not allowed to touch. Etta May, 76, and Bob, 79, also sued Bancorp Bank and Moneywise, SEI Investment Management, and SEI Investment Co., where they say their son invested the money. They are seeking $32.3 million, in addition to punitive damages.
According to the complaint, Etta May has been buying lottery tickets for 18 years. In her declaration, she noted that her son was not supportive of her weekly ticket purchases. "He discouraged me from playing and told me it was a waste of my money," she said.
Still, when she discovered that she had a winning ticket, her son was all too happy to go with her and her husband to the gas station where she bought it to claim the prize, she said in the filing. Lottery officials were already there, and the family was told that they needed to sign the ticket.