Patricia Daly, the Irishwoman who won $8 million in the New York lottery in early 2011, is relieved to have reached a divorce settlement with her estranged husband Jamie Eisel. Eisel claimed he had a right to half of Daly’s winnings, despite the two having been separated at the time of her winning.
The Independent reports on the settlement, which Daly referred to as "the best present in the world.” Since the settlement, Daly and her three sons have traveled to Tullamore in Co Offaly for Christmas, which Daly said was a "new start" after the two-year legal battle.
In early 2011, Patricia Daly purchased the winning New York lottery ticket while she was stranded in New York due to icy weather conditions back in Ireland. She ended up winning the jackpot of $21.5m, and opted to take a lump sum payout, which gave her $8m.
When Daly had purchased her winning ticket, she was separated from her husband Jamie Eisel, who was already in another relationship. However, the two had not yet filed divorce papers, and Eisel claimed he was entitled to half of Daly’s winnings.
Eisel took a restraining order out against Daly which prevented her from spending any of her winnings. He also reportedly turned down a settlement offer of $1m earlier this year.
Last week, the two reached an undisclosed settlement at Nassau County Supreme Court. It is not known exactly how much went to each person, but Daly is understood to be walking away with the majority of the winnings, an estimated $5m.
Daly said, “This is the best present in the world. I can't even describe what this means to me and my boys. It's a dream come true."
"I just want to forget the whole mess and give me and the boys an amazing Christmas at home in Tullamore."
Daly had emigrated to the US in 1995, and had three sons with Eisel. The couple later separated, but Daly said she had never expected Eisel to stake a claim in her winnings.
"I never thought Jamie would do this to me even though everyone kept telling me to watch out."
Following last week’s settlement, Daly said, "I'm very happy – it couldn't be better. The last couple of years have been horrendous."
She has now gone back to Tullamore in Offaly with her three sons to spend Christmas with her mother.
When asked what she plans on spending her winnings on, Daly said she is planning a trip to Disneyland with her sons for next year. Additionally, "I will buy a home, not a house, in New York. Something very comfortable with a big, fenced-in yard that the boys can run around in. I know they'll be thrilled when I tell them we'll also buy a dog."