Divorced mother Patricia Daly, an Offaly native, won an $8 million lump sum in the New York lottery last January and planned a new life for her and her kids .
Not so fast said Jamie Eisel her ex-husband, on his third marriage, who had left her and her three kids to fend for themselves a year earlier. He is now in a new relationship.
He has taken a restraining order out stopping her spending any of the money and the case will go to court on September 13th.
Daly, 40, offered him $1 million but he turned it down according to the Evening Herald. She took the lump sum of $8 million from the $21.5 million win
Offaly woman scoops New York lottery- SEE VIDEO
Husband of Irish NY lottery winner Patricia Eisel misses out
His lawyers will argue he is entitled to half the winnings because they were still married at the time of the win last December.
"There will be no settlement now," said her lawyer Dorothy Gong told the Evening Herald. "He was offered $1m and no obligation for child support or college costs for the kids."
The case may last up to 12 months and Daly may well end up losing say experts.
"She's going to be splitting that money. I think it's a matter of how much," according to legal expert Marilyn Chinitz.
Daly moved to America in 1995 and was working long hours as a waitress at the Saloon Bar in Long Beach and as a child minder when she won the money. At the time she said her needs were simple.
"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 to run around the yard with them."
Friends say she was shattered when she and her husband Jamie Eisel split last year,
Jamie Eisel, an ironworker and part-time bartender, continued to live near his 40-year-old wife and children in Long Beach, New York, but then moved on to a new romance.
She only won the jackpot because her flight home to Ireland had been canceled due to the severe weather before Christmas, so she was in New York to buy the lottery ticket that won her $21,500,000.
About the difference her new found fortune will make to her life, she told the Daily Mail: "I have been in America since ’95. I babysat at first and right now I live in Long Beach. I waitress and bar-tend and mind kids."
"It’s a struggle to keep it all together but it’s good – the bar’s good where I work. But this is going to make it a lot better."
She has sworn "to keep life normal, no big purchases’. She even said she’d keep working ‘for a while."