Sibling Wants Share of Sister's $500,000 Lottery Jackpot

Octogenarian sisters used to split gambling winnings until a rift over debts.

ByABC News via logo
March 23, 2010, 10:36 PM

March 24, 2010— -- Two octogenarian sisters from Connecticut are feuding in court over whether they should share a $500,000 lottery jackpot.

Theresa Sokaitis, 84, of Middletown, and Rose Bakaysa, 87, of Plainville, haven't spoken to each other in years. A trial over how the winnings should be split -- or whether they should be split at all -- began Tuesday.

At issue is the ownership of the prize money. The sisters often used to gamble together, and had a contract that stated they would split all their winnings.

But after a rift formed over a small debt, they supposedly ended the agreement. Until Bakaysa -- in partnership with her brother -- bought the half-million-dollar winning ticket.

When Sokaitis found out about the win, she wanted a share of the money, and took her sister to court to get it.

The Associated Press reported that Bakaysa testified about the argument.

"She was shouting, 'I don't want to be your partner anymore.' I said all right, that was it, I tore up my contract," Bakaysa said, sitting about 25 feet from Sokaitis as her sister hung her cane on the courtroom railing.

Sokaitis acknowledges they had a tiff, but believes the contract was still in place.

After the disagreement, Bakaysa subsequently teamed with their brother, Joseph Troy Sr.

In 2005, he used Bakaysa's numbers to buy a ticket, the AP reported. The ticket was the $500,000 winner.

Sam Pollack, Sokaitis' attorney, said Bakaysa should have split the jackpot, calling the court action "unfortunate."