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'Wheel of Fortune' winnings subject of divorce case's property division

A husband who was the winning contestant of an episode of the "Wheel of Fortune" has to split his winnings 50-50 with his former wife. The former couple started their divorce before the husband's appearance on the game show but reconciled during the game show. The judge said the couple's reconciliation during the show was enough to warrant the even division of the game show winnings when the couple resumed their divorce afterward.

The property division issue before the judge was whether the game show winnings were the sole property of the husband or the shared property of the couple. In the explanation of the decision, the judge said since the couple was living together as husband and wife during the recording of the show and the acquisition of the winnings, the property was the couple's. The husband won $51,600, but will receive $25,800 because of the property division.

The story of the couple's divorce began in September 2008 when the wife filed for divorce. At the request of his wife, the husband became a contestant of the "Wheel of Fortune" in October 2009. While the husband was on the show, the wife flew to be with the husband and the pair stayed in a hotel together. During her husband's appearance on the show, the wife asked her attorney to dismiss her petition for divorce. The wife even appeared on the show to celebrate her husband's win.

One month after the winning episode, the couple's story evolved. During the month following the winning episode, the couple separated and the wife moved out and filed for divorce again.

Source: The Seattle Times, "'Wheel of Fortune' jackpot split 50-50 in divorce," Laura McVicker, 5/26/11

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