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Couple's Lotto dispute going to court

Donna Campbell is represented by Bruce Baldwin of Miami’s Mase & Lara. Campbell vs. Ramdass starts this week.

Associated Press

Donna Campbell is represented by Bruce Baldwin of Miami’s Mase & Lara. Campbell vs. Ramdass starts this week.

Some husbands shower their wives with gifts when they win the Lotto. Arnim Ramdass kept the good news to himself. And when Donna Campbell found out on her own, her husband went AWOL, leaving the former beauty queen emotionally drained and financially desperate.

So she sued.

Campbell vs. Ramdass, the lawsuit, comes to a Miami-Dade courtroom this week. It's a case study in how a financial windfall can make a seemingly stable marriage go sour in a hurry. At stake: $600,000 in winnings, Ramdass' cut of a $19-million jackpot he split with 16 other mechanics at Miami International Airport.

The spousal spat — yep, they're still married — has taken some bizarre turns.

Ramdass, who eluded process servers for months, eventually returned to his job and resurfaced at his Miramar home. He and Campbell, who said their vows in 2005, run into each other at the house but do not speak or e-mail or otherwise interact.

Campbell wants at least half of the loot. In his legal response, Ramdass, 52, says she doesn't deserve a penny.

Campbell, 48, a former model and runnerup at the 1979 Miss Trinidad and Tobago pageant, did not work outside the house.

He's apparently been paying the mortgage and bills, but other than that she is broke and despondent.

The saga started when Ramdass hit a $19-million jackpot in June along with 16 co-workers.

Instead of taking $19-million over time, the group opted for $10.2-million in a lump sum, which translated to exactly $600,000 per player before taxes.

Campbell said Ramdass didn't tell her a thing. But he started acting suspiciously, she said, disconnecting the phone line and forbidding her from watching TV.

Alarm bells went off when she found a postcard congratulating her husband on buying some out-of-state property.

She Googled her husband's name. There it was: a Florida Lottery news release about the lucky airline mechanics.

Couple's Lotto dispute going to court 05/12/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 3:55pm]
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