The man at the centre of a housing dispute and decade-long court fight following a big Lotto win says he and his wife "can't take it any further".
A once "close-knit" Auckland family has been torn apart following a big Lotto win 13 years ago – and a subsequent court battle over a home that was purchased with the help of the payout.
But, as the court found, the win and the purchase of the home turned sour as Auckland couple Ajnesh Chinappa and his wife, Vilashni, came up against Ajnesh's sister Angeline Narain, and their mother, Kaniamma Winter, in the courts.
Today, Chinnappa told the Herald it was his mother who won Lotto.
"My mum won the Lotto, not my sister," he said.
The dispute stems back to January 2009, when the $250,000 winning ticket was bought in Auckland.
"There is a dispute as to whether Angeline or her mother purchased the Lotto ticket," noted the Court of Appeal.
When asked what he and his wife would do now or if they would challenge the Court of Appeal finding any further, Chinnappa said they "can't take it any further".
He also said they planned to sell the house to make the payments ordered by the court.
"What is agreed is that on 24 January 2009, Mrs Winter and her daughter-in-law, Vilashni, went grocery shopping.
"They checked the Lotto ticket at Panmure Stationery and Lotto Shop and found it had won a prize of $250,000. Mrs Winter, with Vilashni's assistance, completed the Lotto prize claim form on the spot," noted the Court of Appeal.
At the time, Winter filled out the form with her details but Chinappa's bank account number was put down. The sum was later transferred into a bank account set up for the family, although $30,000 was left in Chinappa's personal account.
That year Chinappa and her husband Ajnesh used the $30,000 towards a deposit on a six-bedroom house in Auckland's Papatoetoe where they lived with Winter and Angeline. (Winter is also the mother of Ajnesh).
The family lived in relative peace in the home until 2012, when Angeline Narain's partner moved in and relationships turned sour. Narain and Winter ended up being trespassed from the house.
The Court of Appeal judgment confirmed a "division" arose among the family members in 2012.
Narain and Winter claimed Narain had 50 per cent equitable interest in the property and that the $30,000 was intended as a "gift".
In 2021, the High Court found that the winning Lotto ticket belonged to Angeline Narain, she had a 50 per cent share of the house and the $30,000 hadn't been intended as a gift.
In the recent Court of Appeal judgment, Justice Rachel Dunningham ruled the Chinappas' appeal was allowed in part.
Dunningham found the Chinappas held a 20 per cent share of the house for Narain and concluded that Angeline Narain should be compensated.
The Court of Appeal said it was "satisfied Angeline has established her entitlement to the Lotto sum on the balance of probabilities".