Chase the Ace case begins court process

By Lois Ann Dort    

GUYSBOROUGH – The other side of the Chase the Ace dispute is now being heard. Through an affidavit presented to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court – in regards to the petition for an order of preservation of funds sought by Barbara Reddick of Sunnyville against her nephew – Tyrone MacInnis’s side of the story has been presented.

This summer the Margaree Volunteer Fire Department ran a successful Chase the Ace lottery to raise funds for the department. Little did organizers know that when the Ace was drawn it would plunge a family into a legal battle over the winnings.

The winning ticket had two names written on it; Barb Reddick and Tyrone MacInnis. Since the day the pair arrived to claim the $1.2 million prize, allegations and harsh words have been expressed by Barb Reddick, who disputes MacInnis's claim to half of the winnings.

Reddick has been vocal in the media about her claim on the prize money, stating that she had never intended to split the jackpot. She has said she told MacInnis to put his name on the ticket, but only as a type of good luck charm; not because there was any intention of dividing the prize.

While the media storm grew around Reddick, spreading her story globally, MacInnis has been steadfast in his refusal to talk to the press, including this paper.

MacInnis's version of events and intentions were finally heard on Friday, August 10 as he took the stand to testify in court as evidence in the order of preservation of funds petition, which if granted would freeze his access to the winnings from the Chase the Ace draw until a final decision on the case is made.

In addition to testimony, MacInnis's affidavit sheds light on the case. He clearly states, in the document, that he believed any winnings would be split 50/50 based on past interactions in lotteries with his aunt. “For years we would enter lotteries together on the basis that we would equally split any winnings. As such, I did the running around to buy the tickets, fill them out and deliver them and she would provide the funds to purchase them. We always included both of our names on the tickets.”

MacInnis also states that Reddick told him to put his number as the contact phone number on the ticket, which is a point of contention in the case; Reddick stated in a previous interview with The Journal, that she was surprised to see his phone number on the ticket but could do nothing about it as the ticket was already in the draw.

When the pair met in Margaree to collect their winnings, they argued about the money before entering the Fire Hall to claim the prize. After the receipt of the cheque for half the jackpot, Reddick spoke out publicly against her nephew and her nephew's father, her brother, Ricky Reddick.

MacInnis states in his affidavit that he received abusive text messages which included homophobic slurs from the plaintiff, his aunt, after the jackpot was split evenly between the two at the Fire Hall.

In his statement MacInnis detailed his recent experience of being subjected to press and social media attention, being disparaged publicly by his aunt, and the subject internet memes.

After hearing the evidence on August 10, Justice Murray reserved his decision on the preservation of funds order and will give his decision on that petition at the next scheduled court date on August 27. Currently there is an interim preservation order on the funds from the jackpot win currently in the possession of MacInnis.

Adam Rodgers of the firm Boudrot Rodgers is representing Reddick in the case and spoke to The journal about the hearing on Monday. In regards to the case moving forward he said, “I expect in the course of the decision (on preservation) the Justice would make some comment on the general merits of the claim.”

As for what came to light in testimony and in the MacInnis affidavit, Rodgers said, “It's strange he didn't call his aunt on the night of the win. I questioned him on that. I thought that was odd.”

Rodgers added that Reddick had spontaneously apologized to MacInnis for saying that he was dead to her when she testified in court on Friday.

Candee McCarthy is representing MacInnis and provided information about the case in an email on Monday. “She (Reddick) acknowledges that they had an agreement to include his name on the ticket, and acknowledges she was provided with a video of the tickets with both names on them prior to the draw. She acknowledges her response to being sent that video of the tickets was "omg hope we win.” Her testimony is that she provided the money to purchase the tickets and her intention was that if those tickets won, she would be the sole winner, because there was no legal agreement to share.

“A legal agreement means there had to be an offer, acceptance of the offer and consideration for the offer.

“Mr. MacInnis' testimony was that they did have a legal agreement to share the proceeds; that Ms. Reddick asked him to do a number of things, including purchase the tickets, and in exchange told him to put his name on the tickets and they would split any winnings. Our argument is that it is not our burden to prove there was an agreement to share, as the ticket speaks for itself in that regard. The burden is on Ms. Reddick to prove that there was an agreement or clear understanding that the joint ticket meant something other than an equal sharing of any prize.”

Speaking to the decision to enforce an interim preservation of funds order McCarthy wrote, “The Justice correctly issued a short, two-week order to preserve the asset pending his decision on whether it should be preserved until trial or not. We did not oppose this when he indicated he was considering it, it is fair, in line with the law, and two weeks is of no great consequence to my client.”

In regards to the case overall she wrote of MacInnis, “My client is in the unfortunate position that he must defend the actions brought against him. He has not made any claims against Ms. Reddick. We have only filed documents in defence of actions brought by Ms. Reddick. This is a sad outcome from what should have been a jubilant family event. Ms. Reddick has said some very hurtful things about Mr. MacInnis publicly, including calling him a liar. While litigation was not my client's choice, he will continue to defend himself and regardless of the outcome of the preservation order, we feel confident in the justice system to bring a fair final resolution to this when all of the evidence is heard and considered.”