Jackpot win's curse continues

Lucien Nault won $17 million in March of 2009.



MONTREAL - A lottery jackpot has brought misery to a retired taxi driver whose family has since been rocked by lawsuits and the untimely deaths of his son and daughter-in-law.

Lucien Nault won $16.9 million in Lotto 6/49 but is now confined to a seniors' home, his marriage shattered and his mind apparently fading.

On Tuesday came news that a Jeep struck and killed his son Daniel as he bolted out of his yard near Montreal to catch his fleeing dog.

Daniel Nault had just returned from the Gaspe region where he had buried his wife, found dead in their new stone-lined, floodlight-adorned pool on Sept. 2.

"It's an incredible story," said neighbour Delvina Malenfant. "He died not even three weeks after his wife. And she drowned in the big pool she had just gotten built."

It's the latest fallout from a jackpot that has led to heartbreak for Lucien Nault, 77.

In March 2009 he claimed his winnings at Loto-Quebec offices in Montreal, vowing to "spoil his family" with the cash.

Nault gave son Daniel a huge cut, but the son grew livid when his father allegedly gave away another $5 million to neighbours on his east-end Montreal street.

This spring the son sued four neighbours and a relative of his father's ex-wife for a total of $1.3 million.

Nault alleges one neighbour manipulated his father into buying her a $300,000 house, a $35,000 Mini Cooper and other items.

He alleged the three other neighbours "exploited Lucien Nault, who was an easy target" given he's "a total invalid."

The son also sued Roger Thibodeau, brother-in-law of the millionaire's wife who had left her husband a few months after the lottery win.

Meanwhile, Daniel Nault and his wife continued to enjoy their own cash gifts from the millionaire.

The wife, Therese Rehel, told neighbours about the pool that workers took all summer to build at their home in Lavaltrie, QC, east of Montreal.

The couple celebrated the opening with friends at their favourite steakhouse just a few days before Rehel was found dead under water.

On Tuesday, neighbours say they saw Daniel Nault run right into the path of the Jeep, dog leash in hand, after the animal bolted into the roadway. Nault was struck and thrown several metres. He was taken to hospital in critical condition and died hours later.

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