06/05/2012 12:59 EDT | Updated 08/05/2012 05:12 EDT

6/49 jackpot sparks cash box lawsuit

A Surrey woman is suing her former catering partner for a share of a $12-million lottery jackpot that she claims was bought with money from their company cash box.

According to court documents, Maria Ganguin and her catering partner Maria Linsenmeier ran two catering trucks that sold coffee and sandwiches to workers on construction sites.

Ganguin says the two of them regularly bought lottery tickets using money from the cash boxes on the two trucks when business was good and they had a longstanding agreement to share any winnings.

But in November 2008 when Linsenmeier struck pay dirt with a $12.6 million 6/49 jackpot, she told Ganguin that she had bought the ticket with a $20 bill her husband had given her.

But in her lawsuit Ganguin said she soon became suspicious when she read a newspaper article a few days later that quoted Linsenmeier saying she bought the ticket while on her catering route.

A short while later Ganguin filed the lawsuit, claiming Linsenmeier had actually used cash from the catering business to buy the ticket, and therefore she was entitled to share the jackpot.

For their part Linsenmeier and her husband say he gave her the money for the ticket because there was not enough cash on the truck earlier that day when she stopped for gas and it was never meant to be shared with Ganguin.

Last week B.C. Supreme Court Justice Trevor Armstrong dismissed an attempt by Linsenmeier and her husband to have the lawsuit settled with a summary trial and ruled it should go to trial in front of a judge.

But he noted, without any independent evidence, "Ganguin may have a steep uphill struggle" to prove Linsenmeier and her husband chose to lie about the events.