It took more than a week before the world learned that Holly Lahti, a 29-year-old single mother of two from northern Idaho, was the second winner in the $380 million Mega Millions jackpot drawing on Jan. 4. At first folks might have thought the woman was just media-shy, or perhaps was thinking of a dramatic way to quit her job before claiming her prize. But now it seems that things are a bit more complicated than that.
As the AP reports on Saturday, Holly has what court records show is an abusive history with her ex-husband.
Mainly, he's visibly beaten her up, been arrested several times, cited for not paying child support and even done time for kidnapping their kids.
Holly was apparently arrested once too--on a night they were both charged with battery--but the charges were eventually dropped.
Holly's photo from 2003 has gone viral:
Josh, meanwhile, may have a claim on some of the lottery winnings because the two are legally separated, but not divorced (and Idaho's marriage laws are cwazy).
It's not clear if Josh has any plans to file a lawsuit to claim his share of the cash, but as several reports have now pointed out, Idaho is one of the only states in the country that "muddles the concept of legal separation," so he probably has a good shot of winning some money.
Hence Holly's skipping town.
In the meantime, Holly trackers can keep an eye on her Facebook fan page, where she (or someone claiming to be her) has posted a few messages like:
Listen, as you can all imagine, there are a ton of messages coming in, & there is so much to do. Please send 1 message if you have a request or pitch or plea, OR post your kind wishes or requests here on the wall. I promise to read them all & even if it takes a month to go through, all of your messages will be acknowledged.
Thanks for all the kind wishes, prayers & support. There are thousands of messages. Please be patient. You may have seen the ugly mugshots story the media has chosen to report on. Hoping for the spotlight to fade soon so there is no need to hide anymore . . .
Yeah, sorry about the mugshot, Holly. Hopefully the $190 million will help you cope.