- Last Updated: 3:17 PM, May 6, 2012
- Posted: 8:37 AM, May 6, 2012
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Twice a week for 18 years, California woman Etta May went to the same Mobil gas station to buy a lottery ticket. Almost a year after her numbers came up and she won $32.3 million, she has seen next to none of it.
May's son, Ronnie Orender, has commandeered the money, she claims in court papers filed with Kern Superior Court in Bakersfield, Calif., and the 76-year-old and her husband can't access it, ABC News reported.
"He discouraged me from playing and told me it was a waste of my money," she said of her two-decade, twice-a-week lottery habit, but noted her son's attitude to his mother's gambling changed when she won big.
She said she was so excited when she claimed the win that she was unable to hold a pen, so Orender signed the ticket and wrote his name on it. Later, when she became overwhelmed by the press attention her win attracted, her son "suggested that Etta May tell others that she bought the ticket for [him]," according to the complaint.
He said he would handle the money for her, but she says all she has received is a Lincoln SUV and about $125,000 in cash, while her son now has four homes and 10 vehicles.
"Ronnie Orender is my son, and I lived with him for 18 years," she said in court papers. "I know Ronnie Orender does not have any means to make the purchased or gifts described ... with any monies other than those received from my lottery winnings."
May's lawyer said "there's no question about what happened" and said the court had frozen Orender's assets.
Orender could not be contacted by ABC and has not responded to the lawsuit.