For many people, hitting it big on a game show epitomizes the American Dream. And losing half of it in a divorce sounds like the American Nightmare.
But that’s exactly what happened to Scott Dole, who went on the show in 2009 and walked away with $51,600 in winnings.
Dole’s wife Carrie had filed for divorce in 2008. Nonetheless, she argued in court that Dole’s prize money counted as community property, and thus she was entitled to half of it.
A Washington state judge agreed. He found that even though Carrie had already filed for divorce when her husband appeared on the show, they were still living together as husband and wife at the time.
The judge also noted that Carrie traveled with Dole to the taping and stayed with him in the hotel. Perhaps she even cheered along each time Vanna White turned over a letter.
Carrie also testified that around the time of the taping, she had made efforts to dismiss the divorce petition.
But the couple separated again a month later, at which point Carrie renewed the petition and sought a share of the prize winnings.