The live-in girlfriend of lottery winner Pedro Quezada, a Dominican bodega owner from Passaic, N.J., is going home alone and penniless.
The former couple settled a lawsuit Friday filed by the woman, Inez Sanchez, who was seeking a share of the $338 million Powerball jackpot Quezada won last spring.
The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record newspaper reported that under the terms of the settlement, Sanchez agreed to drop the lawsuit and relinquish all rights to pursue it further. In exchange, Quezada agreed not to charge her for the attorneys’ fees it cost him to defend himself.
Sanchez and Quezada lived together for 10 years, have a child together, and shared ownership of the grocery store in Passaic.
The case was settled when state Superior Court Chancery Division Judge Margaret Mary McVeigh was about to rule on a motion to dismiss Sanchez’s suit, filed in January.
Quezada, 44, was the sole winner of the Powerball drawing last spring, worth about $152 million after taxes.
His lawyer argued that Sanchez, who is Mexican, had no claim to the money because the couple never married. But attorneys for Sanchez said Quezada purchased the ticket based on the couple's shared earnings.
The coupled separated back in November, when Sanchez moved out of their Clifton home and filed a domestic violence claim against Quezada, The Record reported.
Quezada was born and raised in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic, and came to the U.S. when he was 19 years old. In 2006, he set up the bodega, where he worked 15-hour days.
“[When I found out I had the winning ticket] I felt pure joy and happiness because I can help my family,” he said back on March 26, 2013, when he officially claimed the prize at New Jersey lottery headquarters.
“My life will change because it – so much money,” Quezada said, “but it will not change my heart.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.