Lottery Love and Age of Consent

October 8, 2014

Rarely in law do we also uncover a beautiful love story. The marriage of a 96-year-old woman to her 95-year-old boyfriend has been contested by her family, alleging a lack of consent. An attorney representing the daughter in the dispute alleges that the elderly woman was incapacitated and did not have the faculties to have consented to the marry her nonagenarian beau. According to the daughter, the marriage was improper and is therefore null.

The couple fell in love over 10 years ago while buying lottery tickets. One of the tickets was a winner and they’ve been inseparable ever since. The Associated Press reports that based on the attorney’s research in the Guinness Book of World Records, they are also likely oldest interracial couple in the country, and would not have been able to marry in their youth due to interracial marriage laws.

After reviewing the case, a judge ruled that the process of marriage was improper due to the incapacity of the elderly woman—though the court was not ready to split the two apart. Instead, the judge removed both daughters as legal guardians and assigned an independent attorney to the case. The new attorney will evaluate the marriage to determine if it is in the best interests of the 96-year-old newlywed.

Image: Mary Hughes, 68, and husband Millard, 81, inside their Homewood, Illinois home on March 8, 2007. The Hughes were married in 1965, before the landmark case Loving v. Virginia, which declared bans against interracial marriage unconstitutional. Candice C. Cusic/Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, 2007