Court splits jackpot between rival gamblers

TOULOUSE, France Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:14pm EST

A woman plays a slot machine at the Island View Casino in Gulfport, Mississippi November 9, 2009. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A woman plays a slot machine at the Island View Casino in Gulfport, Mississippi November 9, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria

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TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) - A French court has split the jackpot from a casino slot machine between the woman who put in the money and the man who pulled the lever, ending months of argument between the two.

Marie-Helene Jarguel walked off with over 2 million euros ($2.91 million) in March after a bet of 50 euros on a one-armed bandit, only for her gambling partner Francis Sune to contest her gain based on the fact that he activated the machine.

A court in the southwestern city of Montpellier ruled on Tuesday that Jarguel should keep 80 percent of the earnings while the rest should go to Sune, a judicial source said.

The ruling was a legal innovation. The judges noted that there was "no judicial definition of the winner in a slot machine game."

(Reporting by Nicolas Fichot, writing by Estelle Shirbon, editing by Paul Casciato)

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