Melbourne lawyer hits jackpot after spousal refusal

11 July 2014 By Malavika Santhebennur

Marriage is a relationship in which one is always right and the other is the husband.

Even if you are a lawyer…

But not always.

A Melbourne lawyer who went on the show Million Dollar Minute struck gold when he won more than half a million dollars.


But it might not have been had he listened to his wife, who’d instructed him to quit while he was ahead and walk out if he won $20,000.

That would have been enough to pay for their already-booked European holiday.

But Jonathan Maher defied the instruction and followed his gut to continue.

In fact, this lawyer from specialist insurance law firm Wotton + Kearney did not even catch his flight to meet his wife in London.

And boy, did it pay off.

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He ended up winning $510,500 on Tuesday (8 July) on the Seven Network series.

“She left for England before I started and her strict instructions were that if you win a game, take the $20,000 and leave,” Maher told The Age.

“That would have been enough money to pay for our trip … I blew those instructions in game one and then she said do what you think is right.”

Folklaw imagined this gold mine would mean Maher could say goodbye to the “workin’-nine-to-five” (or maybe five-to-nine) life and lounge back on a beach with a cocktail.

But not for this 36-year-old.

It was pretty much back to work the next day.

“It’s an amazing leg-up, but I expect it will be life as usual,” he said.

Maher is only the second contestant to reach the half-a-mil mark in less than two months, but he’s the first to actually win.

Back in May, another contestant turned down $500,000 to have a go at a million dollars but lost. She won $77,000.

“I knew from seeing stories in the paper what was happening … and it did bring home to me a little bit about the risks you are taking on the show,” Maher said.

“It’s easy to get caught up in it and the money becomes theoretical.”

Melbourne lawyer hits jackpot after spousal refusal
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