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Lottery winners share money advice

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Lottery winners share money advice

3 who hit jackpot in S.C. games share advice on the pitfalls of newfound wealth

Just in case you're the first one to win big money in the N.C. Education Lottery that starts Thursday, S.C. lottery winners have some advice:

Be careful about loaning money. Get a tax adviser. And if you owe anyone money, don't let lottery officials put your picture on the Internet.

Don't get them wrong. Three winners interviewed by the Observer are perfectly happy to keep the money, thank you. But they've had their headaches.

One winner says his child support payments doubled, eating into his take. Another says she lost a friend after loaning $800. A third got a big tax bill she wasn't expecting.

Susan Bradley, a Florida-based certified financial planner who has advised lottery winners, said people don't have to win millions for a lottery windfall to change their lives. Even a relatively small jackpot can cause tension with friends and family.

"It isn't as easy as it looks," she said.

Donna Moye: $100,000

Donna Moye won $100,000 in the S.C. lottery. She also lost a friend.Moye, of Gaffney, S.C., says she'd gotten lucky in the lottery several times before that — winning a few hundred dollars here and there. But when she hit the big money just before Thanksgiving 2004 by playing numbers based on birthdays, she decided to celebrate in style.

Moye, who works as a dispatcher for a trucking company, got together with some friends and borrowed her boss's white limousine. They rode to Columbia to collect the winnings.

The money helped Moye crawl out of debt, she said. Moye had closed a money-losing NASCAR collectibles store two years earlier. The lottery money helped her pay remaining bills from the business and pay off credit cards.

She also had a little fun — buying her sister a big-screen television and paying off her Honda CR-V, which she later traded for a truck.

She loaned a close friend $800 and later got into a fight over the money. The two haven't mended fences.

"To me, it wasn't something worth losing a friendship over," she said. "But to him, it was."

Ty Cobb: $100,000

Ty Cobb, a pro fisherman who lives in Carolina Beach, often buys lottery tickets for his buddies when he drives to South Carolina. A ticket he bought three days after his birthday in June 2004 provided his windfall.

His troubles started a little later, when the S.C. Education Lottery put a picture of him grinning and holding a $100,000 check on its Web site.

"My ex-wife caught wind of it," said Cobb. "They doubled my child support payments and they put a $100,000 lien on my home."

Cobb, who owns a small sports bar, says he kept enough money to pay some bills. Cobb says he still buys lottery tickets, but if he wins again, he'll try to keep the news quiet.

If Cobb plays North Carolina's lottery, it will be hard for him to keep his winnings a complete secret. Winners who receive $600 or more must provide their name and where they live to the lottery and that becomes public information, a lottery spokeswoman said. But winners can opt out of having their photos on the Web site or on other promotional materials. South Carolina also lets winners avoid publicity.

"It was a good blessing at the time," Cobb said. "When I was in the courtroom, it didn't seem like it."

Shirley Greer: $500,000

Shirley Greer said she was behind on her mortgage and other bills in March 2005 when she played the Powerball game, basing her numbers on a Chinese fortune cookie. Greer, of Dillon, S.C., was one of 16 people to match five Powerball numbers, earning her $500,000.

Her surprise came in the form of a big tax bill. Greer said she had set aside some money for taxes, but the bill came in higher than she expected.

Greer, a single mother, says she bought a car for her oldest son and set aside money for all of her three children. She also paid off her mortgage and gave 10 percent of her winnings to her church.

She also received calls from relatives and friends, offering investment advice and seeing if they could share in her good fortune. "People came out of the woodwork," she said. "Everybody wants to be your friend then."

'It's hard to go right back'

Some lottery winners believe they can pick up a prize check, pose for photos, celebrate and go hang with their friends the next day.

It's often not that simple, said Susan Bradley, a certified financial planner who has advised lottery winners.

"It's hard to go right back into life. Everyone ... knows they're a lottery winner," said Bradley, who wrote the book "Sudden Money: Managing a Financial Windfall."

With their sudden wealth, some winners try to bridge the psychological distance from friends and relatives by sharing money with them. This also has to be managed tactfully or it can backfire, Bradley said.

She told the tale of one lottery recipient who won $5 million and gave each of her siblings $50,000. The siblings resented that the winner gave them a relatively small share. The winner, Bradley said, was annoyed at some of the purchases her siblings made.

"You can have a loss of identity, because now you're one of those people with money," Bradley said. She suggests people do something conservative with the money, such as buying municipal bonds, until they have time to think through their decisions and possibly talk with an adviser.

The Winners

TY COBB

  • Lives in: Carolina Beach.
  • Age: 47.
  • Won: $100,000, plus money for taxes.
  • Game: Carolina 5.
  • Advice: "It was fun when I did it, but I wish I never let them put my picture on the Internet."

DONNA MOYE

  • Lives in: Gaffney, S.C.
  • Age: 39.
  • Won: $100,000, plus money for taxes.
  • Game: Carolina 5.
  • Advice: Keep the news of the win to yourself, if you can.

SHIRLEY GREER

  • Lives in: Dillon, S.C.
  • Age: 53.
  • Won: $500,000.
  • Game: Powerball (matched 5 of the 6 numbers).
  • Advice: "If you're blessed to hit the lottery, help somebody out along the way. Don't be selfish and let it be all about you."

Charlotte Observer

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43 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by rdc137.
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Bethesda, Maryland
United States
Member #16901
June 6, 2005
446 Posts
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Posted: March 28, 2006, 4:51 pm - IP Logged

3/28/2006

Now, this is funny.....and enlightening:

Be careful about loaning money. Get a tax adviser. And if you owe anyone money, don't let lottery officials put your picture on the Internet.

Don't get them wrong. Three winners interviewed by the Observer are perfectly happy to keep the money, thank you. But they've had their headaches.

One winner says his child support payments doubled, eating into his take. Another says she lost a friend after loaning $800. A third got a big tax bill she wasn't expecting.

Fst...if you lend someone money...do it only because they are very close to you and have always been there for you, when you were down and out. Therefore, you won't worry about them repaying it, especially as you won so much, which enabled you to lend it to them in the fst place.

2nd....Gee...oh I am just really broken hearted over the guy who found his child support payments doubled because of his winnings.....yeah, I am really crying for him.....And what did he expect??? He is afterall 'THE FATHER'....the kids are 'HIS CHILDREN'......shut up and provide......

.

    Avatar
    Bethesda, Maryland
    United States
    Member #16901
    June 6, 2005
    446 Posts
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    Posted: March 28, 2006, 5:02 pm - IP Logged

    3/28/2006

    ........and I just know that now, with most of their private information, made public for all the world to see,  the winners are of course, still living at their same addresses and work addresses..lololollo especially TY COBB....with all his 'child support payments'....lolololololololol

    The Winners

    TY COBB

    • Lives in: Carolina Beach.
    • Age: 47.
    • Won: $100,000, plus money for taxes.
    • Game: Carolina 5.
    • Advice: "It was fun when I did it, but I wish I never let them put my picture on the Internet."

    DONNA MOYE

    • Lives in: Gaffney, S.C.
    • Age: 39.
    • Won: $100,000, plus money for taxes.
    • Game: Carolina 5.
    • Advice: Keep the news of the win to yourself, if you can.

    SHIRLEY GREER

    • Lives in: Dillon, S.C.
    • Age: 53.
    • Won: $500,000.
    • Game: Powerball (matched 5 of the 6 numbers).
    • Advice: "If you're blessed to hit the lottery, help somebody out along the way. Don't be selfish and let it be all about you."

    Source 

      loves2lotto's avatar - Lottery-029.jpg
      Charlotte, North Carolina
      United States
      Member #36131
      March 28, 2006
      50 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 28, 2006, 5:13 pm - IP Logged

      I think winners should be able to keep all of their information private. They only want you to take a picture and have your name put out there for everyone so that the lottery pulls in more players. When I win I don't want anyone to know unless I tell them. With all of that said, I probably won't win.Confused

      I see a huge powerball win in my future!

                              Hyper

        Avatar
        Bethesda, Maryland
        United States
        Member #16901
        June 6, 2005
        446 Posts
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        Posted: March 28, 2006, 5:24 pm - IP Logged

        3/28/2006

        Hi 'loves2'........now don't say that, you have as much chance as anyone, and you deserve to win ... be positive about it....ckeck your States rules on Lottery winning. I am here in Maryland, and those residents of Maryland and the Nation's Capitol, who win Lottery prizes can do so annonymously, if we so choose.......and no one ever finds out, unless we tell ......

        Smash

          Avatar
          md
          United States
          Member #14047
          April 20, 2005
          541 Posts
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          Posted: March 28, 2006, 5:34 pm - IP Logged

          libra926-

          I am in the column for remaining annonymous.  I think people ask for heartache and chaos when they are just to eager to share the news of their "sudden wealth."  If I win PB in D.C. or MM in Md.  I will claim it in blind trust and move forward with life! 

            Avatar
            Bethesda, Maryland
            United States
            Member #16901
            June 6, 2005
            446 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 28, 2006, 5:41 pm - IP Logged

            Hi delS....

            I do concurr w/you and it's so nice to have the option....I didn't know you were also a resident....it's fun to have a compatriot on-line.........I think the 'shock' itself is going to throw me. I'd be sitting at home re-reading the winning ticket until it sunk in.....should take 30mins.....lolololololoolool.at least

              Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
              Clarksville
              United States
              Member #487
              July 15, 2002
              17638 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 28, 2006, 5:46 pm - IP Logged

              I think they should be able to keep it anonymous....I feel for the man whose child support doubled..now how is he going to pay it..he only won $100,000.00 and when u r paying child support, that is not much..the 100,000.00 lein on his house makes no sense to me..he must have been behind in his payments..he would have been better off just giving all of the winnings to his kids.

              If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

              You never know when you will get another hit.

                Avatar
                Coastal Georgia
                United States
                Member #2653
                October 30, 2003
                1866 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 28, 2006, 5:50 pm - IP Logged

                "One winner says his child support payments doubled, eating into his take. Another says she lost a friend after loaning $800. A third got a big tax bill she wasn't expecting."

                Common denominator here: not one of them solicited/received professional advice.

                The Winners

                TY COBB

                • Lives in: Carolina Beach.
                • Age: 47.
                • Won: $100,000, plus money for taxes.
                • Game: Carolina 5.
                • Advice: "It was fun when I did it, but I wish I never let them put my picture on the Internet."
                • I have no sympathy for him regarding providing for his children.You made 'em, you owe 'em. Besides, what is a dead baseball player doing winning money in the lottery ? I told you it was too hard for us mere mortals to win !!

                DONNA MOYE

                • Lives in: Gaffney, S.C.
                • Age: 39.
                • Won: $100,000, plus money for taxes.
                • Game: Carolina 5.
                • Advice: Keep the news of the win to yourself, if you can.
                • Rented a Limo to take her to Columbia to collect the money ? That's not a very smart way to start off your spending, girl.

                SHIRLEY GREER

                • Lives in: Dillon, S.C.
                • Age: 53.
                • Won: $500,000.
                • Game: Powerball (matched 5 of the 6 numbers).
                • Advice: "If you're blessed to hit the lottery, help somebody out along the way. Don't be selfish and let it be all about you."
                • The only poor choice she made was not seeking tax shelter for a large win. That is suicidal.

                 

                                               

                              

                 

                 

                  justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                  Wandering Aimlessly
                  United States
                  Member #25360
                  November 5, 2005
                  4457 Posts
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                  Posted: March 28, 2006, 6:36 pm - IP Logged

                  It's funny & ironic that this article advises staying out of the spotlight and then the same 3 people are telling their tales to the press!  At least that's the way I see it!

                   "You can have a loss of identity, because now you're one of those people with money," Bradley said.

                  Hmm..maybe that's why I never used my BA in Psychology! As Keenan Wynn said to Bob Newhart in one of the funniest episodes ever on television "It's all a crock!"  I wonder if one of the homeless people who are invisible to most of society agree with this statement. 

                  This article isn't even talking about people who won $50 million. $100,000 isn't that much even after taxes. It would help me quite a bit by paying medical bills and credit card debt, and giving me something to put into a retirement account, but why anyone would think there is so much extra to share is puzzling. A lot of people make $100,000 a year and aren't expected to just hand out their paychecks. I suppose it's because it's money you won instead of earned.

                    SassyOhio's avatar - Picture012
                    Columbus Ohio
                    United States
                    Member #35946
                    March 25, 2006
                    234 Posts
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                    Posted: March 28, 2006, 6:49 pm - IP Logged

                    OK so after reading some of this... I thought that if you win the lottery and are not in arrears with your child support since its not a "earned income" that they could not take any to Child Support..is this not so? In Ohio I know that we are able to keep ourselves anonymous and that is a beig relief! I mean you all know as well as I do that we would have relatives coming out of the wood work!! Any one and everyone standing there thinking that you owe them something.No No  NOPE not me! I mean dont get me wrong I would show some love to my family but on my own terms not theirs! 

                    On another topic, The winners that hit the mega here in Lyons claimed there funds in a Blind Trust. I have done a little reading on this but I dont really understand what it is that they did and or why? Can someone explain to me in detail about that? I  know that its a 3rd party but what is the scoop??Troll

                    Hopin To Be The Lucky Ones!!

                    COME ON MEGA! MEGA-ME-RICH!

                     

                    Please feel free to visit my sisters memorial page that I have now completed

                    www.freewebs.com/wendyinmyheartforever

                      Avatar
                      Coastal Georgia
                      United States
                      Member #2653
                      October 30, 2003
                      1866 Posts
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                      Posted: March 28, 2006, 6:52 pm - IP Logged

                      OK so after reading some of this... I thought that if you win the lottery and are not in arrears with your child support since its not a "earned income" that they could not take any to Child Support..is this not so? In Ohio I know that we are able to keep ourselves anonymous and that is a beig relief! I mean you all know as well as I do that we would have relatives coming out of the wood work!! Any one and everyone standing there thinking that you owe them something.No No  NOPE not me! I mean dont get me wrong I would show some love to my family but on my own terms not theirs! 

                      On another topic, The winners that hit the mega here in Lyons claimed there funds in a Blind Trust. I have done a little reading on this but I dont really understand what it is that they did and or why? Can someone explain to me in detail about that? I  know that its a 3rd party but what is the scoop??Troll

                      Sassy, Welcome aboard..... 

                      You just get the legal advice first, which these people didn't.

                      The lawyer can claim the funds on your behalf as a trust if this is acceptable in your state.

                      Easy, but so many don't take advantage....thus you get what we got in this hear case.

                       

                                                     

                                    

                       

                       

                        justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                        Wandering Aimlessly
                        United States
                        Member #25360
                        November 5, 2005
                        4457 Posts
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                        Posted: March 28, 2006, 7:01 pm - IP Logged

                        "The only poor choice she made was not seeking tax shelter for a large win. That is suicidal."  DoubleDown

                        Agree. I think one problem is that people often think that the lottery deducts the total taxes due, which isn't true. I believe the maximum personal federal tax for 2006 is 35% and the FL lottery deducts 25% (some states take out 28%)  Then there's state tax too, which in some states can vary depending on income. (we don't have one) I'm not sure if lottery winners can take advantage of income averaging, but that's what a good accountant or tax attorney would know. 

                        "the 100,000.00 lein on his house makes no sense to me.." Littleoldlady

                        I thought the same thing when I read the article.  The lien is probably temporary. Maybe he was hiding income or, as you said, behind in his payments. I can't say I feel sorry for him, because we don't know if he was a deadbeat Dad or his wife is being vindictive. In any case, there is a way he could have put it in a trust for his children, but it sounds as if he was being selfish. When they wrote his child support doubled, they might mean it went from $150 a month to $300 a month. The statement really doesn't mean anything without indicating an amount.

                          TheGameGrl's avatar - necros
                          Pennsylvania
                          United States
                          Member #17084
                          June 10, 2005
                          3117 Posts
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                          Posted: March 28, 2006, 7:38 pm - IP Logged

                          Great story! Enjoyed the fact that it was your average folks with average misconceptions. We all carry them from time to time thru life. Hindsight is always 20/20. As justexploring indicated, the facts are vague  and open to interpretation. The Part that is perturbing is that a person doesnt GET the fact that the government will and no doubt monitors winners closer, come claim time. Be wise and place that 10% that will ultimately need paid, into some  6 month term investment CD so that when it is time to pay the piper, the money is there. (footnote : that is 10% above the 25% that will get taken out come issuance time, equating to 35% in total to the good old Uncle same)

                          The old saying that a fool and his money soon part is part of the lottery speel. My state post on its website the advisal that large jackpot winners seek financial and tax advise prior to claiming. Its not a rule so much as a suggestion for them. :)

                          ________________________________

                          Signature quote-If I'd agree with you , we'd both be wrong.

                            Avatar
                            Coastal Georgia
                            United States
                            Member #2653
                            October 30, 2003
                            1866 Posts
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                            Posted: March 28, 2006, 7:47 pm - IP Logged

                             

                             " I can't say I feel sorry for him, because we don't know if he was a deadbeat Dad or his wife is being vindictive. "

                            Dead being the key word here: Ty Cobb died in 1961. I've heard of a death tax, but geeezzz...