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Lottery winner demonstrates the right way to claim a big jackpot

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Lottery winner demonstrates the right way to claim a big jackpot
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The Illinois woman knew on Dec. 18, the winning lottery ticket she held would change her life.

On March 19, she was claiming an oversized check from the state and answering questions from news media.

That the winner picked up the $81.5 million prize, her half of a $163 million Mega Millions jackpot drawing, is a big deal.

That it took three months is a rarity. She spent the time to work with lawyers and financial advisers to maintain anonymity and protect assets — something the state lottery agency wants other potential winners to note.

Sporting large sunglasses, the winner, a pharmacist, came forward, but she refused to provide her name or where she lived. An occasional player, she bought the winning ticket at a gas station at 851 S. Sutton Rd. in Streamwood.

"I came back home. My husband said, 'Let me check your ticket,' " she said. A quick confirmation through an Internet site and the two were screaming in delight. "It was a shocking moment."

The first step wasn't to get the money. A family member referred them to Wood Dale attorney Terry Zimmer, who assembled an advisory team, including estate planner Richard Kuenster.

"I told her get an unlisted number A.S.A.P.," Kuenster said.

The team helped the family create the JYS Family Limited Partnership and put together entities to keep the winner's identity from the public, and shield the money from some taxes, creditors and frivolous lawsuits while providing for her, her husband, children and any future grandchildren, Kuenster said.

"We're so proud of them for taking that time," said acting Illinois Lottery Superintendent Jodie Winnett. "What a sharp winner we have in Illinois and we hope that the rest of our community will hear this and that they'll take a deep breath and consider protecting themselves."

The winner of an $81 million lottery prize picks up her check Wednesday with her lawyer, Terry Zimmer.

Thanks to JackpotWanna for the tip.

Chicago Sun-Times

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87 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by DC81.
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Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
United States
Member #1
May 31, 2000
21225 Posts
Online
Posted: March 20, 2008, 5:15 pm - IP Logged

Awesome story about a smart lady - congrats!

I wonder if that's a wig...

 

Check the State Lottery Report Card
What grade did your lottery earn?

 

Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
Help eliminate computerized drawings!

    MissNYC's avatar - diva
    Westchester, New York
    United States
    Member #49345
    January 27, 2007
    168 Posts
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    Posted: March 20, 2008, 5:25 pm - IP Logged

    Much more responsible than those others who recently claimed winnings within days of winning. Hats off to people who use their heads!

    "If you just keep believing, that dream that you wish will come true"

    Bed

     

      ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

      United States
      Member #56506
      November 21, 2007
      4411 Posts
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      Posted: March 20, 2008, 5:29 pm - IP Logged

      Congrats to her! It looks like she really did her homework. Yes Nod

      "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

        Avatar

        United States
        Member #59579
        March 20, 2008
        205 Posts
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        Posted: March 20, 2008, 5:38 pm - IP Logged

        Very smart lady.  This is something that I said I would do when I WIN big but now, seeing that someone really did it, I know that I am really on to something.  Maybe it is fate or something.  I'm Next!

          MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
          North Jersey
          United States
          Member #5709
          July 18, 2004
          17121 Posts
          Online
          Posted: March 20, 2008, 5:48 pm - IP Logged

          Very smart indeed...! Potential winners could learn a lot from this lady...

          Congrats to her and the family.

                        You have not lived Today, until YOU can do something for someone

                                                   who can never repay you.


            United States
            Member #58528
            February 18, 2008
            710 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 20, 2008, 6:02 pm - IP Logged

            I saw this on the 9pm news on WGN last night and wondered if it was gonna be on this website today.A very,very smart lady,indeed.

             

            I wonder if the winner of the January 16th (?) Powerball drawing in Louisiana is doing the same thing.

              Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
              Clarksville
              United States
              Member #487
              July 15, 2002
              17591 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 20, 2008, 6:19 pm - IP Logged

              I wonder if they took 1/3 of her winnings.

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

              You never know when you will get another hit.

                lotterywannawin's avatar - Lottery-011.jpg
                Michigan
                United States
                Member #56297
                November 12, 2007
                394 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 20, 2008, 6:23 pm - IP Logged

                Very smart and responsible lady.  I am very happy for her.

                  Jack Pot's avatar - Lottery-028.jpg

                  United States
                  Member #55246
                  September 20, 2007
                  225 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 20, 2008, 6:36 pm - IP Logged

                  Very, very smart move. She had a good make-up artist too. I think the nose and the chin were fake, but the smile was real.Smile Congratulations!!!Banana

                    ConstantlyB's avatar - masked
                    Wilson
                    United States
                    Member #54516
                    August 21, 2007
                    2796 Posts
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                    Posted: March 20, 2008, 6:56 pm - IP Logged

                    Awesome story about a smart lady - congrats!

                    I wonder if that's a wig...

                    I can't tell from this angle....if it were a frontal view I could tell better. She may have extensions...lol...for added fullness.

                    Now I feel like she's an LP FAMILY MEMBER if she's not a member she is indeed the spouse of a member. She has exhibited some strong LP family member traits ya'll.

                    NOW THAT'S APPLYING WHAT YOU HAVE  LEARNED!!!!!

                    Hurray!                                               Dance                                                Banana

                    "MAKE THAT MONEY YA'LL"

                    wisdom from Tyler Perry's Madea:"It doesn't matter what people call you....it's what you answer to."

                      Avatar
                      EAST COAST, USA
                      United States
                      Member #49428
                      January 31, 2007
                      547 Posts
                      Online
                      Posted: March 20, 2008, 7:25 pm - IP Logged

                      Awesome story about a smart lady - congrats!

                      I wonder if that's a wig...

                      ROFL Looks like a wig to me! LOL

                        gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
                        da bronx,city island,n.y.
                        United States
                        Member #30516
                        January 17, 2006
                        331 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: March 20, 2008, 7:44 pm - IP Logged

                        Much more responsible than those others who recently claimed winnings within days of winning. Hats off to people who use their heads!

                        I Agree!  I think i'd go into hiding and form my dream team.

                          gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
                          da bronx,city island,n.y.
                          United States
                          Member #30516
                          January 17, 2006
                          331 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 20, 2008, 7:45 pm - IP Logged

                          I Agree!  I think i'd go into hiding and form my dream team.

                          o....sorry  .......and congrats to the lucky lady .....wtgParty

                            gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
                            da bronx,city island,n.y.
                            United States
                            Member #30516
                            January 17, 2006
                            331 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: March 20, 2008, 7:51 pm - IP Logged

                            o....sorry  .......and congrats to the lucky lady .....wtgParty

                            but it could be a guy in drag ......that would really throw everyone off