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Elderly $144M Powerball lottery winner shows right way to claim jackpot

PowerballPowerball: Elderly $144M Powerball lottery winner shows right way to claim jackpot
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Winner protects his identity, while D.C. protects its tax revenue

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The winner of a $144 million Powerball jackpot has finally stepped forward, nearly three weeks after the lottery drawing, demonstrating one of the best ways for a lottery player to claim a big prize.

The 82-year-old from Washington D.C. had his lawyer claim the prize on Monday on behalf of a corporation set up to keep his identity secret.

The moves frustrates reporters in the media seeking to reveal his personal story, but safeguards his identity, which would be compromised once he is known to the world.

The man is a widower with 10 children and 47 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He purchased the ticket at a local supermarket.

The man's lawyer David Wilmott said the man has chosen to receive a lump sum payment of $79.6 million. Wilmot accepted his winnings on behalf of the corporation, Rockson LLC, at a news conference at the lottery claim center.

Even the disposition of the funds has been well thought-out.

Wilmot said the money is being put into three trusts. One trust will provide education for his family, one will pay for family healthcare and another will give money to charitable causes.

The winner of the massive prize is a life-long D.C. resident and has played the lottery since it came to the city.  He won the jackpot with one single ticket purchased for $1.00.

It is the first time that a resident of Washington, D.C. has won the Powerball jackpot.

Washington, D.C. changes tax rules to withhold more of prize

The Powerball winner will not be allowed to leave D.C. without forking over some extra tax revenue — the District's tax office tried to make certain of that.

An emergency rule published in Friday's D.C. Register clarifies that 8.5 percent of the winning check, or checks, will be withheld
before the money is turned over to the winning D.C. resident. The reason for the change, according to explanatory language attached to the rule: "To protect the interest of the District in the event the winner relocates outside the District thereby attempting to avoid the District income or other tax..."

"The check the person gets will be minus the [Internal Revenue Service] and the D.C. withholding," David Umansky, spokesman for the D.C. finance office, said Friday.

The lawyer for the still-anonymous Powerball winner said the big winner would be accepting a single payment of $79.68 million, but he was also eligible for 30 annuitized payments totaling $143.98 million.  The District will collect $6.77 million in taxes for the lump sum payment, and would have received $407,954 a year if the annuity was chosen.

Rosanne Altshuler, co-director of the D.C.-based Tax Policy Center, said the first step for the winner's lawyer, "of course," was to explore how to avoid paying taxes on the money.

"I think that's exactly what the attorney would be doing and that's what they'd expect him to do," said Altshuler, also a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. "I'm not sure exactly how it would be done, but there's a lot to be gained in getting them out of town."

The winning ticket in the multi-state lottery was purchased at the Giant on Alabama Avenue Southeast. Athena Hernandez, spokeswoman for the D.C. Lottery, said Friday that the money was slated to be claimed today.

"The prize is going to be claimed in the name of an entity," Hernandez said. "That is in our rules. You can claim your winnings as an individual or an entity."

The emergency regulation applies to all lottery winnings in excess of $100,000, not just the Powerball winner.

Video report about the Powerball winner

Fox News, MyFox DC, Washington Examiner, Lottery Post Staff

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30 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by aronp24.
Page 1 of 3
Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
Atlantic Mine, Michigan
United States
Member #416
June 23, 2002
1614 Posts
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Posted: May 5, 2009, 9:17 am - IP Logged

Wow I can't believe the District of Columbia would change the income tax rules on lottery prizes just so they could have a piece of the pie.  And 8.5%!!!!  That is insane for a state tax.  How can they institute that afterwards.

Brad

    Avatar
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    Member #1265
    March 13, 2003
    3326 Posts
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    Posted: May 5, 2009, 9:43 am - IP Logged

    Congratulations to the winner!!!  Brilliant strategy keeping his identity hidden, especially at his age!!!  Party

    Shame, on greedy DC!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thumbs Down

    Good luck to everyone!

      OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
      Gurnee, Illinois
      United States
      Member #49731
      February 12, 2007
      838 Posts
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      Posted: May 5, 2009, 10:03 am - IP Logged

      Shame, on greedy DC!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thumbs Down

       

      What?!!! Did anyone expect anything different from a Democrat party controlled area?!!!  Tax and spend baby....TAX and spend!!!  The saw two good things coming and had to change the rules to their advantage.  Another reason I would only visit DC ON BUSINESS ONLY....never to just take a vacation there.

      I think I need to relocate myself to a state like Texas....Republican controlled....no income tax.  Would have picked Florida, but it is too close on the line between Demo/Repub control....still no income tax but as DC has shown, those things can be changed at your politicians whim.

      Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

      The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

        Kidzmom's avatar - cold
        NC
        United States
        Member #11741
        February 23, 2005
        1232 Posts
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        Posted: May 5, 2009, 10:07 am - IP Logged

        Wow I can't believe the District of Columbia would change the income tax rules on lottery prizes just so they could have a piece of the pie.  And 8.5%!!!!  That is insane for a state tax.  How can they institute that afterwards.

        Brad

        Sounds like some mess that crooked NC lottery would do.

        Be kind to a stranger because you never know when you are talking to an angel.Blue Angel

         

        KZM

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #26330
          November 16, 2005
          330 Posts
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          Posted: May 5, 2009, 10:18 am - IP Logged

          Way to go!  Smart Man wait a couple of weeks get everything in order and claim with a lawyer.  This is exactly how I plan to claim my jackpot..One Day...LOL.    But this guy shouldn't be too hard to find....he'll be the old guy with the huge smile surronded by hot blondes in the hot tub at a five star hotel!  Oh wait that would be me again...after my jackpot!  HAHAHAHA

            hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

            United States
            Member #52345
            May 21, 2007
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            Posted: May 5, 2009, 11:02 am - IP Logged

            Way to go!  Smart Man wait a couple of weeks get everything in order and claim with a lawyer.  This is exactly how I plan to claim my jackpot..One Day...LOL.    But this guy shouldn't be too hard to find....he'll be the old guy with the huge smile surronded by hot blondes in the hot tub at a five star hotel!  Oh wait that would be me again...after my jackpot!  HAHAHAHA

            Type I wish the ole fart tons of luck and I hope he manages to keep it secret for the rest of his years Patriot

              Avatar

              United States
              Member #22980
              October 5, 2005
              23 Posts
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              Posted: May 5, 2009, 11:35 am - IP Logged

              Income tax in DC is 8.5%, which he would have to pay anyway at the end of the year anyway, they are just getting it upfront (still kinda pathetic that they would change the law based off of one guy). DC considers lottery winnings personal income, so eventually he would have to pay it.  And if he were a smaller winner, I would be worried that he wouldn't set aside that extra few million and at the end of the year he might find himself not being able to pay it if he overspent while celebrating.

              Though it seems to me any small state or district like DC should be giving him tax discounts to maintain residence in the District.  DC is a pretty tight knit community, especially Southeast, and as long as he continues to live there, that extra money he spends within the city could really help bolster his local communities economy.  And southeast is one of the bleakest neighborhoods in DC.  Its not like Northwest where people are already super rich.

              I live in DC, and the reason the tax rate is so high, as it is in bordering Montgomery County, Maryland, and Northern Virginia, is because the same Job in the DC metropolitan area pays about 25-30% more than it would in other neighboring markets(I'm sure there are exceptions). Not that its a fair reason, but thats how they can get away with it, without people here freaking out.  I wouldnt move to a different area because overall I would bring home much less, even with lower taxes, and gas prices negate any long commute benefits.

              The unfortunate thing is that while that tax money gives Montgomery County, Md and Northern Virginia some of the best ranked public schools in the nation, DC's public schools are not much better than penitentiarys for children.  So who knows where they are spending their money.  Then again most people who work in DC dont live there unless they are above middle class, so maybe the large population of poor negate any benefits of a higher tax rate.

              Just info for the curious.

                Avatar
                Columbia City, Indiana
                United States
                Member #2978
                December 9, 2003
                381 Posts
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                Posted: May 5, 2009, 1:29 pm - IP Logged

                I have several issues with this article.

                First is the comment, "The move frustrates reporters in the media seeking to reveal his personal story, but safeguards his identity, which would be compromised once he is known to the world." The phrasing conjures images of legions of evil reporters huddled in an underground lair, wringing their hands and muttering, "Curses! Foiled again!!!" Why does the media place so much importance on shoving their noses where they clearly do not belong? One could argue that, since the lottery is a public agency, the people have a right to know who won. I disagree; the only thing the people have a right to know is that the prize money was won legitimately, and the winner's name should be revealed only when a major prize is won by someone already in the public eye, such as a celebrity or public official. With those exceptions, any winner of a major prize should have the right to protect himself, his identity and his family from fortune-seekers, scam artists or other predators.

                To my knowledge, Washington, D.C. still has no governor, no senators and no congressmen to represent their residents and homeowners so, as far as I'm concerned, they're not entitled to anything until that situation is properly addressed. Then, to add insult to injury, they impose an "emergency rule" to withhold (steal) a significant portion of this man's rightful property nearly a full year before any taxes are due and payable, just in case he should decide to relocate to another area. There's no way the winner can fight that in court without revealing his identity, thus endangering himself and his family. By stealing his money now under the guise of legal taxation, the winner is essentially screwed out of several hundred thousand dollars in interest income that would have accrued over the next year. $6.8 million would generate around $340,000 when invested in a one-year Certificate of Deposit paying 5% APY. That's not taxation; it's overt grand larceny. "The man is a widower, with 10 children and 47 grandchildren and great-grandchildren." What would lead these IRS paranoiacs to believe he's going anywhere? Did he run to U-Haul or Ryder and rent thirty large trucks?

                Those who still believe this is a "free" country should take heed. Using political logic (which is diametrically opposed to common sense), I can see congress allocating funds for state border fences and checkpoints very soon, which will be designed to prevent current residents from moving out-of-state without proper authorization (see "Papers, please, NOW!!!" on Rick G's blog). 

                Anyway, the guy seems to have his priorities straight. All three trusts are exempt from future taxation (brilliant!), and none are set up to provide his family with a direct income. He deserves our congratulations, and I wish him and his family the best of luck in the future.

                Come, Pinky; we must prepare for tomorrow night...

                Jim

                  Avatar

                  United States
                  Member #54390
                  August 17, 2007
                  313 Posts
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                  Posted: May 5, 2009, 1:35 pm - IP Logged

                  I have several issues with this article.

                  First is the comment, "The move frustrates reporters in the media seeking to reveal his personal story, but safeguards his identity, which would be compromised once he is known to the world." The phrasing conjures images of legions of evil reporters huddled in an underground lair, wringing their hands and muttering, "Curses! Foiled again!!!" Why does the media place so much importance on shoving their noses where they clearly do not belong? One could argue that, since the lottery is a public agency, the people have a right to know who won. I disagree; the only thing the people have a right to know is that the prize money was won legitimately, and the winner's name should be revealed only when a major prize is won by someone already in the public eye, such as a celebrity or public official. With those exceptions, any winner of a major prize should have the right to protect himself, his identity and his family from fortune-seekers, scam artists or other predators.

                  To my knowledge, Washington, D.C. still has no governor, no senators and no congressmen to represent their residents and homeowners so, as far as I'm concerned, they're not entitled to anything until that situation is properly addressed. Then, to add insult to injury, they impose an "emergency rule" to withhold (steal) a significant portion of this man's rightful property nearly a full year before any taxes are due and payable, just in case he should decide to relocate to another area. There's no way the winner can fight that in court without revealing his identity, thus endangering himself and his family. By stealing his money now under the guise of legal taxation, the winner is essentially screwed out of several hundred thousand dollars in interest income that would have accrued over the next year. $6.8 million would generate around $340,000 when invested in a one-year Certificate of Deposit paying 5% APY. That's not taxation; it's overt grand larceny. "The man is a widower, with 10 children and 47 grandchildren and great-grandchildren." What would lead these IRS paranoiacs to believe he's going anywhere? Did he run to U-Haul or Ryder and rent thirty large trucks?

                  Those who still believe this is a "free" country should take heed. Using political logic (which is diametrically opposed to common sense), I can see congress allocating funds for state border fences and checkpoints very soon, which will be designed to prevent current residents from moving out-of-state without proper authorization (see "Papers, please, NOW!!!" on Rick G's blog). 

                  Anyway, the guy seems to have his priorities straight. All three trusts are exempt from future taxation (brilliant!), and none are set up to provide his family with a direct income. He deserves our congratulations, and I wish him and his family the best of luck in the future.

                  Proof that $1.00 is all you need to win.

                    Piaceri's avatar - sarsony1
                    Wannabe Won Percenter
                    Republic of Texas
                    United States
                    Member #57557
                    January 9, 2008
                    989 Posts
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                    Posted: May 5, 2009, 1:48 pm - IP Logged

                    Congrats to the winner and his family! Smart move with the corp lawyer claiming.

                    face

                    singlewinnersinglewinnersinglewinner   

                      Avatar
                      NY
                      United States
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                      October 16, 2005
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                      Posted: May 5, 2009, 1:55 pm - IP Logged

                      For those who may not know, here's some basic information about Washington D.C.  It's a city, not a state. Like other cities, it doesn't have a governor, senators or congressmen. Like other cities, it does have a mayor and a city council which function the same as other city governments. Like many other cities, it imposes an income tax on its residents, but unlike every other city in the country, it isn't part of a state, and therefore it can't collect a dime in revenue from a state income tax. Unlike residents of other cities, residents of D.C. don't pay a state  income tax in addition to the city taxes. Like the states, D.C. has it's own treasury department that collects income taxes. The rules and regulations regarding those taxes are determined by D.C.'s own gevernment and have nothing to do with the IRS, which is a federal organization that collects federal taxes and has no control over state or city tax rules.

                      As is true in most (probably all) other tax jurisdictions, D.C.'s tax regulations require those whose taxes aren't withheld by an employer to make quarterly estimated tax payments based on their income. The second paymentis due on 6/15. I find it hard to believe that the tax regulations didn't already require tax withholding on significant lottery prizes, but the winner would have been required to make an estimated payment by 6/15, anyway. At worst, the new rule has required him to pay the tax 6 weeks earlier than before the rule went into effect. In any case, they certainly didn't steal his money.

                        maringoman's avatar - kobold
                        Massachusetts
                        United States
                        Member #37433
                        April 14, 2006
                        1978 Posts
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                        Posted: May 5, 2009, 2:38 pm - IP Logged

                        10 kids and 47 grandkids? I could't think of a more deserving family. I hope that the money does not tare apart the family.

                        A buck and a dream is all it takes : )

                          charmed7's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
                          MICHIGAN
                          United States
                          Member #65282
                          September 22, 2008
                          1852 Posts
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                          Posted: May 5, 2009, 2:42 pm - IP Logged

                          Bravo for him, Good idea i wouldn't want my family to know about my

                          winnings.  Keep everything on the  downlow!

                            Avatar

                            United States
                            Member #34266
                            March 1, 2006
                            188 Posts
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                            Posted: May 5, 2009, 3:14 pm - IP Logged

                            He's  doubly lucky.....wins the powerball.....doesn't have a stroke after finding out......he won the lottery!!