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Massachusetts Judge Denies Demand for Lump-Sum Lottery Prize Payment

Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Massachusetts Judge Denies Demand for Lump-Sum Lottery Prize Payment

Statement from Massachusetts Lottery Executive Director Joseph P. Sullivan

The Massachusetts State Lottery is one of the most successful lotteries in the country for many reasons, including that we pay out more prize money and have more winners than any other Lottery in the U.S.

In September, we celebrated with Louise Outing when she and her family claimed her $5.6 million prize at Lottery headquarters.  At that time, Lottery officials reviewed the rules and regulations of the game, which are also printed on the back of all Megabucks bet slips, with Ms. Outing.  Among the rules and regulations we discussed is that she will receive an initial gross check of $283,770 and 19 annual gross checks of $280,000.

All Lottery players who win Megabucks prizes are held to the same rules and regulations as Ms. Outing, and these rules and regulations are reviewed with the winners when they claim their prizes.

Because of the desire of some winners to receive more of their prize money immediately, the Lottery worked with the Massachusetts Legislature earlier this year to create legislation that allows winners to "assign" their prizes to a Lottery-registered financial company.  These companies provide the winner with a lump-sum check for their winnings (minus a fee, which is as low as seven percent and varies depending on the amount of the prize).

Since the prize assignment option became available in November, more than 132 past Lottery winners have received lump-sum checks from financial companies and about the same number are scheduled to receive checks in early 2005.  In fact, it is our understanding that Ms. Outing has been contacted by at least one state-approved financial company, and has opted to turn it down.

Today, Superior Court Justice Barbara A. Dortch-Okara denied Ms. Louise Outing's request for a preliminary injunction against the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission.  Since Ms. Outing "and others similarly situated have other options available to them to receive an immediate lump sum payout of their lottery proceeds, there is no irreparable harm," read Justice Dortch-Okara's ruling.

We welcome this order upholding the Lottery's rules and regulations regarding payment to winners.  We are also sympathetic to Ms. Outing and commend her desire to provide for her family, and encourage her to consult with her advisors about taking advantage of the financial options available to provide for her family.

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20 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by CASH Only.
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JAP69's avatar - alas
South Carolina
United States
Member #6
November 4, 2001
8790 Posts
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Posted: December 30, 2004, 8:28 pm - IP Logged

 

Legislature earlier this year to create legislation that allows winners to "assign" their prizes to a Lottery-registered financial company.  These companies provide the winner with a lump-sum check for their winnings (minus a fee, which is as low as seven percent and varies depending on the amount of the prize).

who got paid off for that legislation. [pay a fee] 

MAGA

    hgabel's avatar - motomedia motclub.com
    Ontario
    Canada
    Member #8264
    October 30, 2004
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    Posted: December 30, 2004, 9:17 pm - IP Logged

    Before I even read this report, it occurred to me the woman could simply use the services of  those institutions that advertise they "buy lottery winnings" - shop around for the best deal, of course. Maybe now that this decision has been handed down, she will. And by the way, what's this "legislation earlier this year" thingie? I've seen these companies advertising for years. Well, maybe it's all in the jurisdiction?

    The rules were clear and if lottery commissions start making exceptions, you're gonna get chaos. As some people say "there are ways and there are ways".

    But that's my opinion, people.

      SirMetro's avatar - center
      East of Atlanta
      United States
      Member #6191
      August 11, 2004
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      Posted: December 30, 2004, 10:10 pm - IP Logged

      $280,00 a year for 20 years...Heck...I will keep that 7% and be more then happy with such a nice annual paycheck...but then...guess that's just me, oh well.

      Sir Metro

      Greed...where would success be without it?

        KyMystikal's avatar - 1457224010054
        Florence, Alabama
        United States
        Member #8658
        November 13, 2004
        1993 Posts
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        Posted: December 30, 2004, 10:40 pm - IP Logged

        I think I'de take the payments too. Even though I may have been lucky enough to win 5.6 mil I'm not going give someone around $392,264 plus my 5.6 mil just to end up with a lump sum payment of around 5.2 mil. If I won 5.6 mil I want all my money and besides, if I got it all at once I'de probably blow it all and be in bankruptcy court.

        I love doubles and remember, it's just a game!!!!!!

          Avatar
          Kentucky
          United States
          Member #1528
          May 18, 2003
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          Posted: December 31, 2004, 8:52 am - IP Logged

          Keeping the 7% is all right but what you dont know she is 94 years old


            United States
            Member #379
            June 5, 2002
            11296 Posts
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            Posted: December 31, 2004, 9:15 am - IP Logged

            No lottery winner should have to go through a third party in order to collect a lottery prize in cash. We should all continue to BOYCOTT Mass Megais bad$ and annuity-only scratch games until a true cash option is offered, with no runaround.

              Avatar
              Douglasville, Ga
              United States
              Member #10027
              December 30, 2004
              119 Posts
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              Posted: December 31, 2004, 10:13 am - IP Logged

              GA for Next 5 days

              760

              740

                Avatar
                New Member
                Indiana
                United States
                Member #10035
                December 31, 2004
                5 Posts
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                Posted: December 31, 2004, 11:42 am - IP Logged
                Quote: Originally posted by Lee123 on December 31, 2004



                Keeping the 7% is all right but what you dont know she is 94 years old






                Exactly! She most likely will not be around for the next 20 years to collect all the payments. There supposedly has been people that have lived that long, but the odds are against it.

                Heck, the odds are against most of us reaching 94!

                  BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
                  Dump Water Florida
                  United States
                  Member #380
                  June 5, 2002
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                  Posted: December 31, 2004, 2:45 pm - IP Logged

                  One has to wonder if the Mass Lottery explained the tax liability of the family when the winner dies?  So much for justice these days . . .

                  Selling your prize is not a freebie, you don't get as much as if you took the full amount from the state.

                  BobP

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                    Columbia City, Indiana
                    United States
                    Member #2978
                    December 9, 2003
                    381 Posts
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                    Posted: December 31, 2004, 4:27 pm - IP Logged

                    From the original thread:







                    Oh, for cryin' out loud, people; give me a break!

                    Even the hard and fast laws of nature occasionally treat us to the odd exception, and what's good enough for nature should be good enough for an anal-retentive state lottery director. Where do they find these people??? I suspect that Mr. Sullivan has some difficulty removing his pants without the aid of a good, stout stick.

                    Common sense tells me that Ms. Outing will ultimately prevail, and I would not rule out possible punitive or compensatory damages as well. Her prima facie claim to the money she won is not to address whether she is entitled to it, but how she will be paid, so it's an issue of method rather than one of ownership; it's a matter of policy rather than one of law. Mr. Sullivan's attorney cannot argue that the money, or any part of it, still belongs to the lottery once a legitimate claim has been presented and verified. In any contest of this type, law will always prevail over policy and, since property is absolute, they'll have to cough up her $3.5M. If one of us was told he has only six months to live, and then won the Massachusetts Megabucks jackpot a week later, who among us wouldn't follow the same path Ms. Outing has chosen? Would we stop buying tickets because some rule printed on the back of a bet slip assures us that the lottery knows better than we do how to invest our winnings?

                    Depending on the vehicle in which her money is invested, I suspect that either the lottery, the state or the bank enjoys an additional benefit in revenue after the annuity is satisfied. Otherwise, they would have no reason to refuse her request for possession of what rightfully belongs to her. Any loan or mortgage agreement contains an on-demand clause, which means the lender can call in that loan at any time, for the full value of the outstanding debt. The money belongs to them, to the bank, not to the borrower. Likewise, this money, all of it, belongs to Ms. Outing, so let's get behind her on this. Who knows; our support just might make a difference in this great-great-grandmother's life.   

                    This case was inevitable, and I believe its outcome will set a precedent which will affect all annuity-only games throughout the country, so it appears that CashOnly will have a very happy new year. 

                    Nostrovi!

                    Jim695
                    ______________________________________________________

                    Jazam's response:







                    I disagree,

                    even if the property is hers she has entered into an agreement with all the appertaining terms and conditions. The lottery offered winnings by annuity, by her actions she accepted.

                    If your landlord suddenly wanted a lump sum instead of monthly payments you would tell him where to go regardless of ownership. Neither could he seize back his property without breaching an agreement. The contract is paramount.

                    Contract law will apply. Any ruling in her favour will also apply to other winners with severe consequences to the lottery's ability to pay. This will influence the court's thinking.

                    (But then again the judiciary can be unpredictable in the colonies ;-))

                    Jazam

                    _______________________________________

                    My reply:







                    Jazam:

                    Thanks for your input, but your argument doesn't hold water.

                    First of all, your landlord owns the property; you only rent it month-to-month, or lease it term-to-term (one year, two years, etc.), according to the agreement, or contract you've signed. If you're renting, he can throw you and your belongings out on the street whenever the whim strikes, so we can dispense with wasting further time on that nonsense.

                    Secondly, Ms. Outing's "agreement" to accept their terms by buying a lottery ticket, and then having the unmitigated gall to exploit it into a jackpot win, is only implied, not contractual. The fact that she was forced to sign papers in order to obtain her initial annuity payment will serve her attorney well when he argues duress; if she refused to sign, she would receive none of her money. Considering her age, the court will likely equate this to the Massachusetts Lottery holding a gun to her head. 

                    Things work a little differently here on the other side of the pond, so I'd consider it a personal favor if you'd do a little research the next time you elect to challenge my opinions; this was just too easy. Challenge me, by all means, but at least gather enough information to give me pause; give me some reasons to reconsider my current position. Incidentally, we haven't had colonies here since hippies became extinct in the late 1970's.

                    This has nothing to do with the lottery, but I'm going to append it here, anyway, because it needs to be said: I served alongside the Brits (21st EOD Squadron, British Royal Engineers, under the very capable leadership of Major Watkinson) in Kuwait in 1991. Search high and low, but you'll never find a more clever, fiercely dedicated or courageous group than a British fighting unit. The Iraqis found out the hard way that shooting at them only makes them angry. Bosnia in 1994 was a tough campaign for all of us, but the British 7th Armored simply refused to acknowledge any obstacles that happened to get between them and their objectives. Unfortunate for the enemy, but I will always be thankful the Brits were there, and on our side. I learned a few tricks from them, and we can all take comfort in knowing that their 7th Armored Division is also serving in the current conflict in Iraq, along with several units of their elite special forces teams. Let's include them in our prayers, and have confidence that the Allied Forces will soon be successful in this campaign.   


                    _____________________________________________________________

                    To All Members:

                    Please read the following words very carefully, because you may never read them again in anything I post. Also, consider the fact that only a Brit could have driven me to this:

                    I was wrong.

                    There; I said it.

                    Now I need a drink. 

                     

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

                    Jim

                      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                      Chief Bottle Washer
                      New Jersey
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                      Posted: December 31, 2004, 5:52 pm - IP Logged
                      Quote: Originally posted by jim695 on December 31, 2004



                      I was wrong.




                         

                       

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                        DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
                        Yinzer Country, PA
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                        Posted: December 31, 2004, 6:16 pm - IP Logged

                        i don't see why they wouldn't give her the lump sum. i understand that the mass. lottery doesn't award lump sums for the jackpot in that game, but why canb't they make a special exception?

                        I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

                          Avatar

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                          Posted: December 31, 2004, 9:43 pm - IP Logged

                          I'm 40 years old, in good health, and I don't know if I'll be around in 20 years.  I just witnessed a 39 year old friend die of cancer. You never know.

                          She should have been able to get the lump sum, but then everyone should be able to. The money is there - they can hand it to a banker to dole out over 20 years or they can hand it to the winner. As fed up as I am with the annuity plan, I would have thanked the heavens that I beat such long odds.

                          The only message the MA lottery understands is money - if enough former players have stopped playing, they will take notice and ask why. This is the first year after 9 years that I am not getting a megabucks season ticket. I've had it with the annuity plan and the lousy payoffs for getting 3-5 numbers.

                            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                            Chief Bottle Washer
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                            Posted: December 31, 2004, 9:59 pm - IP Logged
                            Quote: Originally posted by tg636 on December 31, 2004



                            I'm 40 years old, in good health, and I don't know if I'll be around in 20 years.  I just witnessed a 39 year old friend die of cancer. You never know.

                            She should have been able to get the lump sum, but then everyone should be able to. The money is there - they can hand it to a banker to dole out over 20 years or they can hand it to the winner. As fed up as I am with the annuity plan, I would have thanked the heavens that I beat such long odds.

                            The only message the MA lottery understands is money - if enough former players have stopped playing, they will take notice and ask why. This is the first year after 9 years that I am not getting a megabucks season ticket. I've had it with the annuity plan and the lousy payoffs for getting 3-5 numbers.




                             

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

                             

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