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.
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 ;-))
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...