Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 8, 2016, 1:03 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Father, son feud over lottery winnings

Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Father, son feud over lottery winnings

Two months ago, a Vietnamese immigrant named Thien Minh Luu said he experienced a stroke of extraordinary good fortune: He bought a $5 lottery scratch ticket at a convenience store in Worcester and won $1 million.

But what first appeared to be the quintessential modern American fairy tale has turned into the archetypal American family feud. The 45-year-old manicurist filed a lawsuit, saying his 21-year-old son tricked him into turning over the ticket and then tried to steal the winnings.

Luu and his eldest son, Thai M. Nguyen, appeared to have gotten along well before the dispute and even participated in a family celebration after the father hit the jackpot on Sept. 25, said Luu's lawyer, Robert C. Gabler.

"The father was completely taken aback by all of this," he said. "It's a classic example of blood is thicker than water, but money trumps all."

But Nguyen disputed his father's account, saying in an interview that it was his mother who bought the ticket and gave it to Nguyen.

"I'm not tricking him," he said of his father. "He's created a stupid situation that I don't think he'll be able to win for any type of reason."

Late Friday afternoon, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Charles T. Spurlock granted Luu a temporary restraining order barring his son from touching the winnings. Tomorrow, the judge plans to hold a hearing about whether to freeze payouts until the lawsuit goes to trial.

When Luu and his wife, Hoang Nga Nguyen, and Thai Nguyen went to lottery headquarters in Braintree on Sept. 26 to receive the first payment, "it seemed to go smoothly," said Beth Bresnahan, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Lottery Commission.

The lawsuit, she said, is a "personal matter and one for the courts to decide."

Luu, who returned to Vietnam to visit family the same day his lawyer obtained the restraining order, said in his suit that he bought the Wild Millions lottery ticket at the Sinbad convenience store. When he scratched it, he saw he had won $1 million to be paid in yearly installments of $50,000, minus withheld taxes.

The odds of winning that much were more than 3 million to 1, according to Bresnahan.

After telling his family the good news, Thai Nguyen, who is "more business-savvy, and better-versed in English" than his father, persuaded Luu that he should manage the winnings, the suit said. So Luu signed the ticket and wrote on the back, "I Thien Minh Luu sign this tkt [sic] over to Thai M. Nguyen."

The son presented the ticket at lottery headquarters, posed for a photograph while wearing a Red Sox cap, and got a check made out to him for $35,000.

But his father never saw a dime despite repeated requests, the suit said. Thai Nguyen did write his father a check for $5,000 -- but it bounced.

Later, Luu discovered in the family's apartment a business card for Northeastern Capital Funding LLC of New York, which buys Massachusetts lottery payouts from winners and pays them a lump sum, the suit said. Luu confronted his son about the card, and Thai Nguyen acknowledged he intended to sell the payouts to Northeastern.

"Nguyen took unfair advantage of his father's trust," the suit said.

But Thai Nguyen, in an interview, denied doing anything wrong. He said his mother bought the ticket and gave it to him, although he had no explanation for why his father signed the ticket. Thai Nguyen said he intends to invest the winnings for the family and buy his mother a house.

He learned that his father had filed a suit against him when he got a call yesterday from Northeastern Capital. "It was my scratch ticket," he said. "I don't know what's wrong with him."

The dispute is the latest lottery jackpot to end up in court. The litigation includes a battle last year over ownership of a $4 million scratch ticket in Falmouth.

Boston Globe

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

14 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by fja.
Page 1 of 1
Avatar
Coastal Georgia
United States
Member #2653
October 30, 2003
1866 Posts
Offline
Posted: November 23, 2005, 11:01 am - IP Logged

Just curious- does anyone know how much Northeastern Capital Funding would pay in a lump sum ie: how much do they keep ?

This story is not all that surprising- when it comes to money- trust no one, not even family.

 

                               

              

 

 

    rundown99's avatar - cigar

    United States
    Member #567
    August 14, 2002
    484 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: November 23, 2005, 12:00 pm - IP Logged

    If you have a winning lottery ticket, you should not tell anyone prior to claiming the prize (maybe except for your financial advisory team).... but definitely NOT anyone else.

    Smart lottery winners form trust to claim their winnings.  They send an attorney to the lottery headquarters to claim the prize in trust, so that ONLY the name of the trust is revealed.  And they tell NO ONE, especially relatives.

    If you ever win a lottery and you are single, the only person you should ever marry is someone who was truly in love with you BEFORE you won the jackpot!


      United States
      Member #379
      June 5, 2002
      11296 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: November 23, 2005, 12:03 pm - IP Logged

      Just curious- does anyone know how much Northeastern Capital Funding would pay in a lump sum ie: how much do they keep ?

      This story is not all that surprising- when it comes to money- trust no one, not even family.

      Apparently even the son knows lump sum is better. If only he had convinced his father not to buy that ticket.

       

        mylollipop's avatar - Trek STLOGO6.png

        United States
        Member #24380
        October 21, 2005
        623 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: November 23, 2005, 12:12 pm - IP Logged

        DisapproveThe son should have his hinny parts kicked!  Did the Mother tell him to do this??!! Excuses!What?  What goes around comes around Sonny Boy!

          bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

          United States
          Member #12618
          March 18, 2005
          2060 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: November 23, 2005, 1:15 pm - IP Logged

          If you have a winning lottery ticket, you should not tell anyone prior to claiming the prize (maybe except for your financial advisory team).... but definitely NOT anyone else.

          I would still tell my mother and sisters. I know that they would never rip me off. Everyone has different families and knows who they can and cannot trust. =)

          Dance like no one is watching.

            Avatar
            Bethesda, Maryland
            United States
            Member #16901
            June 6, 2005
            446 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: November 23, 2005, 4:14 pm - IP Logged

            TurkeyHAPPY THANKSGIVING......EVERYONE.....

            Yes, this soap opera is unfortunate.....As "The World Turns" the "Young and the Restless" are "Searching for Tomorrow" while parents believe"Father Knows Best",they also begin to wish they didn't have "All My Children".........

            I am very fortunate to live in Maryland where you can assign your Attorney to Claim your $$$$$$$ prize winnings for you, placing every last dime in TRUST, just for you, making it  easy access for you, to spend to your hearts content, without anyone knowing until you decide to make it public...to family and friends.  We do have the options of annonymity or publicity. Personally, I don't care who knows I won, but I wouldn't turn my winning Ticket over to anyone, I'll claim it, with only my Lawyer standing by.  It's unfrotunate that the Man in this story doesn't have a better understanding of English or his rights as the winner.  However, I would love to know what his wife said to him about this matter, what was her part in this issue, and wether or not she recommended that their Son handle the prize winnings for them.  What was said to get the Man to sign over the Check to his Son. Will the Wife defend her son in this matter, does she have anything to say at all?

              MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
              Beautiful Florida
              United States
              Member #5709
              July 18, 2004
              20117 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: November 23, 2005, 6:15 pm - IP Logged

              The father wins hands down. When he's done he kicks the "dung" out of thia...! 

              Suc Mia.thia.....!

                Skony1's avatar - Sphere animated2.gif
                Streetsboro, Ohio
                United States
                Member #1163
                February 20, 2003
                5981 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: November 23, 2005, 6:30 pm - IP Logged

                Greed

                  justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                  Wandering Aimlessly
                  United States
                  Member #25360
                  November 5, 2005
                  4461 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: November 23, 2005, 6:55 pm - IP Logged

                  Just curious- does anyone know how much Northeastern Capital Funding would pay in a lump sum ie: how much do they keep ?

                  This story is not all that surprising- when it comes to money- trust no one, not even family.

                  Apparently even the son knows lump sum is better. If only he had convinced his father not to buy that ticket.

                   

                  I don't understand your comment. I mean, although I agree it is better to take the cash option most of the time, what's wrong with winning $50,000 a year?  I guess you are saying he should have spent his money on another game, but he won didn't he? That's what counts!!

                  In response to those who say not to trust your family, I think it's a personal matter.  It's silly to waste mental energy on this, but I've often wondered what I'd do since I'd like to help my sisters, but I'd also be afraid they'd be too greedy or resentful.  People look at winning money differently than earning it and want a bigger piece of the pie. 

                  BTW, I vote for the father in this case if we're hearing the whole story.

                   

                   

                    whitmansm2's avatar - Lottery-029.jpg
                    Right here...can't you see me?
                    United States
                    Member #21521
                    September 10, 2005
                    131 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: November 23, 2005, 11:46 pm - IP Logged

                    I'm not seeing the big deal. He said he doesn't understand English as well as his son and his son is more buisness savy than he is. Him signing it over seems like a better idea than him cashing it and losing it all out of stupidity. Granted the father SHOULD have written something that said that his son was managing the money but it is HIS money!

                    Cashing it out....and investing the money the way you see fit is the better option. The father probably didn't understand that. It's sad to see a family break up over something like this. We don't know the family. We don't know what kind of person this father is. He might be old school and not know a damn thing about investments or returns or even taxes! He might be too stubborn to admit to the public that his son is smarter than him!

                    ON A PERSONAL NOTE: I can't stand getting my nails done by someone who doesn't know ENGLISH! (that's a subject that I could go on and on about!)

                    No No

                    Don't cry over spilled milk.  Go milk another cow!!

                    Stephanie

                      Avatar
                      BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI
                      United States
                      Member #19651
                      August 3, 2005
                      621 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: November 24, 2005, 3:22 am - IP Logged

                      the check to his dad              didn't clear the bank    son ran with cash

                        BabyJC's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg

                        United States
                        Member #3271
                        January 7, 2004
                        148 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: November 24, 2005, 7:04 pm - IP Logged

                        The son should be ashamed of himself!  Hope he doesn't expect a Christmas present this year - LOL

                          Avatar

                          United States
                          Member #972
                          December 30, 2002
                          465 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: November 25, 2005, 11:09 am - IP Logged

                          Sonny boy is an ungrateful little sh*t who should have his ass kicked hard.  I thought Asian cultures taught respect for your parents and elders.

                          >"It was my scratch ticket," he said. "I don't know what's wrong with him."

                          Maybe the fact that dad bought the ticket, signed it, and not only lost the money but lost it to his worthless son who he made the mistake of trusting after all the time, work and money spent raising him is what made him upset. That's just a guess.

                          The sad thing is they will find it is not a lot of money, especially after the lawyers get paid.

                            fja's avatar - gnome1

                            United States
                            Member #91
                            January 19, 2002
                            11932 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: November 25, 2005, 11:32 am - IP Logged

                            Sonny boy is an ungrateful little sh*t who should have his ass kicked hard.  I thought Asian cultures taught respect for your parents and elders.

                            Looks like the boy got Americanized quick when the dollars started floating around....