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Million-dollar ticket fight goes before Mass. Lottery board

Topic closed. 22 replies. Last post 11 years ago by KY Floyd.

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bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

United States
Member #12618
March 18, 2005
2060 Posts
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Posted: December 1, 2005, 2:02 am - IP Logged

Mr St John should focus on suing to collect his prize in lump-sum, as it was an annuity-only ticket. He is 83 years old. Do you remember 94 (at the time)-yo Louise Outing?

CASH, Mr. St John isn't suing anyone...he is the one being sued. He probably is just hoping he wins the case so he can collect he money.

Dance like no one is watching.

    jeffrey's avatar - moon
    Hamilton, OH
    United States
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    March 27, 2004
    277 Posts
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    Posted: December 1, 2005, 7:20 am - IP Logged

    bearer instrument

    Definition

    A negotiable instrument which is payable on demand to the holder, regardless of whom it was originally issued to.


    Exactly, I wish the lawyers who read this site would get definitions straight. Prior ownership is not an issue of a bearer instrument. However, anyone can be sued in this country for anything. God bless America, I hope it survives.

      jeffrey's avatar - moon
      Hamilton, OH
      United States
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      March 27, 2004
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      Posted: December 1, 2005, 7:22 am - IP Logged

      When will the courts understand the phrase "Bearer Instrument"? These cases should be treated as frivolous and dismissed. What a waste of time and money.

      Finders keepers losers weepers.

      Congrats to you Mr. St. John.

      Doyle, your parents should be proud, hats off to your mother and her brother.

      "Bearer instrument" just means that the issuer doesn't keep a record of the owner or any changes in ownership, but does nothing to prove that the person in possession is actually the owner. The role of the court is to decide who the rightful owner is in the case of a dispute. Deliberately discarding property means you've willfully relinquished ownership, but if you lose something you still own it for a period of time defined by law, and the law also spells out the procedure for the finder to become the lawful owner. That's why the lawyer says the ticket was "misplaced". If he can demonstrate that the ticket was lost rather than discarded then his client still owns the ticket.

      If you found an expensive bracelet in a garbage can it would be a reasonable assumption that it wasn't deliberately discarded. It's also a reasonable assumption that anybody who loses track of a ticket that they know is worth a million dollars and throws it in the trash with the losing tickets is exceedingly stupid. It seems to me that only revealing a code that doesn't obviously indicate that the ticket is a winner demonstrates that the client wouldn't have known it was a winner and therefore discarded it deliberately, but maybe the guy really os that stupid. That doesn't make his claim frivolous, it just makes it very hard to prove.

       

       

      I think you missed the point of Bearer Instrument. Payment upon request with the relinquishment of the instrument. Case closed. You can be sued for anything. I wish someone would dump some bearer bonds in the trash for me to find.

        DIAMOND RAY's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
        STONE MOUNTAIN GA.
        United States
        Member #6120
        August 7, 2004
        175 Posts
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        Posted: December 1, 2005, 2:26 pm - IP Logged

        I occasionally pick up disgarded tickets and have won with a few. Lets face it the purpose of playing the lottery is to win if  you buy a ticket and don't make sure it's a winner or not  than you don't need to be " THROWING AWAY YOUR MONEY ". Dupe AlertI DON'T THINK THE GUY KNEW HE HAD A WINNERS SO HE DID DISGARD IT AND NOT MISPLACE IT, BECAUSE IF HE DID HE WOULDN'T HAVE JUST LAYED IT TO THE SIDE  MY JUDGEMENT IS FOR THE Saint.  GOD BLESS Party

          csfb's avatar - Lottery-001.jpg

          United States
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          May 13, 2005
          307 Posts
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          Posted: December 2, 2005, 3:05 am - IP Logged

          Holder of a bearer instrument is presumed to be the owner.  It is not a conclusive presumption and can be disputed.  If it is proved that such instrument has been lost or misplaced by the rightful owner, finder must return it to the owner.  When a property is lost or misplaced, there is no relinquishment of ownership.  Finder does not automatically own the property.  By law he must exercise due diligence in finding the owner.  If no rightful claimant comes forth, than finder can claim ownership.

          Since the ticket was found in the trash can, the issue becomes:   was the ticket lost or abandonned by the owner?  If abandonned, there was intention to relinquish ownership by the owner.  In that case, finder keeps the property.

          I would be inclined to believe that the ticket was lost or inadvertently discarded if purchaser knew at that time that such was a winning ticket.  It is not common sense to throw away a winning ticket.  The reaction of the purchaser as seen on the security video should be telling.

            Avatar
            Northern California
            United States
            Member #19948
            August 9, 2005
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            Posted: December 2, 2005, 11:38 am - IP Logged

            All the legal mumbo-jumbo is intersting - but hardly on point.

             

            Lawsuit after lawsuit has been settled (I suppose since I'm evidently dealing with attorneys I should say decided) according to the principle that lotteries can't decide these kinds of issues.  Hence, tickets are bearer instruments - you walk in with it and the lottery pays you.  They also go to great pains to tell people "sign the back of your ticket" specifically so these kinds of things don't happen.

             

            I would think there would have to be fairly strong evidence of wrongdoing (i.e. the ticket was stolen from someone) to deny the claim of the person who turned in the winning ticket.

             

            From a moral standpoint and in a civil case, the original purchaser probably has a strongher claim, due to the much lower standard of proof.  That's why so many of these kinds of cases end up being settled out of court.

             

            Once a lottery starts saying "we're not going to pay the person who presented us with the winning ticket" all sorts of problems emerge.  It would be a bad path for them to take.

              bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

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              March 18, 2005
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              Posted: December 2, 2005, 4:09 pm - IP Logged

              I believe that the guy didn't know he had a winning ticket. Like others have said, he just looked at the code and tossed it thinking it was a loser. Because I doubt most people would just toss their winning tickets out in the garbage.

              Dance like no one is watching.

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                NY
                United States
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                October 16, 2005
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                Posted: December 3, 2005, 11:26 pm - IP Logged

                Drivedabizness wrote:

                << All the legal mumbo-jumbo is intersting - but hardly on point.

                     

                Lawsuit after lawsuit has been settled (I suppose since I'm evidently dealing with attorneys I should say decided) according to the principle that lotteries can't decide these kinds of issues. >>

                How could the legal mumbo jumbo not be on point in a legal case? Similar legal cases exist exactly because the courts can decide these issues, though there's no guarantee that they'll decide them properly since the parties involved will obviously be telling different stories.

                In most disputes it will be difficult for the original purchaser to prove that the ticket originally belonged to them, or for non-purchasers to prove that a specific ticket was purchased as part of a pool. It's normally a matter of he said vs she said, and without solid evidence cases are decided in favor of the person in possession of the ticket. In the current case, the person who found the ticket admits to finding it, so the fact that it is a bearer instrument has no significance in determining ownership. Based on the information presented by the media (which is almost certainly not the whole story) there doesn't appear to be any dispute that the person suing was actually the original purchaser. If there's no disagreement about who the original owner was the only decision that needs to be made is whether the ticket was lost or willfully discarded. In all probability he's not going to be able to convince the court that he was so careless with a ticket he knew to be worth a million dollars that putting it in a pile with losing tickets was an accident, but he may not be the one who has to prove something. Since the law clearly establishes procedures for claiming ownership of found items it may be up to the finder to prove that the ticket was discarded and not accidentally lost. It's probably not important that the ticket was found in the trash. What's definitely important is how or why it got there.