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Christmastime battle over lottery jackpot

Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Christmastime battle over lottery jackpot
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THE VILLAGES, Fla. — A lottery lawsuit is all the talk in The Villages. A group of friends hit the Florida Lotto jackpot, but one single dollar has led to a fight over $16 million.

It's known as Florida's friendliest neighborhood, but there's scandal at the Hacienda Hills Country Club.

"Yeah, yeah. Everybody knows," golfer Otto Strunck told local media.

Eight employees and players are in a tug of war. The controversy is over a Florida lotto ticket, a winning ticket worth $16 million.

"It'd be an awful shame for money to end friendships," attorney Tom Culmo said.

Culmo is the Miami lawyer for 72-year-old Jeanette French. He says, for years, French and seven friends pooled their cash to buy tickets. Last week they won, but Culmo says the seven won't give his client her fair share; they insist she did not contribute to last week's pool.

Now, a judge has issued an order that stopped the lottery from turning over the millions, and both sides have lawyers. Those who know the players in this dispute say that is a mistake.

"I guess the attorneys will all figure it out by the time they get done with it," Villages golfer Bob Thomas said.

Culmo claims, every now and again, when a pool member wasn't at work and couldn't contribute their dollar a fellow member would spot them the buck. He says that's what happened with his client.

WFTV couldn't reach the lawyer for the other seven involved, but over at Hacienda's fourth tee some golfers say the friends should share the winnings.

"Would you cut her in?" WFTV reporter Berndt Petersen asked.

"Absolutely, in a heartbeat," golfer Dom Oriolo responded.

None of the lotto players involved in the lawsuit could be reached for comment.

French's lawyer says the group of seven tried to claim the cash option of $9 million. Each are owed $1.3 million before taxes if seven split the prize. If they included the eighth winner, it would be $1.1 million each.

Thanks to Nino224 for the tip.

WFTV

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45 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by naijaman.
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Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
United States
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May 31, 2000
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Posted: December 24, 2010, 9:15 am - IP Logged

I can't believe these people are so short-sighted that they would forgo massive amounts of money to spend on lawyers -- let alone not getting access to their lottery jackpot for months or years -- all for battling over about $200,000 less of a payout each (to give the 8th player their share).

Just goes to show that lottery pools are nutz, and I always avoid them.

It also goes to show that getting a windfall automatically makes half your brain disappear.

 

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    increase's avatar - focus
    VA
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    August 31, 2007
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    Posted: December 24, 2010, 9:28 am - IP Logged

    I have to say that this one baffles my mind.

    If we have played together for YEARS and always spotted the $1 if someone is out. What's the problem this time?

    I would not waste my time or money hiring a lawyer; it's just not worth it.

    I certainly wouldn't want to wait around for my share of the jackpot.

    I guess they just don't see the big picture.

    I am a millionaire!

      MzDuffleBaglady's avatar - Lottery-018.jpg

      United States
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      October 16, 2009
      18971 Posts
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      Posted: December 24, 2010, 9:48 am - IP Logged

      "Shame on the group".

      The Struggle is real!

        Avatar
        Monkey Butt, USA
        United States
        Member #54569
        August 23, 2007
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        Posted: December 24, 2010, 10:07 am - IP Logged

        I can't believe these people are so short-sighted that they would forgo massive amounts of money to spend on lawyers -- let alone not getting access to their lottery jackpot for months or years -- all for battling over about $200,000 less of a payout each (to give the 8th player their share).

        Just goes to show that lottery pools are nutz, and I always avoid them.

        It also goes to show that getting a windfall automatically makes half your brain disappear.

        I can believe it. I remember a song titled "Love is Blind." Well now someone can write a song titled "The Love of Money Will Make You Blind to Common Sense."

        If it is proven that this woman has been part of the group for the longest and everything is on the up and up, the judge should award her an extra portion just to spite these greedy trolls.

        If it is proven that this woman is lying then she should be locked up for 25 years for being a greedy posing troll.

         

        I agree with U Todd, if you are going to play the lottery then do it alone. Cuts down on the paperwork and the drama.

          HaveABall's avatar - rocket

          United States
          Member #72448
          March 18, 2009
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          Posted: December 24, 2010, 10:08 am - IP Logged

          Congratulations Ms. French, I hope you receive your 1/8 share of your lottery pool's jackpot win and soon get some BIG happinesses in your life.  Lottery jackpot wins are supposed to be enthralling, lingering experiences!  Although, my thoughts these past few years have come to the conclusion that participating in a "lottery pool" is unwise, too many "wild card" individual personalities and conceiving potential!

          Well, apparently Ms. French's lawyer, Culmo, has publicly (via WFTV) and privately informed the judge that in the past years this group always added the dollar for the frequent occasion when a fixed player in their permanent membered "lottery pool" was away.  This is known as "precedence" in the field of law ... if it's been done before, it can -- and should be -- reasonably expected to be done again.

          Unfortunately, this article didn't explain if lawyer Culmo's client, Ms. French, has given her "dollar" [owed] to the lottery pool's money collector as of yet. I hope she did, and had a witness.

          If Ms. French has been participating for years in this lottery pool, I bet she is upset, after all, the consistent and only purpose of their playing was to WIN the lottery jackpot and split it among their fixed 8 players. That was the "agreement/mandate," very simple!  Now, the other players in the lottery pool are going to be hard pressed to prove to Ms. French that they weren't part of the decision to claim the jackpot with her name omitted from the claim form!  I suspect EACH lottery member coward is laying low or has managed to take up short term residence away from the subdivision they each occupy abodes in.

          If I were Ms. French, and I ended up paying back my owed dollar to the pool, and I ended up receiving my fair 1/8th share of the lottery jackpot from the judge's mandate, I think I would STRONGLY desire to move away from these "friends" and city.  What a multi-layered "hardship" for Ms. French to have been forced into:  having to move away, if she is fiscally able (it still isn't much money after 35% or so in Federal taxes are deducted, so maybe she's stuck living there since she may have to spread her monies out until she reaches the potential age of 99 years old), risk making new friends or not and be isolated, make arrangements for a different place to live, and hire to have my possessions moved.

          Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

          Disney

            hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

            United States
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            May 21, 2007
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            Posted: December 24, 2010, 10:15 am - IP Logged

            I can't believe these people are so short-sighted that they would forgo massive amounts of money to spend on lawyers -- let alone not getting access to their lottery jackpot for months or years -- all for battling over about $200,000 less of a payout each (to give the 8th player their share).

            Just goes to show that lottery pools are nutz, and I always avoid them.

            It also goes to show that getting a windfall automatically makes half your brain disappear.

            Green laugham sure the bills from this one will prove that interesting ....

             

            I'd think of all the lottery stories we've read over the years the brain loss  from a windfall is closer to three fourths Roll Eyes

              temptustoo's avatar - cat anm.gif
              usa
              United States
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              April 2, 2010
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              Posted: December 24, 2010, 10:26 am - IP Logged

              Well it is very  sad that these people are behaving like a bunch of Greedy Morons.  I hope the lawyer takes a HUGE chunk of the money...  They should be ashamed of themselves..

                Raven62's avatar - binary
                New Jersey
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                Posted: December 24, 2010, 10:36 am - IP Logged

                Greed makes people act in strange ways!

                When this is settled who will benefit the most: The Attorneys! Thud

                A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                  Avatar
                  New Member
                  Richmond Texas
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                  Posted: December 24, 2010, 11:00 am - IP Logged

                  This has got to be the dumbest crap I have ever seen.  Maybe someone is thinking that the lawyers are working "pro bono".

                    increase's avatar - focus
                    VA
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                    Posted: December 24, 2010, 11:01 am - IP Logged

                    This has got to be the dumbest crap I have ever seen.  Maybe someone is thinking that the lawyers are working "pro bono".

                    I agree....DUMB....DUMB....DUMB!

                    I am a millionaire!

                      Avatar
                      New Member
                      Richmond Texas
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                      Posted: December 24, 2010, 11:04 am - IP Logged

                      If I ever win the lottery I plan on sharing it with the disadvantage youth....They better have their dollar ready to pay for their share of my winnings.

                        HaveABall's avatar - rocket

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                        Posted: December 24, 2010, 11:12 am - IP Logged

                        If I ever win the lottery I plan on sharing it with the disadvantage youth....They better have their dollar ready to pay for their share of my winnings.

                        I believe an argument can be made that we each are "disadvantaged youth!"

                        Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                        Disney

                          dpoly1's avatar - driver
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                          October 16, 2008
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                          Posted: December 24, 2010, 11:21 am - IP Logged

                          This is the reason that I never play the lottery with a group!

                          I spend about $2 a week on Mega Millions or Powerball ........ I will be generous when I win ........ and I won't have to fight with anyone!

                          I like when 1 person wins ......... it has a big impact and .............

                          it drives the greed of envy crowd absolutely nuts Crazy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          Merry Christmas to all ........ Noel

                          I know that everyone needs a win, but I am hoping that I will be the lucky winner of ......

                          about $69,550,000 after taxes tonite!!!

                            kennedygrandma's avatar - nw shadow.jpg
                            gastonia nc
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                            August 2, 2007
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                            Posted: December 24, 2010, 11:23 am - IP Logged

                            I can't believe these people are so short-sighted that they would forgo massive amounts of money to spend on lawyers -- let alone not getting access to their lottery jackpot for months or years -- all for battling over about $200,000 less of a payout each (to give the 8th player their share).

                            Just goes to show that lottery pools are nutz, and I always avoid them.

                            It also goes to show that getting a windfall automatically makes half your brain disappear.

                            This is the very reason why when I play I play alone people get crazyover a few dollars so you know they will lose their mind over millions. I would give her her share and keep it moving. They are holding up everybodys money. They are really stupid.