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Lottery veterans question Tennessee family's behavior before claiming Powerball winnings

Topic closed. 162 replies. Last post 11 months ago by faber98.

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Posted: January 17, 2016, 1:34 pm - IP Logged

You just won $528 MILLION and you go on national tv with your attorney, BEFORE you actually claim the money. Oh, and your attorneyis a bankruptcy and divorce lawyer. This  family is a disaster waiting to happen...

    sirbrad's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
    PA
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    Posted: January 17, 2016, 2:14 pm - IP Logged

    Huh? The cash value was 983 million for the jackpot, divided by three winning tickets is roughly 328 million per winning ticket before taxes

    $528.8 million before taxes for the annuity I did not say anything about the cash value I said that was the share. Not sure of the exact cash value but either way who cares as it will be a lot more than they will know what to do with. But that is what was on the big check. As I said before I find it amusing that so many on here focus on is the "taxes" instead of focusing on the much larger portion that was won. If I won that much money I would not care about the taxes, it is way more money after taxes than most would have and more than most have ever won. I would never spend it all anyway. People just like being negative because they are mad they lost so they focus on "taxes" and how "stupid" they were. But that doesn't affect them or their winnings in the least. They are some VERY rich stupid people regardless of what option they take.

      cbr$'s avatar - maren
      Cordova,Al.
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      Posted: January 17, 2016, 2:15 pm - IP Logged

      California and Florida winners should learn from mistakes made by Tennessee winners

      Godspeed, John and Lisa Robinson of Munford, Tenn. 

      The 50-somethings may have been Average Joes a day ago, but not after Friday morning when they revealed themselves on national television as big time winners in this week's record-breaking lottery.

      The Robinsons' decision to fly to New York City to appear on NBC's "Today" show several hours before claiming their stake in the Powerball jackpot left some lottery veterans uneasy about the couple's exposure.

      "It's a good example of what not to do," said Jason Kurland, a New York attorney who has represented several jackpot winners.

      "I definitely would not have recommended that — very ill-advised for a number of reasons," Karen Gerstner, a Houston attorney who has worked with 48 lottery winners, said in an email. "Now, every long-lost relative and friend will approach them with a sob story, asking for money, and all the 'financial crooks' will come after them."

      The Robinsons, along with their adult daughter, Tiffany Robinson, and Memphis attorney Joe Townsend and his daughter, Eileen Townsend, appeared on the morning news show where John Robinson pulled a folded lottery ticket from his shirt pocket and told a national TV audience that he was one of three winners of Wednesday's world-record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot.

      "Shocking," said Danielle Mayoras, a Michigan estate planning attorney and co-author of the bookTrial & Heirs. "Putting it out there on the 'Today' show before you even make the claim, before you even get everything in order, was extremely surprising. It really put the lottery ticket as well as the family at risk."

      To collect their riches — a lump sum of nearly $328 million after taxes — the Robinsons needed to go the lottery office in Nashville, which they did after leaving New York.

      "Flying back and forth to New York when you have to submit the ticket and make the claim in Tennessee may not be the best idea," Mayoras told Yahoo News. "Whether you're carrying around a Powerball-winning ticket or not, we all know when you go to a big city there's things that can happen. People lose things, and traveling and everything else."

      "Today" anchor Savannah Guthrie even seemed surprised by the Robinsons' desire to make a big splash.

      "Why, though, did you decide not to go to the lottery officials yet and come to us first?" Guthrie asked during the interview.

      "Well actually, it was his idea," replied John Robinson, pointing to his attorney, who was standing behind him.

      Townsend, a longtime Memphis bankruptcy and divorce lawyer, explained how he enlisted his daughter, a local writer who covers the Memphis arts scene, to call NBC and get them on the "Today" show. Eileen Townsend described how she Google-searched NBC's phone number and talked her way past the switchboard.

      "They were rightly a little bit suspicious," Eileen said. "We talked through it and decided to make it happen."

      Townsend, wearing a suit and bright orange tie, said the Manhattan media appearance only 33 hours after the lottery drawing was his way of trying to control the Robinsons' story.

      "I think the American public wants to hear from them," Townsend said on the show. "Even though they want to be private after this is over, they want to, you know, let the public know that they're the winners."

      But the publicity plan appears to have backfired somewhat. Reporters raced to Munford, a bedroom community of 6,000 north of Memphis, to interview the Robinsons' friends and family.

      Neighbor Mary Sue Smith told the Memphis Commerical Appeal that Lisa Robinson, 53, had called after stepping off the "Today" set to request a favor.

      "They were asking us to put up some 'No trespassing' signs in their yard," Smith said.

      Within hours, a handful of people had shared a 2014 family photo from Lisa Robinson's Facebook page.

      "This is the family in Munford that won the Power Ball Jackpot," a woman in Mississippi wrote on Facebook. "CONGRATS TO YOU."

      The City of Munford also celebrated the Robinsons' windfall with a number of posts on its Facebook page. While most residents congratulated the family, a few couldn't resist the opportunity to offer suggestions.

      "So happy for you," one woman wrote in a comment. "Sorry, can't help myself — please remember Tipton County Animal Shelter can always use a helping hand. Many wonderful furbabies there."

      Kurland, who has represented winners of $254 million and $336 million Powerball jackpots, said he advises his clients to scrub their social media accounts and have a plan to disappear for several days once they claim their fortunes. But John Robinson, a warehouse supervisor, and Lisa Robinson, who works at a doctor's office, both said they planned to be at their jobs Monday morning.

      "The rest of your life, people are going to be looking for handouts and asking questions and trying to hit you up for charities and investment opportunities," Kurland told Yahoo News. "I think it's going to hit them hard when they realize how famous, at least for 15 minutes, they've now become, when they could have controlled that a little bit more."

      The Robinsons, who made it back to Tennessee to submit their winning ticket Friday afternoon, could have taken up to six months to redeem their prize. Tennessee Lottery rules also permit jackpots to be claimed in the name of a trust for more privacy.

      "The short time between the day you win and the day you claim is your last chance at any normalcy," said Kurland, who offers a checklist of first steps on TheLotteryLawyer.com. "So you're better off sitting back and thinking about what you want to do, how to properly effectuate your estate planning, rather than parading around on the 'Today' show."

      At a press conference Friday afternoon in Nashville, John Robinson, a warehouse supervisor, and his wife, who works at a doctor's office, said they hoped the family could now enjoy their good fortune in peace.

      "We're common people," John, 58, said. "We're just like y'all are."

      "... and ask that our privacy is respected," Lisa added.

      News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

      Literally the Layer threw them under the bus with the wheels still rolling for free publicity. I don't understand this attorney at all. The attorney suggested they go on the "Today" show. Had his daughter set it up. Then the daughter go to NY with them. WHY? His secretary could have done the same thing. Guess what, I bet she wouldn't been mention or seen. Now, Lisa Robinson has to rush to the phone to call her friends to put up No Trespassing signs up. This attorney needed or wanted to make a big name for himself. He want to be a house whole name. This attorney put them at a high risk for some publicity. Knowing that these people are going to follow his recommendations. He is supposed to be looking out for their best interest.  He is seeking personal gain & in reality recognition.

        scarchelli's avatar - 1zwkm5v
        hinsdale, il
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        Posted: January 17, 2016, 2:22 pm - IP Logged

        That is entirely wrong.  Taxes ARE absurd. Not "were". I don't give a <snip> if I didn't win, taxes are ridiculous, no matter what.  They take 25% of my 1 mil if I won second prize at some point.  Plus I owe the government the other 14.6% at the end of the year.

        That's focusing on the bad? That's criminal to take that much. 

        This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

          music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
          Happy California
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          Posted: January 17, 2016, 3:16 pm - IP Logged

          That is entirely wrong.  Taxes ARE absurd. Not "were". I don't give a <snip> if I didn't win, taxes are ridiculous, no matter what.  They take 25% of my 1 mil if I won second prize at some point.  Plus I owe the government the other 14.6% at the end of the year.

          That's focusing on the bad? That's criminal to take that much. 

          This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

           Change who you vote for at your voting booth. Then call, write, email your Congress.

           I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

           Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

            mightwin's avatar - questns

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            Posted: January 17, 2016, 3:19 pm - IP Logged

            People focus on the taxes a lot, because that takes a big chunk away from what was won. Media talked about a billion dollar jackpot yet nobody was going to end up with a billion dollars at all even if it was won by a  single winner. 983 million dollars cash option and a single winner  would end up with only roughly half of that amount in the end. ....... that's what makes people mad

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              Maryland
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              Posted: January 17, 2016, 3:20 pm - IP Logged

              Literally the Layer threw them under the bus with the wheels still rolling for free publicity. I don't understand this attorney at all. The attorney suggested they go on the "Today" show. Had his daughter set it up. Then the daughter go to NY with them. WHY? His secretary could have done the same thing. Guess what, I bet she wouldn't been mention or seen. Now, Lisa Robinson has to rush to the phone to call her friends to put up No Trespassing signs up. This attorney needed or wanted to make a big name for himself. He want to be a house whole name. This attorney put them at a high risk for some publicity. Knowing that these people are going to follow his recommendations. He is supposed to be looking out for their best interest.  He is seeking personal gain & in reality recognition.

              "He is seeking personal gain & in reality recognition."

              I Agree!

              I the attorney is looking for 'his' win out of this. 

                sirbrad's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                PA
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                Posted: January 17, 2016, 3:42 pm - IP Logged

                Yeah but you should know how much taxes are taken out before you play, then if you don't like it don't play. But I am guessing you still did. With a jackpot this high there is so much left it does not really matter. I will take $300 million any day of the week. $300 or $900 million does not matter to me as I would never spend all of either. I think taxes are BS also in fact they are the biggest criminals of all time and win every time a lottery player wins. But it is not going to stop me from playing and enjoying what is left. I can make those taxes back easily if I wanted to through tax free investments. But as I said it is so much money that I would not really have to.

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                  Wyomissing, PA
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                  Posted: January 17, 2016, 4:11 pm - IP Logged

                  People focus on the taxes a lot, because that takes a big chunk away from what was won. Media talked about a billion dollar jackpot yet nobody was going to end up with a billion dollars at all even if it was won by a  single winner. 983 million dollars cash option and a single winner  would end up with only roughly half of that amount in the end. ....... that's what makes people mad

                  And rightfully so. Annuity jackpots are deceptive in more ways than one:

                  • Annuity value is not guaranteed for Powerball nor Mega Millions. They don't always pay out what they advertise. The Florida winner a few years ago was short-changed several million.
                  • Annuity value is a fiction. The advertised amount doesn't exist. Rather the cash value is used to establish an annuity that will, over many years, payout the cumulative amount. Of course in the meantime, the value of the dollar greatly diminishes, which is how such an annuity can be offered in the first place.
                  • Taxes. And a lot of them! Federal, most often state too, and, in some instances, even local, such as New York City.

                  A quick, rough estimate of the final take home amount is dividing the advertised annuity jackpot amount by 3.

                  For example, for the $1,586,400,000 annuity jackpot, using the rule of thumb of 1/3 would yield $528,747 million...

                  Winners in some states, such as Pennsylvania, would fare better, and could net much as $600 million (~38%) while winners in, such as New York, would net closer to the 1/3 value. It's not exact, but a quick way to determine roughly what one can expect after taking the cash option and after all taxes (the 25% Fed tax initially deducted by the lottery is typically not sufficient; winner will often owe the IRS more).

                  As for the TN family, hopefully, they come to their senses soon, before they're fleeced of their winnings. An attorney, along with their daughter, advising their client to go on national TV before even validating a $328 million cash value lottery ticket is likely not one should be taking advice from. I get the feeling there's going to be a reality show centered around this TN family in the near future on the likes of TLC.

                    greeneye's avatar - Lottery-060.jpg
                    North Carolina
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                    Posted: January 17, 2016, 6:18 pm - IP Logged

                    There is no shortage of stupid..Why would you want to go on a TV show?  I wish them the best and  I hope they get smarter after this and hopefully they will get in shape and lose some weight ...

                      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                      mid-Ohio
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                      Posted: January 17, 2016, 6:44 pm - IP Logged

                      The Robinsons were going to be required to have a press conference any way and by going on the Today's show first they picked the subjects of the conversation. 

                      That took the wind out of the local lottery press conference which would have probably involved more questions about personal information they would rather not discuss publicly.

                       * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                         
                                   Evil Looking       

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                        Kentucky
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                        Posted: January 17, 2016, 6:50 pm - IP Logged

                        Exactly as I said. I find all the negative comments to be odd and screaming of envy. Why in the hell would anyone even how a total stranger who won the jackpot spends their money and what decisions they make? They are just mad they did not win it so they trash them. Yet if they were never revealed and did it anonymously those same people would be saying it was "rigged" and that no one really won it. They are also mad because this goes against all of the conventional wisdom/advice of so-called "experts" yet there was no catastrophes to speak of. This only further proves that you don't even need a lawyer. Just because something is not a "good idea" also does not mean there is going to be a problem for certain. So many "experts" on here giving legal advice when they don't do it for a living, and all the brash assumptions that the lawyer is going to bleed them dry etc. You lost get over it. If you want to do all that crap if you win then so be it. But it is no one's business what these people do. I highly doubt they will have any issues like the minority cases do.

                        Also as I said before it is their choice if they want to keep working not yours. I don't agree with the mindset that all lottery winners should all the sudden do all moral things and help the world just because they won a jackpot. They won and it is their life and can do whatever they want to regardless of how much money they got. But it is kinda stupid to go back to a 9 to 5 when you could make a lot more money and have a lot more fun being self-employed. Also if they really wanted to help people they could start a huge business and create jobs. But some just want to relax and enjoy life. But for many work is all they ever knew and for many that does not change. They like to stay in their comfort zone, the money is just a bonus and financial security after the house and bills are paid off. Also not every one who winds the lottery is hounded as much as you think, only those who are really stupid or are in bad situations already. Kinda like Marie and Jack which were extreme cases and in the minority. But why would you even care anyway it is not your problem. I don't, I worry about myself not how others are handling their winnings. If I did not win I don't care.

                        Just goes to show you that not every "rule" applies all the time and most of the time you are not going to have any issues unless you are really stupid and have a shady lifestyle to begin with. Only the hardcore players on here care usually not most people out there. They lose and move on with their lives as those on here should do also. I personally would have not done the press conference until I had the cash. But this only goes to show you that not everyone needs to be worried even if they are not prepared. People act like every criminal in the world was out there waiting for them when in reality no one gave a crap and nothing happened at all. Not like he is carrying all that cash around in the open t was a signed lottery ticket, and as he said no one even knew him or who he was. So maybe it was smart to get it done quick before his identity was known. The fact is though you don't know what you will do until you get in that situation. That kind of money can change your thinking fast, especially if you are not a hardcore player and well prepped for it. I have been well prepared for a long time but even I want know for sure how I will feel and react until I win that large amount. But unlike most of these casual players I am prepared and ready and have been for a long time. And I think paying a team is a waste of money so I have prepared my own team for 10 years now which consists of me, myself, and I. Those are the only ones who will be getting a piece of the pie. I would be more worried about family, friends, accountants, lawyers, and financial advisors who usually are the real "crooks" you have to watch out for.

                        "So many "experts" on here giving legal advice when they don't do it for a living, and all the brash assumptions that the lawyer is going to bleed them dry etc."

                        Back in the day, people got all sorts of legal and financial information from their long distance truck driving brother-in-laws, but thankfully times have changed. I've noticed that most of our current "experts" are relatively new to LP.

                        "Also as I said before it is their choice if they want to keep working not yours."

                        This isn't the first ever ticket buying frenzy created by a huge jackpot nor the first time negative comments are made about the choices made by winners, but if our new experts stick around long enough, they will wonder what happened to Brad Duke, Bunky Bartlett, Gloria Mackenzie, and many other winners of past record breaking jackpots.

                        IMO, going on the Today Show was done to satisfy players from every state. There was no more to learn about them at Tennessee press conference and saying they will continue to work is just part of their charade.

                        "Only the hardcore players on here care usually not most people out there. They lose and move on with their lives as those on here should do also."

                        A week ago there were very few discussions on playing strategies; but lots of "how I'll spend my winnings posts". I guessing because after they realized they have no winnings to spend, it's time to criticizes the real winners. And of course pretend to the rest of us that know better because they are "the experts".

                          alsmurf4's avatar - Lottery-029.jpg
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                          mississippi
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                          Posted: January 17, 2016, 8:34 pm - IP Logged

                          what Stack47 said

                            Bondi Junction
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                            Posted: January 17, 2016, 9:05 pm - IP Logged

                            Honestly,I do not see anything wrong with Tennesse Jackpot winners!

                            They wanted to use the opportunity to be well known people in the globe.They knew the whole World was asking one question "Who are the most luckiest People on earth?"

                            I agree, there is nothing wrong with the Tennessee winners. However, I do think it was very unwise to fly to a television studio to announce their win. 

                             

                            If they want to be famous, that's their choice. But if they wish to continue life as normal, appearing on television is not the way to go about it. I hope future winners will learn from this and get GOOD legal and financial advice before they claim anything.

                            We all get a lot out of lotteries!

                              music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
                              Happy California
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                              Posted: January 17, 2016, 9:43 pm - IP Logged

                              I agree, there is nothing wrong with the Tennessee winners. However, I do think it was very unwise to fly to a television studio to announce their win. 

                               

                              If they want to be famous, that's their choice. But if they wish to continue life as normal, appearing on television is not the way to go about it. I hope future winners will learn from this and get GOOD legal and financial advice before they claim anything.

                              I Agree! they were unwise.

                               Stack47,  Where else can we get legal advice for free?  Especially when it concerns the Lottery.

                               I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

                               Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

                                 
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