Florida woman who lost $1 million lottery trial files for bankruptcy

Mar 29, 2016, 2:37 pm (18 comments)

Florida Lottery

SANFORD, Fla. — The former Seminole County school teacher who last month lost a big chunk of a $1 million Florida Lottery jackpot to her former boyfriend, who had sued her for failing to share, has filed for bankruptcy.

Lynn Anne Poirier, 62, of Geneva did not list Howard Browning, her former live-in sweetheart, as a creditor in the bankruptcy case, which she filed Saturday in Orlando.

She listed that case as "pending."

But on Feb. 4, a six-member Seminole County jury ordered her to pay Browning $291,000 after concluding the two had a valid but unwritten contract to split any major lottery jackpot.

(See Jury: Lottery winner must pay ex-boyfriend part of winnings, Lottery Post, Feb. 5, 2016.)

Browning, 62, so far has collected nothing.

Last week his lawyer, Sean Sheppard, asked Circuit Judge Melanie Chase to tack on more than $150,000, the amount of interest due from when Poirier claimed the jackpot in 2007.

Sheppard said he also intends to ask the judge to make Poirier pay his attorney fees, something he estimated at $200,000.

In her bankruptcy paperwork, Poirier did not spell out how she'd spent her lottery winnings, but during the trial, she testified that after winning, she bought a building in Arkansas and intended to open a restaurant.

Poirier bought the winning lottery ticket in 2007 at an Oviedo gas station. She took a one-time lump sum payout of $750,000, according to court records.

Browning testified that at the time of the drawing, they were sweethearts, that they lived together and that he handed her the $20 to buy the ticket.

Poirier told jurors a very different story. She said they had broken up years earlier, that she had moved out and that she was engaged to someone else at the time — an Arkansas bail bondsman.

She testified that she and Browning just happened to bump into each other at the convenience store that day and that she paid for the ticket herself.

On Monday, Poirier responded to an email from the Orlando Sentinel but did not answer questions about her bankruptcy filing or the lottery case.

Her attorney, Mark Sessums, also did not return a phone call.

Last week, he filed paperwork, asking Chase to let him withdraw from the lottery case, writing that he "can no longer effectively represent" Poirier. He did not elaborate.

In her bankruptcy paperwork, Poirier wrote that she owed Sessums' law firm $45,000.

He was one of her biggest creditors.

The biggest was Navient, a Pennsylvania collection agency for student loans. She owes it $103,000, she wrote.

Her biggest asset, she wrote, was 100 percent of a company "What You Want LLC," which she valued at $110,000. It's not clear what business it is in, but according to state records it was incorporated two days after she collected her lottery winnings.

She owns property worth $182,000, she wrote, including a $53,000 retirement account. Her liabilities total nearly $240,000.

Poirier worked as a school teacher for more than 35 years, she testified, and worked at South Seminole Middle School.

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

Orlando Sentinel


sully16's avatarsully16

Would like to see how this plays out.


All she has to do is win more lotteries & BOOM, problem solved!

dr65's avatardr65

Mean looking lady....she has no money now, I'm happy I don't have to deal with her.


If Kim Basinger could pull it off- well hey, why not her? Got to protect whatever assets you have left,right? BTW- That's the look that says " How do I pull this sssht off?"

LiveInGreenBay's avatarLiveInGreenBay

Why does it seem all the wrong people win these <snip> things?

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

music*'s avatarmusic*

 Restaurant? They are high risk and fail most of the time. Just look at how ex-pro athletes did with those.

 Live in's? You need to protect yourself by talking with a board certified attorney who specializes in these cases before you move in together. Each State is different.

TheMeatman2005's avatarTheMeatman2005

Money changes a lot of people. Even those living together.

In this case of he said - she said, they should have had a written agreement. That way there is no misunderstanding.  ChairBang Head


Looks like the only people who really won the lottery were the attorneys when they were getting paid.

TheMeatman2005's avatarTheMeatman2005

Quote: Originally posted by gatorsrok on Mar 29, 2016

Looks like the only people who really won the lottery were the attorneys when they were getting paid.

I Agree!

The lawyers always win, no matter who loses.

Mattmccl's avatarMattmccl

There must be store video surveillance showing him handing her some money ,For any jury to award him anything, I would like to think.

If not  Cheers Here's to any of my ex's to win the lottery.

myturn's avatarmyturn

If they were married, I could understand that he would be entitled to share the win.

But, as they are not married, I don't think he should getting anything.

The people who are really going to win this jackpot are the lawyers, of both parties.

HaveABall's avatarHaveABall

Appears that Browning and his lawyer have found a way to kill this gal.  We will soon probably hear about Poirier having a stroke or heart attack that killed her. 

Why does Browning hate her so much.  Sure, she left him, mainly by moving out.  But Browning was dating or engaged to another women at the time.  Plus, it was Poirier's inherited house that she let him continue to live in rent free.  Ain't deep appreciation grand?  Who needs enemies when one has such caring friends?  I feel bad that the bankruptcy court will probably take any proceeds they obtain from also selling her inheritance.  That would be rock bottom for me, when I realized that all I worked for, was gifted from loving parents, and saved was gone at the wave of an ex-boyfriend/partner's hand!



l get the distinct impression that Sheppard thinks that she still has the bulk of the winnings from 10 years ago.He needs another cup of coffee.  His client has not been paid. He wants to tack on $200K for his attorney fees. Another $150K for interest. I think David Lee Edwards blew through $27 mil in less than 10 years..Sheppard needs guidance. 

lejardin's avatarlejardin

This whole story reeks.

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