An older gentleman walked into Cincinnati attorney John Brinker's office a few years ago seeking some help.
He had won $656,000 through the Ohio Lottery's Rolling Cash 5 game and wanted to preserve his anonymity. Ohio allows trusts to claim lottery prizes so the identity of big winners can remain a secret.
The man needed a proper name for his trust.
Brinker looked the winner up and down and, on the spot, came up with the perfect name — "The Wish This Had Happened Sooner Trust."
"The money would have been more enjoyable if he had been a little younger when he won," Brinker said with a chuckle, recalling the experience.
The Wish This Had Happened Sooner Trust is far from the only humorous or interesting name for a trust that has collected prize money in the Buckeye State over the years.
While many people are fine with having their names made public after a big win, others choose the trust route to keep their identity away from prying public eyes. The trusts prevent winners from being hit up by solicitors — or in some cases maybe even distant relatives — interested in getting a piece of the financial windfall. Ohio is one of the few states that permit winners to remain anonymous.
The Beacon Journal filed a public records request with the Ohio Lottery Commission for claim forms completed by trusts since 2015 and reached out to their attorneys, whose names do appear on the forms, to hear the stories behind some of the unusual names. The commission provided 54 claim forms, but said it didn't have a breakdown of the percentage of winners who choose to collect prizes by a trust.
Most attorneys didn't return phone calls, while others declined to comment, meaning just like the identity of the winners, the stories behind such offbeat names as The Peeky Poo Trust and The Oreo Cutie Trust will remain forever a mystery.
We likely will never know about the amphibian crush behind The Loves Frogs Trust, if The Captain Crunch Trust really is a reference to the famous children's cereal or whether the recipient of The Banana Head Trust has a head shaped like a banana.
Ronald Zele, a Willoughby attorney who represents The David's Song Trust, which won $50,000 a year for 20 years in a Super Millions game in 2015, said there is indeed a tale behind the name. Alas, his client is a private person and he wouldn't share it.
Berea attorney Margaret Karl was more than willing to chat about The Moms Birthday Trust — and use the story to pass along a valuable life lesson. She handled a claim for a Rolling Cash 5 prize worth $254,003 last year.
Her client was visiting his mother in a southern Ohio nursing home on her birthday around Halloween time. He dipped into a convenience store to grab some candy for a trick-or-treat event at the nursing home and bought the winning ticket. Thus, The Moms Birthday Trust.
"I use it as a funny story to tell people this is why you should always go visit your mothers in the nursing home because it ended up being quite a gain for him in doing so," said Karl, who handles estate planning and elder care law. "He was very close to his mom. It was quite a drive. I see a lot of the opposite where people don't go visit anybody and they live around the corner. Karma can come back in a positive way."
There surely is a fanciful story behind The Kenny's I Trust. Is it Kenny Rogers? Kenny G? Kenny Loggins? Kenny Chesney? Kenny Lofton?
Not so fast, Willoughby attorney Jeffrey Black said. It's just a reference to the name of the store where the $172,855 winning Twenty 20's ticket was purchased.
As you might expect, there are several "lucky" trusts: The Lucky Duckling, Lucky Duck, Lucky Forty Eight, Luck 13, Lucky Fin and Lucky Lottery.
Winners also are appreciative of their windfall. That's likely the reason behind The Thankful Trust Passive Trust, The Ticket to Security Trust and The Mood Swing Trust.
Of course, your mood would likely swing, too, if you won $1 million from Powerball.
Not all trusts have interesting names. Some are just plain boring such as the The Lottery Ticket Mega Millions Game Trust and The December 2017 Trust.
Sylvania attorney Robert A. Retske handled two different claims. In each case, he used his initials — at least that appears to be what he did when he set up The RAR V Trust and The RAR VI Trust. He didn't respond to a request for comment.
The biggest prize collected by a trust was a $142 million Mega Millions win in May 2018.
The name? The ABC XYZ Trust. Cincinnati attorney Emily Pan didn't respond to a request for comment.
Hudson attorney John Sharp couldn't recall the specific reason behind the name of The Royal Orchid Trust in 2015. The winner collected $250,000 for 20 years after winning on a Lucky Loot scratch-off ticket. He thinks the winner liked to garden.
He also sees some irony in the fact that the claim form lists his name.
"[The winners] have to divulge their name and address to the Lottery Commission but the Lottery Commission keeps it private as long as they go through this process," Sharp said. "My name, on the other hand, is not private. I'm sort of out there as the 'contact-the-attorney-for' so I get a little bit of solicitation and phone calls thinking I won the lottery."