|Posted: March 22, 2008, 9:10 pm - IP Logged|
Busy trying to peace this together. Did she form a "family partnership" then claimed the partnership as the winner?
Couple is model for fellow lotto winners
The Illinois woman knew on Dec. 18, the winning lottery ticket she held would change her life.
On March 19, she was claiming an oversized check from the state and answering questions from news media.
That the winner picked up the $81.5 million prize, her half of a $163 million Mega Millions jackpot drawing, is a big deal.
Thatit took three months is a rarity. She spent the time to work withlawyers and financial advisers to maintain anonymity and protect assets-- something the state lottery agency wants other potential winners tonote.
Sporting large sunglasses, the winner, a pharmacist,came forward, but she refused to provide her name or where she lived.An occasional player, she bought the winning ticket at a gas station at851 S. Sutton Rd. in Streamwood.
"Icame back home. My husband said, 'Let me check your ticket,' " shesaid. A quick confirmation through an Internet site and the two werescreaming in delight. "It was a shocking moment."
The firststep wasn't to get the money. A family member referred them to WoodDale attorney Terry Zimmer, who assembled an advisory team, includingestate planner Richard Kuenster.
"I told her get an unlisted number A.S.A.P.," Kuenster said.
Theteam helped the family create the JYS Family Limited Partnership andput together entities to keep the winner's identity from the public,and shield the money from some taxes, creditors and frivolous lawsuitswhile providing for her, her husband, children and any futuregrandchildren, Kuenster said.
"We'reso proud of them for taking that time," said acting Illinois LotterySuperintendent Jodie Winnett. "What a sharp winner we have in Illinoisand we hope that the rest of our community will hear this and thatthey'll take a deep breath and consider protecting themselves."