|Posted: January 28, 2011, 2:08 am - IP Logged|
Glad you checked in because I was asked a question about winning a jackpot that I'm not sure how to answer. Some people say the lottery will check for judgments against jackpot winners and deduct it from the winnings.
I can understand legislation that requires the lottery to check for unpaid child support or unpaid state taxes, but I don't think there are any laws or rules requiring state lotteries to act as a collection agency.
If you've won a lawsuit and have trouble collecting you can file the judgment with the county clerk you can seek a lien against real property or have the sheriff seize other property, such as cars or bank accounts, so one of the government services available is clearly to have them act as a collection agency at the county level. That's really not much different than having the county loan you a court room, judge and jury to prove somebody owes you money in the first place. I wouldn't expect the lottery to make an exhaustive search, but it would seem reasonable that they would at least check with the county the winner lives in, perhaps the county where the ticket was bought, and certainly the county where the wire transfer is deposited, if they're different. Maybe Participant can ask for us in the next list of questions to the lotteries.
I recall a number of posts speculating on having somebody else claim winnings to avoid losing it to such things, but if you put money in the bank or spend it on things that are obvious, the sheriff can knock on your door and seize them without knowing where you got them from.