News of March 14,2012: $38.5 million lotto winner cheated co-workers out of jackpot, court rules.
Americo Lopes and his co-workers at a New Jersey construction company took part in a lottery pool going back to 2007. But in 2009, when Lopes discovered he had the winning Mega Millions ticket, he claimed to have purchased the winning numbers on his own, rather than as part of the company pool.
After a unanimous jury decision on Wednesday, Lopes must now pay each co-worker a pretax $2 million from the jackpot, according to a spokeswoman for the Superior Court in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
The Star-Ledger reports that Lopes left the courtroom saying in Portuguese, “they robbed me.”
This is a classic example of human nature. Man looks at things like wealth and fails to see the point of a fair deal. Lopes didn’t know what a million was till the ticket won. He knew it was his when a number on a slip of paper opened the door to millions. What does he do but claim it was all his? Such sudden amnesia cannot be cured by medicine but by a court and lawyers who all have their place in the society owing to the particular failing.
It is his failing that he can shortchange his memory, reasoning and his own humanity on something like money that is patently not his own. He is a trustee even he has earned it by sweat of his brow. Money is merely a test that he shall not shortchange the nobility of humanity by it. It is like man who values his name shall not demean it for a handful of silver. Integrity of man is to show his humanity a little more clear under all occasions. He says,’I am a man and this money must show my humanity worthy of me’. So he puts it to good use for himself and family and in its judicious use he also betters the community about him.
I have enough money and it must remain where it ought and not rule my head.
People like Lopes, Alan R Stanford think they have said goodbye to insecurity uncertainty of future and they shall give themselves a makeover. Wealth sometimes gives people peculiar notions. Senor Lopes suddenly realized his co-workers who put up money for the ticket were not the kind he should be seen with. He could be hobnobbing with jet set and go all over the world on shopping spree. He doesn’t realize these fellows who are flying around are trying to escape from their own silly selves and have no time for him. All they could think of avoiding the reality of their zero-life is by accumulating branded items,- things to distract themselves.
For those who want to know some hard facts here is some news.
That’s according to a new study by researchers at the University of Kentucky, the University of Pittsburgh and the Vanderbilt University Law School. The paper appears in a forthcoming issue of the Review of Economics and Statistics.
“I’ve always been interested in whether you could solve people’s problems to some extent by giving them additional cash,” says Mark Hoekstra, assistant economics professor at Pittsburgh, who co-authored the paper with Kentucky’s Scott Hankins and Vanderbilt’s Paige Marta Skiba. “And anecdotally you always hear these things about lottery winners — someone wins a bunch of money and the story doesn’t end very well. But we weren’t aware of any real empirical evidence on whether this was true.”
The researchers identified 35,000 people who won between $600 and $150,000 in Florida’s Fantasy 5 lottery game from April 1993 through November 2002. (They eliminated the 153 people who won more than $150,000). They cross-referenced that list with people who filed Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 petitions in Florida five years prior to winning the lottery and five years afterward. Then they compared people who received $50,000 to $150,000 to those who won less than $10,000.
They found 1,943 winners — or 5.5 percent — declared bankruptcy within five years of taking home the jackpot. While the bigger winners were 50 percent less likely than small winners to file for bankruptcy within 24 months, they were more likely to file for bankruptcy three to five years after winning. The net result is that within five years, large winners were just as likely to file for bankruptcy as small winners.
Winning the lottery has been a mixed blessing for a number of past winners. It is not the beginning or the end of the world. As a trustee handle it properly. Winning a lottery can also make it occasion to know your self better: Money for man and not man for money.