There are no IQ requirements to win a Mega Millions lottery jackpot, as a South Carolina woman is showing. 

Back in 2018, when the jackpot reached a record $1.5 billion, one single, lucky person had the winning numbers. She’s never been identified but had to testify in court recently because she got scammed out of $80 million of her found fortune. 

She was a small town insurance underwriter in her late 50’s who instantly became a one percenter, rich beyond her wildest dreams.  Though after realizing she had the golden ticket, she testified in court that winning the huge prize brought her “great concern.” 

If you’re wondering why she bothered to buy the $2 ticket if winning was going to be such a hassle, that would be a question only she could answer. 

Even though her husband was a lawyer according to a story in the “State” newspaper of South Carolina, their collective naïveté and ignorance torched them and cost them a lot of money. They were so freaked out about the attention they would receive that they trotted to their local bank and opened up a safety deposit box to hide the ticket. A better choice than putting it under their mattress or in a coffee can in their garden, but that was about the extent of intelligent decisions this couple made, unfortunately for them.  

Here’s a quote from the woman in court. 

“We considered attorneys. We considered financial advisors. We considered accountants. We considered, you know, investment firms; that kind of thing.”

They also considered a fraudster, the worst possible choice they could make, an attorney named Jason Kurland, the self-proclaimed “lottery lawyer.”   That’s why they were in court.

They chose Kurland to represent them because they saw him on a television commercial, where he claimed to have represented other big lottery winnings. That’s all the two needed to hear, as they were completely sucked in by the big city lawyer who claimed to make all their fears go away. This was a couple completely overwhelmed by what happened and bought into what the lawyer was selling.

Here’s another quote from the nameless woman in court.

“He was on, you know, the morning shows and the like, and it looked like he certainly knew about lottery — he had a specialty in lottery winners. And, you know, we looked online, and he seemed very capable.”

At this point, I must remind you that this is a true story, not an excerpt from The Onion. 

The mystery woman and her hubby got a burner phone to call the lawyer so they could keep their identity secret and met the lawyer in Las Vegas. He would be their liaison to collect their winnings, distribute money to charity, and keep their names out of the media. 

Five months after winning, they collected and paid a flat fee of $200,000 to Kurland. 

If by some chance you win a giant lottery, do not do what this couple did; allow the attorney to open up bank accounts in his name only, where only he had access to it. The woman who won the lottery did not have access to a dime of the winnings. 

They didn’t bother to get bank statements or balance information, and they also agreed to pay him $50,000 per month as a fee to manage the money. 

Fast forward; Kurland talks the woman and her husband into dozens of bogus investments; he turned their life upside down and made over $80 million disappear. 

As for the lottery winners, at least they did something right. By steadfastly demanding to stay anonymous, nobody will know exactly who it was that could possibly be this stupid. 

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