Who wouldn’t want to win $500 a week for life? It sounds like a dream come true.
But sometimes that dream can turn into a living nightmare.
A Florida man, Malcolm Ramsey, won the lifetime $500 a week lottery. And in less than four weeks he spent over half of his winnings.
According to a Tampa Bay Times article, Ramsey chose the lump sum cash option, netting him $302,466 after taxes. When he received his winnings, Ramsey got a cashier’s check for the full amount. Then, he cashed the check at Amscot (a check cashing store), which charged him over $14,000 in fees.
This story caught my eye, when I heard that he paid over $14,000 in check cashing fees. That is utterly ridiculous for anyone to pay that amount in check cashing fees. In Florida, it’s legal for check cashing stores to charge up to five percent of the check’s value though.
How did this happen? Ramsey is actually “mentally incompetent” and incapable of handling his financial affairs. That’s why the court appointed a guardian to handle them for him. Yet, the Florida Lottery gave him the check anyway.
The good news is Amscot says it will refund the check cashing fees after learning about Ramsey’s mental state.
Still, Ramsey has very little to show for the $170,000 he spent. While he clearly went shopping (shoes, cell phones, TVs) and helped out family members, the numbers simply don’t add up. So this case is under police investigation to find out if Ramsey was exploited for his lottery winnings.
After taking the lump sum cash payout, Ramsey no longer meets the income requirements for his Medicaid and Social Security benefits. These are the major benefits Ramsey relies on for his living and medical expenses. But they are both in jeopardy now.
Watch how other Lottery Winners lives were ruined.