Luck Runs out on Michigan Lottery Winner

Under the heading of “you can’t make this stuff up,” a bankruptcy trustee in Michigan is looking to sell a resident’s lottery ticket worth $1,000-a-month for life — the life of the original winner-turned-bankrupt man.

In 1984, Donal Magett, then in his early 40s, witnessed his dreams come true. He won the lottery game, “Cash for Life,” which paid him $1,000 a month every month until he dies. Now Magett is 73 years old and sending his monthly $1,000 checks to his bankruptcy trustee, who is in turn using the checks to pay Magett’s creditors.

The trustee has a better idea. Tom Richardson wants to sell Magett’s main asset once and for all. The minimum auction bid was $30,000. Of course, if you do a little math, you can easily see that the purchaser would be betting on Magett to live a very long time — until he is 103 years old, at which point he would break even. And that doesn’t even take taxes into consideration.

When a person files for bankruptcy protection, the court appoints a trustee to oversee the process. It is the trustee’s responsibility to make arrangements with the bankrupt person’s creditors. “Arrangements” may include that they will get nothing repaid or perhaps they will receive a negotiated amount, depending on the individual’s means. In Magett’s case, his lottery ticket yields a monthly paycheck, so he does have some means of paying back creditors. It will be interesting to see what happens if he does end up selling his lottery ticket asset.


If you are in over your head in debt, it’s time to talk to an experienced debt negotiation lawyer like Joel R. Spivack, Esq. He can help you determine whether you might be a candidate for bankruptcy or possibly debt settlement or consolidation. Contact Mr. Spivack today for a free initial consultation about your situation.

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Attorney Joel R. Spivack is an experienced bankruptcy and residential real estate transactions lawyer in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Clients come to us for legal services, but what we really provide is peace of mind. For more than 30 years, Attorney Spivack has helped people make wise, informed decisions about bankruptcy filings, debt relief options and residential real estate transactions.
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