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Should This Lottery Winner Get to Keep the Money?

Timothy Elliott may just be the unluckiest lottery winner. He beat the odds of 1 in 1,247,400 to win $1 million in a scratch ticket, but he won't beat the odd of getting busted.

See, Elliott is still on probation for two bank robberies. And the terms of his probation clearly stated: no gambling!

And of course, there are opposing views about this:

"That's absurd!" said Edina Russ, of Yarmouthport. "Whatever he had done in the past has nothing to do with his life today. He didn't steal that ticket. That's his money."

But John Derendinger Jr. of Hyannis said fair is fair.

"If he's on probation, then he shouldn't gamble as a violation of probation," said Derendinger, who was ringing a bell for the Salvation Army. "And he shouldn't be able to get the winnings."

Link

What do you think? Should they let the dude keep the winnings? Or bust his butt back to jail for violating his probation?


I think that these "no gambling" rule is from a time where the expression "gambling" apllied to poker, roulette and blackjack only. The rule should be more specific nowadays, so that mild forms of gambling like loterries are allowed. Those forms can't get you into the dangerous gambling fever which would possibly result in more criminality. As to Mr. Eliott, he should keep the money. My advise to the representatives of justice would be: let him keep half of the money and give the other half to a charity organization of his choice or do something good with it, Earl Hickey style.
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maybe if he gets to keep the money he won't rob any banks anymore.... for a while :) or he could get the taste of lots of money again and then start to rob.
i'd say: send him to jail but give him the winnings - put them on a bank account so they can grow meanwhile
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rules is rules... the best way to get busted is to break them, especially if the rules are laws. sorry dude. no money for your sticky hands.
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I have a hard time considering a state lottery as gambling. By that same logic, buying car insurance is gambling. He is also restricted from using drugs, but would not be busted for using aspirin.

While I don't the specifics of his probation rules, unless there is a specific restriction against state sanctioned games of chance, I would let him keep the winnings.

Of course, the state should use the money to make restitution to his victims and reimburse themselves for the cost of his incarceration and probation monitoring.
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It's ok for him to be punished for violating
a rule of his probation, but if he won the
lottery without violating the rules of the
lottery then he's entitled to the money.
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There are a lot of things that really make me angry. The thing that stands far and above beyond all others is deceit. Any form of subterfuge will send me into a raging frenzy.

Guess what, pal. You stole. You are a thief. You don't get to win the money. You get to go back to jail, because you obviously still cant follow the rules.

Next!
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I'd hazard a guess that a large portion of lottery ticket buyers have criminal records. I doubt the state wants to alienate that gravy train.

At least Massachusetts has the cojones to admit it's gambling. It never ceases to amuse me when states hold lotteries, but make "gambling" illegal.
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well, the act of gambling in the lottery may have violated the terms of probation, but wasn't an illegal act, so there's no reason to take the money off him.
So, the obvious answer is go back to jail and keep the money too.

I find it bizarre that people think he should have the money taken off him because he has committed a prior criminal act which he has already served time for.
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I don't think probation agreements are laws, how could they be they only apply to one person? So he won the money legally. He should keep it and then take whatever consequences come from violating his probation.
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Ok, we all know that the lottery (or raffles at churches, etc) is a form of Gambling.

But... by the law, if the lottery was "GAMBLING", then how could it be legal in states where gambling was illegal?

I think he should get to keep the money, since if the state can consider the lotters 'not gambling' by virtue of doing it while gabling is illegal, then the state's people should be bound (or freed) by the same law.

This is just an attempt by the local government to not have to pay a winner, it seems.
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Children are allowed to buy lottery tickets, even though it's technically a form of gambling. They need to change the rules on lotto tickets.
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Clearly he should be held to the standards of the law. If he violated his probation, then he should be dealt with accordingly. However, he is still entitled to the money as long as he acquired it legally.
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Well, I think a lot of it depends on whether the state wants to consider the lottery "gambling" & move it out to reservations the way casinos are. i mean, what we're talking about here isn't a moral or ethical definition, but a legal one. Is the lotto gambling? Sure is! Is it the government taking advantage of its citizens? You betcha! It only benefits the government to bend the gambling rules & allow the lotto everywhere. So make up your mind. Either the lotto is gambling, & should be dealt with as such, or it ain't & he's in the clear.

Either way it is a reprehensible institution.
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Punish him for playing the lottery with a warning. (yes it is gambling but is legal gambling). There isn't any rules against winning the lottery.

Do not send him back to jail, we have enough people in jail and we shouldn't incarcerate someone who is unlikely to commit a crime.

If you have ever had any dealing with our justice system, you learn that the 'easy' solution is rarely the best one.
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My "Spidey Sense" tells me that his probation probably prohibited gambling because that was why he was robbing banks to begin with. Since he was aware of the gambling restriction, and wasn't smart enough to get someone to help him by claiming it under a different name (half of $1 million is a LOT more than $0), he must not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. Ron White said it best....."You can't cure stupid."
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He did violate his probation...laws are laws. Since when are lotteries NOT considered gambling?

Plus redphone, are children really allowed buy lottery tickets there?! I think you have to be 16 to buy a lottery ticket here, 18 for scratch cards.
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He violated the terms of his probation. He should go back to jail. However, just because he was under order not to gamble doesn't mean that the state gets to keep his winnings. If that were the case, then they should pay back every person on probation who bought a lottory ticket. At least now he will have a good chance when he gets out, unlike most other parolees.
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I'm almost positive that lottery tickets were explicitly forbidden for him to purchase. While it is kind of sad for him, he should not have been given the money.

If a teenager pulls a slot machine and wins, I don't think he is legally entitled to anything except whatever penalty applies. The same concept applies here.

@Randall: I think repeat offenders are quite likely to keep offending. He obviously hasn't learned any lesson.
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Well, I have not read the gambling rules for what state this happened in, but if the state has a no gambling policy, the lottery ( if they have one ) would not be considered as gambling. Stupid rule, but if that is so, he should be able to get his money. If not, then he should not get his money, and should be punished for violating his probation.
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the story off yahoo said that the rules of his parole specifically stated that he could not buy lottery tickets. Thus, he violated the terms of his parole and should be punished accordingly. He should repay the $50,000 he recieved and go to jail. It would be most unfair to the other parole violators who do get punished if this man goes free. Even if he does look like a creepy Santa.
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He violated the terms of his probations. The judge should send him to prison for a while for that. I don't know the full details of his crime, so I can't say for how long. Often small probation violations only get a weekend in the can, and this seems like a small violation from the story I've heard.

But, I see no reason he should be deprived of the winnings. At least when he gets out he will have some money, should help reduce recidivism. I doubt that there is anything in the lottery rules about being forbidden to play due to probation causing forfeiture of the winnings.
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Ok now where is the story here?

Guy breaks probabtion, so back to jail.

Guy wins the lottery, how exactly is that nayone elses business?

See it can be both, he goes back to prison and when he gets out his money is still waitning there in his bank account.

You can't go around writing special circumstance laws on a whim.

We had one in the UK where a rapist won the lottery and the usual clowns were up in arms about it.
If you take it off him then who next?

Jay walkers? Speeders? poor people? Black people? the homeless? Atheists?

There should be no talk of "allowing" hm to keep the money,. If you have a lottery it is just that.
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1. Back to prison.
2. No money for him.
3. Impeach the judge who gave him probation after 2 bank robberies.
4. Ban scratch-off lotteries. The instant gratification leads some people to addiction, and slows the line at 7-11.
5. This line is intentionally blank.
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Common law (English from which our law is generally or originally was to follow, is quite looking at the intent of the applicable law,) A person is to stay away from gambling, and why it was written, to keep the parolee away for association with criminals and in the case of gambling, a potential for a camaraderie which would have a greater propensity to ease the parolee back into crime.

I do not believe a clerk or a dispensing machine would fall into the "near occasion of sin" and lead the parolee even to a gambling parlor. Added to that, since the odds are so high, one rarely presumes to even win.

As someone said, maybe the good Lord gave this parolee a chance to do good.

Let him keep it.
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okay the saying is right what comes around goes around if you be around and he stayed around now he is paying for it.When he robbed banks it was okay.look at it this way he will just be paying back what he took.he should give it to charity.
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what an idiot. why wouldnt he give the ticket to someone "trustworthy" and then give them some of the money so that he can have the money and wont get busted.
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Everyone who doesnt believe that man diserves the winning are the ones who couldnt give a flying %u(K about anyone but thereselfs, and just like someone said before, How many People that have served time for worse crimes buy lotto Tickets in that same lottery? so this is completely over Jeliousy, most people would rather see the money in there pockets but when a guy who happend to serve time and he didnt break any law perchacing the ticket, everyone apposed to it will do anything in there power to make sure that if they cant become rich then he shouldnt, its all over Jeliousy and Money so whoever believes that this guy doesnt deserve it are selfish cowards who have no remorce for anyone but there ownself.
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