As news circulates that lottery winner Craigory Burch was gunned down in his own home, some wonder if the state of Georgia’s lottery rules might ultimately be to blame. WALB reports that Burch was killed on Thursday in his own home during an armed robbery attempt.
Burch’s girlfriend, Jasmine Hendricks, claims that on the day of the incident, the door was blown open by a shotgun blast. Three masked men entered the residence demanding money. Although the 20-year-old handed over his pants and wallet willingly, no money was recovered by the armed robbers. Pleas not to kill him in front of his family fell on deaf ears. Burch was fatally shot and the unknown men made their escape.
Hendricks reportedly fled the residence in search of help.
Lottery winner who used winnings to buy presents for people in need killed in home invasion: https://t.co/AkzJdSYyzV pic.twitter.com/SUYkXMIiMX
— The Root (@TheRoot) January 22, 2016
It was a violent end for the lottery winner, who had expected his November winnings to bring him good fortune. He was killed nearly two-and-a-half months after he bought a quick pick at a local convenience store. WMAZ said Craigory was “in disbelief” when he learned he’d won close to half a million dollars.
The forklift driver thought nothing of sharing his amazing story with various news stations. In the state of Georgia, it’s required by law that lottery winners come forward and be publicly identified. Just a week before this lottery winner’s tragic death, the state of Georgia introduced a bill that would let winners stay anonymous — provided they were willing to pay for it.
Staying out of the papers would require you cough up an additional 25 percent of your earnings.
— WREG News Channel 3 (@3onyourside) January 22, 2016
Although Georgia Sen. Josh McKoon has since backed down, the tragic death of this lottery winner has pushed the conversation about anonymity into national focus.
Multiple concerned citizens have called out the Georgia Lottery on its official Facebook page, all but holding the organization directly responsible for his death. A commenter named Sean Williams said, “A Georgia Lottery winner was the victim of a home invasion and murder after you all insisted that he advertise his winnings.”
“This is a prime example of why you should allow winners to remain anonymous.”
Others chose to heap the blame for the tragedy on the deceased lottery winner himself. It’s not unheard of (and typically expected) for people who win a major lottery prize to then immediately relocate. Because Craigory elected not to move out of what has since proven to be an unsafe situation, these commenters claim that he was asking for trouble.
However, it’s important to remember that Burch probably had no reason to assume that anyone would try to take his life. If he had no enemies, why make such an extreme assumption? In any case, those who shoulder all of the blame for this senseless killing are the three masked men who stormed into Craigory’s home with the intent to rob and kill him.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) January 21, 2016
Burch’s mother, Leslie Collins, has since spoken out about the death of her son.
“I want them to know what they took from me. They took a part of my life away from me. My child that I carried and raised for 20 years.”
Although an investigation into who killed this Georgia lottery winner is underway, authorities have yet to share information regarding possible leads or persons of interests. Anyone with any information about the death of Craigory Burch is encouraged to contact the Ben Hill County Sheriff’s Office at 229-426-5161.
What do you think about the Craigory Burch killing? Should this murder force the state of Georgia to allow lottery winners the option of remaining anonymous? Please share your thoughts on this developing news story below.
[Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images]