Powerball Winners Sued: Do Lottery Winners Need More Protection And Security, Should They Be Armed?

On January 13, 2016, Lisa and John Robinson from Munford, Tennessee, were the lucky winners claiming a ticket in the record-breaking $1.58 billion jackpot. There were two other winning tickets sold, one in California, the other in Florida. Those winners have yet to come forward and claim their prize. Within several days, Lisa and John Robinson made their appearance known, even appearing on the Today show. They appeared on Ellen DeGeneres‘ show, and have stated they want to keep their life as similar as possible to the way they lived before the win. Just three days after winning the Powerball jackpot, a man named Jonathan Lee Riches, who goes by the alias Jihadi Schitz, and has described himself as a converted Muslim, filed a handwritten lawsuit, suing the Robinson’s for half of their winnings.

Whether the lawsuit is based on a smidgen of truth (did Tiffany Robinson really converse with Riches as an inmate through letter writing), or is the suit the complete fabrication by someone who describes himself as taking antidepressant medication, remains to be seen. Is Jihadi Schitz simply out of his mind and in his delusions, believes he was in contact with Tiffany Robinson? Maybe this is nothing more than the plan of a convict hoping to convince a judge and jury that he is entitled to some of the money based upon a verbal agreement that might be difficult to prove. Exactly what the truth is — is Riches deluded, crazy, a sinister and desperate con, or someone who actually communicated with the Robinson’s daughter — remains to be seen. But what is evident is that this suit was filed by an individual who blames the Robinson’s daughter, and called her responsible for his needing psychological help with depression and taking medication.

In Riches vs. Powerball, Jonathan Lee Riches, “Jihadi Schitz,” wrote the following.

“For the last 2 1/2 years while I was incarcerated I was penpals with Tiffany Robinson. She was a fan of mine and a Facebook follower and she wrote me dirty letters which I have as evidence, and she said she wanted to marry me when I get out of prison. Tiffany told me that no one on the earth treats her better than me and then I sent her $20 from my prison trust fund account and told her to use that money for Powerball tickets because if we win-we wil lleave America and live on a remote island full of milk and honey. And I told Tiffany to give my money to her parents Lisa and John Robinson to buy Powerball tickets because they couldn’t afford to buy, and they promised me if they won any Powerball, I am entitled to half the winnings.

“Now I find out that this Robinson family won the Powerball and now they refuse to give me my cut of the Powerball. Tiffany changed her number. The whole Robinson family defriended me on Facebook. I am not in prison no more. I am a practicing Muslim and Tiffany was going to be my Muslim wife.”

The very fact that Riches filed this lawsuit and claimed personal contact with Tiffany Robinson and the Robinson family, may indicate that the Powerball lottery winners are in danger. If not physical and immediate danger, the Robinson’s are now in danger that mentally unbalanced people may come crawling out of the woodwork like ants drawn to a sweetened-sugar pile that they want to devour. The Robinsons hoped to continue living their normal lives, but is that really possible? Now that people know who they are and want their money, the question must be asked at what lengths will they be willing to get it. Will someone like Riches or “Jihadi Schitz” stop at filing a handwritten lawsuit? Riches claimed that Tiffany Robinson claimed she wanted to be his “Muslim bride, and that the two would leave America together and go to a remote island that flowed with milk and honey.” If that isn’t enough to put fear into someone, what is? Riches requested a restraining order against the Robinsons, Powerball and the Multi-State Lottery Association to put a stop to any money being released to the Robinsons.

Should the Robinsons file a restraining order against a man who has stated their daughter wanted to leave the country with him and be the Muslim bride of “Jihadi Schitz?”

Riches continued his personal attack against Tiffany Robinson.

“I feel Tiffany conned and bamboozled me and manipulated my love for $20 and sold me out. Now she is running to the bank laughing at me while I collect crumbs.”

If Tiffany Robinson never met Jihadi Schitz, if she never heard of this man before and if she never had any intention of becoming his Muslim bride, then what must she be feeling right now? If you were in her shoes would you feel safe? Would you want protection?

Riches continued.

“I had to go to a psychologist to get depression medication because of Tiffany Robinson. She is responsible.”

There is what some believe is the curse of the lottery. Not only does winning the lottery radically change your life, but it causes people to do desperate things to get your money. For some people, they have become the victim of violent crime due to their changes in financial status.

If you were the Robinsons, would you feel comfortable living in your home and conducting life as usual? If you were Tiffany Robinson would you feel safe with this type of public attention and the singling out by a man who described himself as a former inmate needing psychological care? Would you install a state of the art home security system and maybe even carry a weapon or gun for added personal protection and security?

What do you think about Powerball and lottery winners’ names being released to the public?

[Photo by Xavier Gallego Morell/Shutterstock]