Mavis Wanczyk is rich; she is a very rich woman today after being the sole winner of last week’s Powerball jackpot of $758.7 million. Her new reality includes police outside her home and patrolling her neighborhood. That is coupled with a sea of people rushing to the area after she came forward to identify herself as the Powerball jackpot winner.
Chicopee police officer Michael Wilk told reporters on Friday that a police officer is parked in Mavis Wanczyk’s driveway. Wilk told the media that they want Mavis to know that they are there for her if she needs them, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The neighbors are reporting people have inundated the neighborhood. Strangers are “knocking on doors, asking people where she lives.” Wilk said, “We’re not going to tolerate her being harassed or bothered.”
Reporters are looking to talk to neighbors as well as the family members of the Powerball jackpot winner. This is a nuisance, but for two past lottery winners coming forth and introducing themselves to the public set the wheels in motion for people wanting their money and it ultimately led to their death.
While Wanczyk won the $758 million jackpot, she’s opted to take it in a lump sum, which comes out to $480 million dollars. After the taxes are taken out of her winnings, she is left with $336 million, which is less than half of what she actually won. To put it in perspective, this still makes Wanczyk wealthier than Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, and a bunch of other celebrities whose names are equated with money.
As soon as Wanczyk revealed her name on Thursday, experts jumped all over this, claiming she made a huge mistake letting her name be known. When you play the lottery in Massachusetts you are agreeing to their terms, which means that all winners’ names are made public, according to CNBC Personal Finance.
There is a way to get around this and that is why experts strongly suggest that a lottery jackpot winner at least talks to a lawyer before claiming their prize. The best case scenario is that a huge jackpot winner put a team of pros in place before claiming the money.
Many past lottery winners have set up trusts and the trustee has accepted the winnings to keep the actual winner’s identity unknown. This is a safety precaution as well as a financial move. Because that trustee is usually part of a financial business, there’s no one to hound for contributions and interviews.
The horror stories are real for some past lottery jackpot winners, as two separate families report. There were two deadly incidents involving lottery jackpot winners in recent years.
Craigory Burch Jr. won the Georgia Fantasy 5 drawing in November of 2015. That winning ticket was a $434,272 jackpot. He enjoyed his wealth for only two months because he was killed by a group of masked men who kicked in the door to his home.
His family believes that he is dead today because he went public about winning the lottery. The men held Burch at gunpoint demanding money. They shot him after not finding what they wanted in his wallet.
One of the first things he had done with his winnings that November was to buy Christmas presents for those in need. He pleaded with the men for his life before they killed him, as reported in an archived article in the New York Daily News.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a woman approached lottery jackpot winner Abraham Shakespeare claiming she was writing a book about lottery winners. Shakespeare was a man who had won $30 million in 2006.
Within no time, she became his “financial advisor” and his money was slowly drained until every bit was gone. He found out about what she had done and threatened to kill the woman, who ended up killing him first.
Today the new view out Mavis Wanczyk’s window is a police cruiser, guarding her house and her neighbor’s home against all types of people wanting to know more about the lottery winner. That police cruiser also keeps Mavis and her family safe now that her name is out there in public.
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