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How much child support lands in the pockets of 10-percenters?

An executive of the Massachusetts state lottery says the number of repeat lottery winners in the state defies logic and must involve some rule bending. After the analysis of almost 11 million lottery payout records of 34 states, students from a graduate school of journalism in another state determined that Massachusetts has much more repeat lottery winners than any other state. Questions are raised about individuals cashing in winning tickets on behalf of people who owe debts like child support and taxes.

Two recipients of lottery winnings who were mentioned as examples include a 59-year-old man who has collected on winning tickets 5,800 times, totaling $8.9 million. His tickets originated from no less than 1,200 different stores across 160 communities. The other person is a 79-year-old man who has won over $11 million over the past six years from more than 7,300 tickets that he bought from 1,400 stores in 150 towns and cities.

The Massachusettes Lottery Commission will apply new restrictions from Oct. 1, which will see payouts to customers frozen after they have collected six winnings equal to or exceeding $1,000 for the past 12 months. Ticket purchasers with legitimate claims will then have to show that they are not helping others to dodge child support or taxes. This is often done by individuals called 10-percenters, who collect for others and keep a percentage of the winnings.

While it is not illegal to collect another person's lottery winnings, doing it to deny the state of Massachusetts collection of taxes or children the support they need to survive is certainly against the law. Parents with child support obligations who struggle to make ends meet may not realize that an experienced family law attorney can help them find solutions that will be in the best interests of their children. The court can be petitioned to modify the child support order to an affordable amount if the parent can demonstrate financial hardship.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Lawbreakers or just really lucky? Mass. has more repeat lottery winners than any other state", Michael Levenson, Jeff Kelly, August 3, 2017

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