Imagine forgetting that you’d purchased a scratch off ticket and only noticing it as you were sitting on a toilet. You then proceed to scratch the ticket and your life literally changes before your eyes after you win $5 million. And now you’re fighting to remain anonymous because, damn, you know people are going to try to stick you for your paper.
That’s exactly what’s happening to an unidentified man from one of the poorest sections of the Bronx in New York City.
John Doe didn’t realize after purchasing a scratch off ticket in New York that in order to receive winnings over $1 million, you have to participate in a press conference with the state Gaming Commission. Now he’s obtained an attorney to fight for his right to remain anonymous.
“Where I grew up, everybody knows me. All these people would know, and I’m afraid they might come for me,” the resident of the Norwood section of the Bronx told the New York Post.
“Everybody who knows me knows I’m too nice. And I don’t want to be taken advantage of,” he added.
And rightly so. We’ve all heard the stories of people winning big lottery prizes, only to be killed by either their enemies or even family members. And then there are those who become prey to their newfound friends who only want to use them for their money.
But unless the man poses with the commission on May 24, he’ll never be able to buy his mom, brother and himself a new house.
“In claiming the prize, winners must sign a claim agreeing to attend the press conference,” said state Gaming Commission spokesman Brad Maione. “We don’t have any provisions for anonymity.”
Maybe the Gaming Commission needs to change its ridiculous law. The man’s attorney isn’t sure how it really benefits anyone in the end.
“I’m sure he’ll be forever hounded,” said attorney Andrew Plasse. “It’s a really bad idea to identify people. They might not get harmed right away, but one, two years down the road, they might get robbed.”