Hey, you never know … how a long-lost relative, investment scammer, or other unsavory character might try to finagle prize money out of a lottery winner.
Take the case of a Glen Cove man who last year scratched off the top prize of $1 million from a $5 Hold ‘Em Poker card — only for his cousin from down South to allegedly steal nearly all the prize money and threaten to get him deported when he protested.
The episode — which unraveled last week with the cousin’s arrest — casts a spotlight on the dark side of hitting it big, and the ways winners try to avoid becoming victims of (good) luck.
“Unless you’re someone who wants to be famous — which some people do — there’s not many advantages to being public and standing in front of a press conference and holding a giant check. … I always think of it as a bit of a bull’s-eye,” said Eric Jaffe, a Huntington-based lawyer who helps lottery winners stay anonymous by forming limited-liability corporations, known as LLCs, to accept the money.