Monday, January 13, 2014

Mentally Incompetent Lotto Winner Blows his Winnings

Malcolm Ramsey's mental problems and resulting care needs caused a judge to rule him incompetent of managing his own affairs, but that didn't prevent the fifty-five-year-old schizophrenic from having a big win on the Florida Lottery last October.

Ramsey lives at the Loving Care assisted living facility in St. Petersburg, under the guardianship of the non-profit organization, Aging Solutions. He is free to come and go as he pleases and often bought Florida lottery scratch cards from his local Quick Pick gas station. When one of his Quick Picks turned into quick cash though, he was unsure what to do about the win. He hid the ticket away for several weeks before eventually confiding in taxi driver, Charlie Springer, who then helped him to pull together the documentation required to claim the prize.

Aging Solutions usually take care of Ramsey's financial needs, including paying his bills, but they were kept in the dark about the $403,288 (before taxes) lottery win, and in just four weeks half the money was gone. Suspicions arose when they noticed Ramsey was suddenly getting a lot of visits from family members who had never bothered with him in the past.

"It was people who were around that had never been around before," said Lona DiCerb (director of operations at Aging Solutions) "That's troublesome when family he'd never spoke of prior began coming around."

DiCerb and the judge handling Ramsey's case are now criticizing the Florida Lottery for failing to do a more thorough background check on their winners.