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Jane and Robert Goodwin - Carlos Gamino
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

Couple Wins $2 Million, One Month Apart

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By Carlos Gamino

Jane and Robert Goodwin just might be the luckiest couple alive. The pair is almost $2 million richer thanks to the lottery and Publisher’s Clearing House.

The Goodwins, both seniors, each won a million bucks in separate contests only a few months apart. 

Jane Goodwin won a Publisher’s Clearing House contest for the first million in September. When Publisher’s Clearing House staff arrived at the Goodwins’ home with their signature “Big Check,” Mrs. Goodwin wasn’t home – she was out with a friend. The staff went to her location to surprise her with the check in an adorable turn of events (you can see it here).

Just as the Goodwins were getting used to their new status, Robert Goodwin bought a $5 scratch-off ticket made by the Massachusetts State Lottery. The “$1,000,000 Platinum Payout” ticket he bought was a grand prize winner – and Mr. Goodwin chose the lump-sum payout, making him $650,000 richer.

The Goodwins plan to buy a house in a retirement community where they won’t have to shovel snow. (It’s probably just a coincidence that their last name is Good + Win, right?)

Experts have some serious advice for lottery winners (check it out in case you get lucky, too):

  • Don’t claim your prize until you have a team of experts in place (but check the state guidelines to make sure you don’t miss the deadline – lotto tickets do expire). Find a lawyer and a financial planner right away, but be careful who you choose. You need people who will help protect you from frivolous lawsuits, debtors and fake investment scams, as well as who will tell you how to handle requests for money.
  • Choose the lump sum or annuity. If you choose a lump sum, you’ll probably walk away with less money – but you’ll get it all immediately. If you choose the annuity, you can’t blow all your winnings at once – and you might end up getting more in the end.
  • Protect your privacy. Don’t blab your good fortune to the world, and for Pete’s sake, do not post about winning on your Facebook page or Twitter feed. You also need to plan to maintain your privacy (and lock down those social media accounts).
  • Don’t make big changes, like quitting your job or buying a new house, right away. You need the structure and a sense of normalcy!

What Would You Do With $2 Million?

I’d love to hear what you’d do if you won a couple million dollars (and what you’d do to avoid the lottery curse). Please share your ideas on my Facebook page or on Twitter. (And for the record, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d still be an attorney, but with a much cushier bank account for retirement.)

Carlos Gamino