Moguls' $254 Million Lottery Win Draws Media Attention
A $254 million lottery payout is sure to generate headlines -- but the winners of the Connecticut Lottery garnered were subjected to extra media scrutiny after coming forward Monday morning.
The three joint ticket-holders who collected the biggest jackpot ever in Connecticut and 12-largest in Powerball history turned out to be three wealth managers in Greenwich, Conn. -- one of the country's richest towns.
Brandon Lacoff, co-founder of Belpointe LLC, an asset management firm that oversees $82 million, and the company's president/chief investment officer Gregory Skidmore and colleague Tim Davidson rode a black limousine into the lottery headquarters to claim the prize, which they won after buying a $1 Powerball ticket. The odds of picking the five white balls and red Powerball are said to be one in 195,249,054.
The trio formed the Putnam Avenue Family Trust after they claimed their winnings; they chose lump sum that amounts to $103.5 million in cash after taxes.
The news prompted pointed comments in the media, with many reports quick to point out just how wealthy the three are.
The Associated Press delved into the trio's seemingly privileged past, nothing that one is a former member of the U.S. sailing team who was once an Olympic hopeful (Skidmore), another grew up in Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom (Davidson), and the third owns business and properties along Connecticut's shoreline (Lacoff).
Other reports pointed out the irony of the lottery win coming 2 1/2 months into the Occupy protests against corporate greed and the wealthy "1 percent."
"The lottery is full of rags-to-riches tales. Now the 1 percent has its own feel-good story," read the New York Times' report.
Third Age noted that the trio's win is "an occurrence not likely to please demonstrators on Wall Street."
And Gothamist.com's headline began with the words: "Rich Get Richer."
Meanwhile, the U.K.'s Daily Mail speculated that the trio looked "sheepish" when they claimed their money and quoted a real estate agent who does business with Belpointe as saying that they actually not the real winners, instead claiming the money for one of their clients who wanted to remain anonymous.
It's perhaps no wonder that the trio on Monday refused to say how they'd spend the money, other than to emphasize that a good portion of the winnings will go to charity.