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Florida lottery win may not reduce need for Chapter 7 protection

Winning the lottery is something that most Florida residents if not nearly everyone across the nation has probably thought about. Even if a lottery ticket was never purchased, many people have completed the statement "If I won the lottery, I would..." For some people, the financial security provided by a lottery win was short lived.

A recent study was conducted by economists from three highly reputable universities studying the correlation between lottery wins and bankruptcy filings in the state of Florida over a span of 10 years from 1993 to 2002. Specifically, they looked at those who won up to $150,000 in Florida's Fantasy 5 lottery. What they found was that over 1,900 winners had found themselves in need of bankruptcy relief within five years of receiving the money.

Those who won larger sums of money defined as awards of at least $50,000 and less than $150,000 had a delayed likelihood of seeking relief, but did so at approximately the same year three to five years later as opposed to only two years after a smaller award.

This type of situation is not unlike large, fast windfalls from trading in the stock market. One trader said that the combination of fortunate circumstance or even dumb luck and a short-term market win often prompts some people to pull out of the market and spend the money. In many cases, those who receive a large lump sum of liquid equity simply do not have the experience in managing large investments.

Source:Business Insider, "Winning It Ain't the Same as Keeping It," April 17, 2013

 

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