Bronx Man Fights To Keep Identity Private After Winning $5 Million Prize
“I’m sure he’ll be forever hounded."
A Bronx man is prepared to sue the New York State Gaming Commission if he is unable to collect his $5 million reward without revealing his identity.
According to the New York Post, a Norwood man bought a scratch-off lottery ticket in April that changed his life. Yet, to his dismay, he was unable to collect his multi-million cash prize without participating in a mandatory press conference, something that this native of New York’s most impoverished borough is not willing to do.
“Where I grew up, everybody knows me. All these people know and I’m afraid they might come for me,” the man told the publication. “Everybody who knows me knows I’m too nice and I don’t want to be taken advantage of.”
Because of this, the 24-year-old father of one is asking that the New York State Gaming Commission – which runs the New York Lottery – to let him receive this blessing anonymously to protect himself and his family. Yet, officials have told him he will not be able to fulfill his plans of buying his family homes and investing in his daughter’s future until he consents to photos and a press conference. This is a rule for any reward over $1 million and something the customer non-verbally agrees to when buying a ticket.
“In claiming the prize, winners must sign a claim agreeing to attend the press conference,” Gaming Commission spokesperson, Brad Maione, said before explaining how the rules are written on the back of the ticket and that there are no reservations for those who would like to retain their privacy.
The winner, however, plans to fight this.
“I’m sure he’ll be forever hounded,” his lawyer, Andrew Plasse, said. “It’s a really bad idea to identify people. They might not get harmed right away, but one, two years down the road, they might get robbed.” Citing several cases as their precedent, Plasse insists that his client's safety should be the Gaming Commission's only concern.