Dear ________________(lottery dept inspector general)
Please do not try to insult my intelligence with this response!
Your response only proves me to be correct. The dates you illustrate in your paragraph 3 below only serve to prove that none of this information was given to me on or before the date “date of ticket claim” that I was unfairly locked into this annuity, while only relying on state laws for protection because no one in the lottery department would give me any information on request.
I was given only ONE PAGE that stated that I had 60 days to select the cash option, with NO OTHER explanation on it. I am attaching the page here. This was the ONLY page given to me on or before telling me to sign the affidavit locking me into this huge misrepresentation. I held the attached page in my left hand (telling me that I had 60 days to select the cash option) while signing the affidavit in my right hand.
None of the rules you show me now (below) were given to me before signing your affidavit! I would have had to be a psychic to know any of the rules you show me after the fact!
Please tell me what good giving me the rules below "AFTER" locking me into this was is?
This was clearly a bait and switch that also just happened to be in your favor by the amount of $28,000.00 (also undisclosed to me until after)
I know you are too intelligent to actually believe that this is fair and legitimate business practices. I am asking you to do the right thing based on that fact.
However, if you continue to ignore my rights to fair business practices. I will never back down when I know I am right.
From: lottery inspector general
Sent: Tue, Feb 26, 2019 3:53 pm
Your original complaint was received by the Florida Lottery’s Office of Inspector General on “a date about 7 weeks after being locked into the false annuity” and expressed concerns regarding the annual payment option you selected with your $1 million prize scratch-off game. [Attachment 1]
Our office reviewed this complaint, along with your attached string of emails wherein you inquired about the possible transfer of your (which is not a Lottery matter) and asked if you had 60 days from the date of claim to change your selected option to a cash payout. This email string included a response to you from Lottery General Counsel _______ on “a date that is about 6-weeks after ticket claim locking me into the false annuity”, in which he informed you that the Lottery could not provide you legal advice, and he then provided you with the Florida Administrative Code that outlines the rules for the scratch-off game. You insisted you were entitled to disclosures, which are not applicable to the Lottery, and wanted the right to rescind the annual payment option. After a thorough inquiry and review of the complaint, our office determined that this was not a matter to be addressed by the Office of Inspector General, as there was no fraud or wrong-doing on the part of the Lottery or anyone else. Therefore, we advised you of this and forwarded your complaint to the Finance Division for them to address your concerns, as we stated in our email to you on “a date that is 60 days after ticket claim locking me in”
(the Finance division disagrees with the above, and tells me it is the Florida Lottery’s Office of Inspector General’s responsibility to resolve this)
We continued to receive numerous complaints from you throughout the following year with generally the same allegations, and after review of each, we reached the same conclusion. Your recent complaint emailed to our office on January 30, 2019, [Attachment 3] insists that your complaint is a matter that falls within the jurisdiction of the Office of Inspector General, and your email string included an email that you sent to the Auditor General in which you listed nine numbered allegations you feel the Lottery has not addressed. Our office had just recently looked into allegation #8 (falsifying odds of winning on the Lottery website) because it was a new allegation that had not yet been addressed. We provided you with a response on February 12, 2019, wherein we informed you that the accuracy of the information on the Lottery website had been verified.
In order to satisfy your repeated request and hopefully provide final resolution to your concerns, we have again performed an in-depth review and have responded to each of the allegations that were listed in your email to the Attorney General. We have listed your allegations below as they are stated in your email, and followed each with a response.
1. “Being told it was an annuity, verbally and in writing, then a month after signing their affidavit being told that it is "not really" an annuity.”
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines annuity as “a sum of money payable yearly or at other regular intervals...” [Attachment 5] In her response to you on “a date 5 weeks after locking me in” Lottery CFO ____________ informed you that it has been a long-standing practice throughout the Lottery industry to refer to the annual payment option as an “annuity” option. As Ms. Bradford further stated, this is not inappropriate because the annual payment option meets Merriam-Webster’s definition of annuity. [Attachment 6] Additionally, Deputy Secretary _________ informed you in his “A date about 5 months after being locked into this fake annuity”, letter to you that Ms. Bradford had addressed your concern regarding the word annuity. [Attachment 7]
Lawmakers who wrote the laws on annuities also have access to "Merriam-Webster’s dictionary", do they not? Nowhere in the statutes does it state that the laws on fair disclosure for suitability and cancellation periods apply to certain types of annuities or businesses. Nor are there any laws stating that the lottery department is immune to state laws.
I spent two hours reading these state laws on annuities before claiming an annuity because you refused to give me any information or disclosures.
2. “Being lied to by ________in the claims department that only the first payment withholds 25% (a false sales pitch).”
Our office spoke with ___________and she denied making that statement to you. She further indicated she did not discuss the matter with you as she did not handle that portion of your claim, and therefore, we cannot substantiate your allegation on this matter. [Attachment 8] However, for your information, section 17 of Florida Administrative Code 53ER17-54 states, “Federal withholding taxes shall be deducted from prizes in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code and Code of Federal Regulations.” [Attachment 9] Florida Administrative Code 53ER16-32, Game Number _________________, section (10)(c) states, “Annual Payment prizes will be paid in twenty-five (25) equal annual installments of $40,000 per year for the $1,000.000 prize and $200,000 per year for the $5,000,000 prize, less applicable federal withholding taxes.” [Attachment 10]
The above statement is just additional rules you hid from me until after locking me in!
(And ________ told me 3 separate times that the withholding is only on the 1st installment and I would be responsible to pay taxes on my own after that.)
3. “Being lied to that I had 60 days to cancel...in writing! (I still have the page promising me 60 days to select the cash option, as proof)”
Section (10)(a) of Florida Administrative Code 53ER16-32, Game Number ________ states, “A winner of a $1,000,000 or $5,000,000 prize may choose one of two payment options for receiving his or her prize. Payment options are “Cash Option” or “Annual Payment.” At the time the $1,000,000 or $5,000,000 prize is claimed, the terminal will produce a player claim instructions ticket. The winner has sixty (60) days from the date the player claim instructions ticket is produced to file a claim choosing the Cash Option. Once the winner files a claim and exercises the winner’s chosen option, the election of that option shall be final. If a winner does not choose the Cash Option within the sixty (60) day timeframe, the Annual Payment option will be applied.” [Attachment 10]
This rule does not imply that you have 60 days to change your mind. The Florida Lottery Jackpot Worksheet that was provided to you displays the amounts you would receive under the two payment options and includes the cash option selection deadline, which is 60 days from the date your claim instructions ticket is produced. This is the date at which the cash payment would no longer be an option, if at that time you had not yet made a selection. [Attachment 11]
Why was this rule above not written in full description on the only page given to me (attached) ? Clearly, it was hidden from me.
In her response to you on “a date 10 weeks after claim locking me in” Lottery CFO ________ informed you that you chose the annual payment option in your affidavit dated “date of claim” (attached), and Rule 53ER16-32(10)(a) of Florida Administrative Code binds the Lottery and prize winner to the choice once it’s made. [Attachment 6] Deputy Secretary _________ informed you in his “a date 4 months after being locked into this fake annuity”, letter to you that Ms. Bradford correctly advised you, and also referenced Rule 53ER16-32(10)(a) of Florida Administrative Code. [Attachment 12]
4. “Not being given any annuity disclosures required by state and federal law.”
The Administrative Code you reference (69B-162.011) is that of the Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services, which is located within the Florida Department of Financial Services. This rule therefore only applies to insurance annuities. [Attachment 13] This rule states the forms are adopted pursuant to section 627.4554 of Florida Statute, which you have also referenced. This statute states its purpose as requiring “insurers to set forth standards and procedures for making recommendations to consumers which result in transactions involving annuity products, and to establish a system for supervising such recommendations in order to ensure that the insurance needs and financial objectives of consumers are appropriately addressed at the time of the transaction.” [Attachment 14] Your annual payments relate to the Lottery, not an insurance product; therefore, the disclosures you have requested are not applicable to Lottery prizes/payments.
5. “Not being given any annuity cancellation period required by state and federal law.”
Please see our responses to #1 and #4 above.
6. “Being told that there are kickbacks and that the lottery department gave these hustling annuity brokers my cell phone number.”
In the copy of the torts claim you mailed to us on “about a year after claim”, [Attachment 15] you alleged that Florida Lottery employees were receiving sporting game tickets and gift cards in exchange for providing your phone number to annuity brokers. This is a very serious accusation that, if substantiated, could result in the filing of criminal felony charges of those involved. This office takes these allegations very seriously and conducted an in-depth inquiry into your allegation. Our staff conducted a phone interview with you in which you stated that three companies contacted you, and all three companies said that they obtained your phone number from Florida Lottery employees. [Attachment 16] However, when asked, you could only remember the names of two companies (_______ & ________) and of the two companies you could only remember the name of one individual. You also modified your allegation, stating that the Stone Street Capital employee only implied that there were kickbacks. You advised that no Florida Lottery employee names were mentioned during these phone calls.
If recording phone calls were not illegal in this state I could have easily proved the allegations of kickbacks to you, but that doesn't mean it was/is not happening. I am confident that one day it will come to light as most wrongs typically do eventually come to the surface. Of course, no one will admit what was said by their friends or colleagues if questioned by you.
7. “Being cornered into only one way out of this false annuity---through the crooked annuity brokers that take 40% of the principal balance as commission. (I wonder if that breaks usury laws too)”
The Lottery did not provide any influence over your decision to choose the annual payment option. Additionally, the Lottery has no control over any decisions you make regarding the handling or transfer of your annual payments after you sign the affidavit and receive your first payment. Deputy Secretary _________ informed you in his letter to you on “5 weeks after claim date locking me in”, that “It is possible for you to assign the rights to your annual payments in exchange for compensation; however, the Lottery takes no position and offers no recommendation regarding assignments.” [Attachment 18]
We would also like to note that you indicate in the copy of the torts claim you mailed to us on “about a year after claim date”, that “a financial consultant at Van Guard told me I could transfer one annuity to another annuity of a different term, and invest the annuity for my son’s survival in the future…” [Attachment 15] Additionally, you state in your posted blog that “With my plan, made with a financial professional at __________Investments, I could have made his life better now...” [Attachment 19]Although it is unfortunate that the financial professional with whom you planned prior to claiming your Lottery prize was not able to provide all of the information that you feel would have been necessary in your decision regarding the payment option, the Lottery has no control or responsibility for your decisions.
Fair Disclosure is your responsibility. If you are immune to laws that apply to other entrepreneurial businesses, then the Florida statute that states that "The Lottery Department is expected to operate as an entrepreneurial business" has been broken by you. See ---> F.S. 24.102 (b)
If any other Florida business in the history of time has been disciplined or disbarred for the same noncompliance, they should be notified of this unfairness, as well as the consumers spending their hard earned money on lottery tickets.
8. “Falsifying odds of winning on the lottery website which is the same as stealing!”
In your own blog you have posted the Auditor General’s response, which states, “For raffle games with a set number of tickets the odds of winning are reported as the number of prizes out of the total number of tickets. In your referenced game there are 750,000 tickets and 7 $1 million prizes, so the probability of winning $1 million is 7/750,000. Your analysis of subtracting each ticket from the remaining tickets (i.e., 6 out of 749,999) is true but makes only a very small change in the odds. In your analysis, if you were interested in the odds of actually winning say the 3rd $1 million draw than the odds of that particular prize would be 1 out of 749,996, as you stated. We do not feel that the Lottery’s summarized display of the odds is misleading.” [Attachment 20] Although the Auditor General provided you with this response, our office did look into this issue. Please see our email to you dated February 12, 2019. [Attachment 4]
Name one person who purchased a ticket in this lottery raffle that actually had odds of 1 in 107,143 of winning the top prize as promised by the lottery department. ----> Link to phony odds illustrated in my blog
"This is theft by deception!"
Even the state auditor admitted my math was correct!
Home Page <—— more fraud uncovered
My most recent reply to Florida Lottery department’s Inspector General…..
(I am respectfully, removing names / dates….not to stoop to their level as they continue to exploit my name)