This is the worst story one can imagine after Powerball madness last month. One particular lottery winner, Craigory Burch, Jr., struck it rich last November in Georgia’s Fantasy 5 jackpot. The 20-year-old man suddenly found himself $434,000 richer. The former forklift driver spent a significant chunk of cash on Christmas presents for the poor, and he was a devoted father. Unfortunately, his status as a winner went public.
Burch was at home with his girlfriend, Jasmine Hendricks, and their three children when masked men pushed through the front door. Hendricks told local station WALB that she believed Burch was targeted for his winnings. He reportedly begged the gunmen, “Please don’t do it in front of my kids and old lady.” Burch said the men could have anything, including his bank card, but when the men couldn’t immediately locate his wallet, they fired several shots and fled the premises. Burch died from his wounds, and police are following leads, but have yet to name any suspects.
This sobering news arrives after Georgia lawmakers begin to consider a bill that would allow winners to stay anonymous. The catch? Anyone who wishes to protect their identity must donate 25 percent of their total winnings to one of several specified causes. The option is a pricey one, but probably worth considering, especially after Burch’s death. If this law passes, Georgia would be the seventh state to provide such a protection to lottery winners.
(Via WALB in South Georgia)