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Rich get richer, wealth managers claim $254M Powerball jackpot

By Pat Eaton-Robb

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 07:00 a.m. HST, Nov 29, 2011


ROCKY HILL, Conn.» A trio of wealth managers from Greenwich, one of the most affluent towns in America, claimed a Powerball jackpot worth more than a quarter of a billion dollars Monday off a $1 ticket.

Greg Skidmore, Brandon Lacoff and Tim Davidson came forward as the winners of the $254.2 million jackpot and the trustees of The Putnam Avenue Family Trust, which they formed to help manage the money after Davidson bought the winning ticket at a Stamford gas station.

A lawyer who spoke for the group at a news conference said they contacted him immediately after the Nov. 2 drawing and came forward after making plans for the money. He said the trust will take the after-tax lump sum of $103,586,824.51 cash and a significant amount will go to charity.

"Obviously, everybody is extremely excited," said Jason Kurland, the group's attorney. "These numbers are huge. This is going to benefit many people."

Davidson bought a single Quick Pick ticket at the Shippan Point BP gas station in Stamford. A computer chose the random numbers of 12-14-34-39-46, Powerball 36.

The jackpot was the largest ever won in Connecticut and the 12th biggest in Powerball history. The largest previous lottery jackpot in Connecticut was $59.5 million in June 2005.

The three men work at Belpointe, an asset management firm in Greenwich that provides investment advice, much of it to wealthy individuals, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company manages $82 million, according to the SEC.

Skidmore, the company's president and chief investment officer, is a former member of the U.S. sailing team who was once an Olympic hopeful, according to the company's website.

Davidson's online biography says he grew up in Switzerland, France and the United Kingston and started his career in financial markets in 1979 with a French bank. He has worked in New York, Paris and London and is a senior portfolio manager and wealth adviser.

Lacoff, the site says, co-founded Belpointe and owns others businesses and properties on Connecticut's shoreline, including companies that manage the assets of individuals and institutions.

They sat stoically at a conference table sipping bottled water as Kurland answered questions, declining to describe the trio's relationship with one another, how they came to purchase a $1 ticket together or what they would do with the money, except to say that Connecticut charities would benefit from the windfall.

"From the first conversation I had with them, it was very philanthropic," he said. "Charities was definitely, probably No. 1 on their priority list."

As they were leaving the news conference, Skidmore stopped at the microphone to identify himself and his partners and said, "And it feels good," before leaving the room.

Lottery officials had used billboards across the state to urge the ticket holder to come forward as the weeks went by without a winner.

Kurland said the group called him the day after the drawing.

"They thought they were the winners, and then, that night, I think, one of the local TV stations had the numbers, and the Powerball number was wrong on the TV screen, so that put them into a little bit of a tizzy," he said. "But the news, to their credit, corrected it a few hours later, and they were confident they had it."

Ranjit Singh, manager of the BP gas station, said lottery officials called the station at about 10:30 a.m. Monday to announce that the winning ticket had been sold there. The station receives $100,000 for selling the winning ticket.

Singh said he didn't know the winners and doesn't remember selling the winning ticket.

"We're really happy," Singh said. "Christmas is a little early."

___

Associated Press writer Dave Collins in Hartford contributed to this report.






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