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

By Pat Eaton-Robb

Associated Press

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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iwanaknow wrote:
Come to Hawaii and spread some of that $ around here.
on November 28,2011 | 01:40PM
usahwn wrote:
Those three look awfully suspicious . can the drawing be manipulated in any way ?
on November 28,2011 | 04:23PM
Bigwave12 wrote:
Sure would be nice to play the lottery in Hawaii. I think we are being stiffiled by the folks in Las Vegas not to have any gambling whatsoever in the Islands so if we want to gamble we have to go to the Mainland and give them our money...They say "Thank you very much" and off we go back to our Islands to sit and wait for the next trip while they use our money to build better roads and increase their educational system. I'm sure people will chime in about "Gambling brings back people to the Islands and it will increase other peoples debts even more". With gambling comes responsibility. Why do we keep dumping all our "Fun" money in Vegas?
on November 28,2011 | 07:42PM
HD36 wrote:
And by the logical connection; the poor get poorer. Seems unfair that God would choose rich people to win. Could be that God's too busy to deal with gambling. Could also mean that there is no God as we know it.
on November 28,2011 | 08:52PM
pakeheat wrote:
You are wrong on all three counts. 1. They are planning to give a substantial amount to charity. Imagine if a middle-class or poor person won it, Would they give to charity? 2. God does not get involve with lust of gambling (sin). 3. How do you know there is now God? God won't reveal it to an atheist, except on those He thinks He can use down the road.
on November 28,2011 | 09:47PM
pakeheat wrote:
Damn, I had to redo it because it didn't get approved, LOL. All three points are wrong: 1. They are giving most of the winnings to charity, imagine it a middle-class or poor person won it, you think they are going to do the same? 2. God does not get involve with lust of gambling. 3. God won't reveal himself to atheist, except the ones He could use down the road.
on November 28,2011 | 09:53PM
pakeheat wrote:
Wow, second time my comments didn't go through, LOL.
on November 28,2011 | 09:54PM
Anonymous wrote:
Reply to HD36 Wrong on all three counts: 1. They are giving most of the winnings to charities, so He choose the right people. Imagine if it was a middle-class or poor person, would they have done the same? 2. God does not get involve with gambling (sin). 3. God will not reveal himself to atheist's, except for the ones He might use in the future. 4. Maybe you should ask God the questions and how about attending a good church?
on November 28,2011 | 09:59PM
HD36 wrote:
How do you know that a middle class or poor person wouldn't give most of it to charity? They wouldn't be middle class if they only kept 10 million and gave the rest away. If God doesn't get involved with gambling then why do they call the last hope pass in football a "hail Mary" Why did they name a famous Raider play from Ken Stabler, " The holy roller"? Why doesn't God put the idea of a lottery in a Hawaii politicians mind and let us win millions so that we can give 50% back in taxes , then give the rest to the poor.
on November 29,2011 | 07:06AM
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