Many California residents would consider a nine-figure lottery winning to be a windfall without a downside. However, one day after a New Jersey man opted for the lump sum payment of the considerable Powerball jackpot he won in the nationwide March 23 drawing, authorities stopped at his home pursuant to an existing warrant on the man. The lottery winner is 44 years old and is behind on his child support by about $29,000, and his big win has drawn no small amount of attention from the public.
The man has five children, but it is not known which of the children that the support is late for. Additionally, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department explained that the unpaid child support dates back to 2009 and that the man is subject to potential arrest until the warrant is satisfied.
The lump-sum payment is valued at $221 million. After taxes, the amount that the man will likely receive will be about $152 million. The sheriff stated that the state Lottery Division generally satisfies obligations like unpaid child support before the money is released to the winner.
Like New Jersey, California can intercept lottery winnings that are owed to the state or through a court-ordered child support agreement. While lottery winnings are not generally considered income, they can be taken away to pay off an amount owed pursuant to a court order. California parents who owe child support but are having difficulty making payments due to a medical condition, job loss or other extenuating circumstance may wish to consult with a family law attorney for further assistance. The attorney may be able to draft a modification that makes timely payments feasible.
Source: KSTP.com, “NJ’s Powerball Winner Owes $29K in Child Support,” Cassie Hart, March 28, 2013