Wednesday, September 26, 2018
News Roundup

Lawyer charts Florida lottery winner’s future: ‘Your old life is gone’

Walt Blenner is a Tampa Bay personal injury lawyer who also does some estate planning and recently fell into a niche of representing lottery winners.

About three years ago, Blenner helped a man who won a $3 million scratch-off secure his newfound wealth. Heís also written blog posts on his law firm website, providing guidance to lottery winners, and has consulted with several of them on the phone.

Then came Shane Missler, the 20-year-old Port Richey man who claimed the $450 million Mega Millions jackpot on Friday.

MEGA MILLIONS: Florida man, 20, claims $450M jackpot.

Among the advice Blenner has told his new client so far: "Your old life is gone and you can never go back to that life. It will never be the same."

Winning the lottery can cause a "roller coaster of emotions," said Blenner in his first interview since Misslerís win. But that euphoria is followed by a trail of important decisions.

First, thereís the security and privacy phase.

In Misslerís case, "security became paramount" due to the huge windfall, Blenner said.

In general, he added, lottery winners will shut off social media accounts, cancel phone accounts and use no-contract phones to communicate with family members.

Once privacy and security parameters are in place, winners must then chart their futures.

In the case of Blennerís $3 million scratch-off winner, the man went to his local bank and opened three different accounts: one for investments, one for spending, and a third for his children.

But Misslerís financial setup will be vastly different. He took the lump-sum payment of $281,874,999, and minus taxes, received $211,406,249.25. Lottery officials said Friday the money will be paid to a trust named "Secret 007, LLC," that is set up with Missler as the managing member.

LOTTERY WINNER: Shane Misslerís Maine hometown overjoyed he won the big prize.

"With an enormous amount, you donít really do active investments. You do wealth management," Blenner said. "You already have all the money in the world."

Lottery winners also have to consider upgrading their insurance, from car to homeownerís policies. They can also sign up for something called "kidnap and ransom" insurance.

"The world is full of people who would do anything to sue a lottery winner," Blenner said.

Thereís also the question of disappearing for a while until the media frenzy settles. With smaller lottery winners, they can take a cruise or vacation for a couple of weeks and return to find that "the media is on to 15 other things in that time frame."

"When itís a big number," Blenner said, "people remember."

Missler, his lawyer added without offering many details, is "nowhere locally."

Once lottery winners return from their impromptu vacations, the real long-term decisions set in: Do they quit their job? Do they rent or buy new property? Where will they live?

On Saturday, Missler texted Blenner from his new undisclosed location.

"Heís doing well," Blenner said. "Heís a very poised 20-year-old and heís got everything going right for him. Heís got a close family, and a close group of advisers, and we do hope to work with him for years to come."

Contact Laura C. Morel at [email protected] Follow @lauracmorel.

Comments
Florida teacher says she was fired for refusing to give credit

Florida teacher says she was fired for refusing to give credit

PORT ST. LUCIE — A Florida history teacher says she was fired for refusing to give half-credit to students who didn't turn in their assignments.Diane Tirado says her school along Florida's Treasure Coast had a "no zero" policy, requi...
Updated: 2 minutes ago
Tropical Storm Kirk regenerates, but the threat expected to be short-lived

Tropical Storm Kirk regenerates, but the threat expected to be short-lived

Warnings have been issued for the islands of Barbados and St. Lucia as Tropical Storm Kirk has regenerated and is on a westward track toward the Caribbean.It could be a short-lived threat, however.The storm, located in the western Atlantic about 470 ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Whole Foods can now deliver through Amazon Prime Now

Tampa Bay Whole Foods can now deliver through Amazon Prime Now

Tampa Bay Whole Foods Market shoppers can finally get organic goodies delivered to their homes in a few hours as members of Amazon Prime. Amazon announced today that Whole Foods has added Tampa, nine other metro areas and parts of Seattle and New Yor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Is time running out for Ron DeSantis?; Bucs won’t tip hand on Fitzpatrick-Winston decision; St. Petersburg’s new $79 million police headquarters has a leaky roof

The Daystarter: Is time running out for Ron DeSantis?; Bucs won’t tip hand on Fitzpatrick-Winston decision; St. Petersburg’s new $79 million police headquarters has a leaky roof

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today. † • Scattered thunderstorms will develop along the east coast in the morning and early afternoon and travel westward throughout the day, according to the National Weather Servic...
Updated: 1 hour ago
How Mississippi State football changed Florida Gatorsí Dan Mullen

How Mississippi State football changed Florida Gatorsí Dan Mullen

Not long after Dan Mullen took over the Gators in November, we began to look ahead to Sept. 29 when the new Florida coach would face his former Mississippi State team in Starkville.With that in mind, I asked Mullen over the offseason about how his ni...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete is building a $79 million police HQ. The roof is already leaking

St. Pete is building a $79 million police HQ. The roof is already leaking

ST. PETERSBURG ó The cityís new $79 million police headquarters which is rising off First Avenue N has hit another snag.This time, itís a damaged roof.Workers were installing the roof when an issue was discovered with one of the layers, causing it to...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Carlton: A fight with pugnacious attorney Barry Cohen that didnít end like youíd think

Carlton: A fight with pugnacious attorney Barry Cohen that didnít end like youíd think

One day I called Barry Cohen, one of Tampaís best known attorneys, hoping he might help me understand a point of law I wasnít getting.He liked such questions, especially if they involved a time he had driven a stake through the heart of a case, and t...
Published: 09/26/18
Porkís reputation is better than ever. Hereís why.

Porkís reputation is better than ever. Hereís why.

DES MOINES, IowaTop three answers on the board. What are the most common chef tattoos? Yes, there are knives, whisks and other kitchen tools, but if you believe Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton, the author and illustrator respectively of a book...
Published: 09/26/18
Rosery Road fixes coming, but not until next year

Rosery Road fixes coming, but not until next year

By CHRIS GEORGETampa Bay NewspapersLARGO – City leaders continue to give the green light to road improvement projects they say will make streets safer and easier to traverse for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.The latest project that has mov...
Published: 09/26/18
FEMA rolling out new flood zone maps for Tampa Bay counties

FEMA rolling out new flood zone maps for Tampa Bay counties

Thousands of Tampa Bay-area property owners could soon find themselves with new flood zone designations on their homes and businesses.The Federal Emergency Management Agency has completed a years-long study to update flood zone maps in Hillsborough, ...
Updated: 1 hour ago