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Powerball: Connecticut money managers strike it rich -- via lottery

November 29, 2011 |  7:35 am

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Let's just stipulate that this post proves life is not always (duh) fair.

Three asset managers from tony Greenwich, Conn., came forward Monday to claim a $254-million Powerball jackpot. They've chosen to take the winnings in an after-taxes lump sum of $103.5 million,  the 12th-biggest payout in lottery history and by far the largest ever in Connecticut, according to the Hartford Courant.

Their lawyer, Jason Kurland, spoke for them at a news conference at Connecticut's lottery headquarters Monday. In video and photographs from the conference, winners Greg Skidmore, 35, Brandon Lacoff, 36, and Tim Davidson, 54, appeared restrained if not a bit uncomfortable as they held an oversized copy of a check.

They apparently remained quiet so long about winning after the Nov. 2 Powerball drawing that the state lottery put up billboards urging ticket holders to check their numbers to see if they had won, according to the Courant.

Kurland said that Davidson bought the $1 winning ticket at a Stamford gas station. The winning numbers were 12-14-34-39-46 with a Powerball number of 36.

The three work at Belpointe Asset Management overseeing $82 million for 776 clients, the New York Daily News reported. Skidmore's grandfather was a founder of the well-known architecture firm Skidmore, Owens & Merrill, according to the New York Times.

"They've become their dream clients," Kurland said at the news conference.

In the time between winning and coming forward, the three partners formed the Putnam Avenue Family Trust and spent the time "doing tax planning, estate planning -- getting all our ducks in a row," Kurland said. They were unsure about how they would spend the money but Kurland said, "one thing we do know is that a significant amount will go to Connecticut charities."

Demonstrators in lower Manhattan at Zuccotti Park near Wall Street, who have been complaining for months that the top 1% keep getting richer while the rest of the country struggles, found news of these wealthy men getting wealthier particularly ironic.

"This exemplifies the predicament in this country. The rich are getting richer off the poor," Occupy Wall Street protester Matt Schaffer, 19, told the New York Daily News.

However, a neighbor of Lacoff's countered on a social media website that he deserved "every cent."

"Just because he's successful doesn't mean he can't get lucky," the neighbor said, according to the Daily News.

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-- Geraldine Baum in New York

Photo: Tim Davidson, left, Brandon Lacoff and Greg Skidmore, three asset managers from Greenwich, Conn., claim a $254-million Powerball prize on Monday at Connecticut's lottery headquarters in Rocky Hill. Credit: Pat Eaton-Robb / Associated Press

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