Bostonherald – The spotlight is on a few “lucky” individuals who have cashed in thousands of winning lottery tickets in what the state auditor said may be a legal practice, but could result in tax losses for Massachusetts. A state auditor’s report slams the Lottery for having “ineffective’’ policing of ‘‘professional” ticket cashers. Here’s how the lottery loophole has worked since at least 1999, according to a recent state auditor’s report: A lottery winner who owes back taxes or overdue child support gives the winning tickets to a middleman to cash so the Department of Revenue is not aware of the real winner’s identity. Traditionally taking a 10 percent cut, the middleman may cash hundreds of tickets worth millions of dollars year after year — and that’s not illegal, since according to state law, lottery tickets belong to the person who holds the ticket. “I play a lot, and I’ve got a lot of luck,” said one serial winner tracked down by the Herald. “Obviously it defies all logic,” said Michael Widmer, executive director of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, of the winners. “The public is getting cheated in one of at least two ways in terms of tax payments.” That’s because while the Department of Revenue is missing out on back taxes and child support from the real winners, the ticket-casher routinely claims a large number of losing lottery tickets on tax returns to offset the income from the winnings.
This may be the most confusing story I’ve ever blogged in the history of the Stool. Scratch ticket middle men? Is that real life? I’m trying to process how this works in my brain and I can’t do it. I mean this article makes it seem like winning on scratch tickets is easy. Like people on welfare and who owe child support are making so much cash that they need to hide their earnings or something. Umm what the fuck scratch tickets are the playing? And even if I buy into this theory that the homeless have mastered scratch tickets how do they find the middle man? Just call 912 or something? Like hey I just won 10K on Instant Cash and need “Fingers” to cash it for me. Just makes no sense whatsoever. The bottom line is that anybody who buys enough scratch tickets where they need to hide their earnings or call a middle man must also have about a zillion dollars worth of losers to offset it right? We’re not talking about grinding out a living playing craps or poker. You can’t have a strategy or win with scratch tickets. It just makes no sense.