Yesterday afternoon, three Greenwich men came forward with a winning Powerball ticket worth $254 million. Lottery officials had been searching for nearly a month to find them, posting billboards all over Connecticut "urging" the ticket holder to reveal him or herself and claim the prize. But when Gregg Skidmore, Tim Davidson, and Brandon Lacoff finally did, it was not how people pictured it. Frank Farricker, for one, was very disappointed. He'd expected the men to be more excited, more celebratory, more over the top pumped about their windfall. Frank didn't get that, though. Instead he got three guys who seemed at best embarrassed and at worst pained to be collecting, after taxes, a lump sum of $103.5 million. At the time, some speculated that the reason the trio, Skidmore in particular, looked like they were about to have a group colonoscopy rather than take home a bag of cash, was that they were worried how it would appear, given that they are not just Gold Coast residents but money managers in Belpoint Capital, and you know how the general public feels about those types. Today, however, another theory has emerged.
The explosive claims blow apart the fairytale story that Mr Davidson bought the ticket at a gas station in Greenwich Connecticut for $1. It would also explain the bankers' sheepish performance at a press conference to collect their ‘jackpot’, during which they refused to discuss their relationship with each other. It had been suggested that Mr Davidson bought his ticket on November 1 and the following day they realised their numbers had come up, beating odds of 195,249,054 to one. Now, according to a family friend who has known Mr Lacoff since he was a boy, the truth behind what happened is very different. Tom Gladstone said that a client at investment company Belpointe LLC, which was founded by Mr Lacoff and provides investment advice, much of it to wealthy individuals, was the real winner. He, Mr Davidson and Mr Skidmore then set up the Putnam Avenue Family Trust which will allow the man to keep out of the spotlight. Mr Gladstone, a real estate agent who rents Mr Lacoff the Belpointe office space, said: ‘The person who really won it is anonymous. ‘They set up the trust so that Brandon and his two partners could claim they won it and that the real winner wouldn’t get hassled...‘The winner is a client of theirs and their clients are a mixture of larger and smaller investors. By Wall Street standards they are not big players.
One the one hand, that would be a lot of trouble to go to for one client though on the other, LOOK AT THESE FACES:
Are those the faces of people who just won over $100 million (which for them actually is quite a bit more than pocket change, despite the desire by some to see the loosely thrown about words "money manager" and assume mind-boggling wealth)? No, they are not. Skidmore is wondering if he could murder everyone in the room and make it look like an accident. Additionally, three people don't pool their odds on one ticket, they do so on a bunch. Furthermore, and most importantly, when you're running a relatively small shop and need the money, bending over backward for clients is exactly the sort of thing you do.
Over a billion in assets, sure, you tell a client proposing you embarrass yourself to spare his own embarrassment to fuck off. Under? It's, "Yes, I'd love to claim ownership of this scratch off and have my picture taken with a gigantic check so you don't have to/of course I'll run in to buy your wife tampons while you wait in the car/obviously I'll wait on line to buy you a Cinnabon with extra syrup at the airport we're flying into so you don't have to look like the one with no self-respect."
This jig is up.
Were they just a front for a mystery client? Rich bankers who claimed $254m Powerball jackpot accused of NOT being real winners [Daily Mail]
Earlier: Powerball Officials Finally Smoke Assset Manager Winners Out Of Their Hole