According to Illinois state lottery law, no distribution on lotto winnings can be made until all disputes and/or claims are settled. The winners of the 2012 Mega Millions jackpot, occasionally referred to as the “Dirty Dozen,” found themselves and their funds gridlocked by law during the two-year legal battle that pushed several of them beyond their available means.
“Unfortunately, many lotto winners, particularly groups or pools, have problems collecting their winnings because of disputes, whether legitimate or not. It puts winners in a real predicament, like a limbo, especially people who are depending on the money to start a new life or pay down debt, or can’t live normal lives because of media or family tension around them. That’s what happened in this case, and it happens a lot,” said Peter Hylak, President of Chicago-based Windy City, LLC (www.WindyCityLLC.com), which provided advance-funding options to the winners during the two-year litigation period.
Once payday arrived, most of the winners went back to Windy City reps in hopes of turning the lotto-tables by investing their new winnings to support other lotto winners in similar need. Hylak was quick to offer the new baker-millionaires a piece of the investment pie.
“This was a situation in which the lotto winners won twice – the business model took care of people, who then moved on to take care of people - ‘win win’ I suppose you call it,” Hylak quipped.