Murphy's Law strikes on lotto win

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MURPHY'S LAW STRIKES BANK ROBBER

How would you feel if you were banned from gambling but struck it lucky on the lotto?

Fifty five year old convicted bank robber Timothy Elliott is undergoing some nail-biting stress at present as he waits to hear whether he will be allowed to receive a million dollar U.S. lottery payout. The Boston resident was banned from gambling when he bought the winning lottery scratch ticket, and his right to claim the prize is under consideration.

The state probation commissioner's office has scheduled a hearing for December 7 in Barnstable Superior Court to determine whether Elliott violated his probation when he bought the $10 ticket for the "$800 Million Spectacular" game at a supermarket, department spokeswoman Coria Holland said.

Elliott has already collected the first of 20 annual $50 000 cheques from Massachusetts' lottery commission, and his picture, holding the first cheque, was posted on the lottery's website but later removed.

In October 2006 Elliott was placed on five years probation after pleading guilty to unarmed robbery in a January 2006 heist at a bank on Cape Cod. Under terms of his probation, Elliott "may not gamble, purchase lottery tickets or visit an establishment where gaming is conducted, including restaurants where Keno may be played."

He was placed under the supervision of the state Department of Mental Health and sent to Taunton State Hospital for treatment.
However, court documents cited by the Cape Cod Times said Elliott is currently allowed off hospital grounds unsupervised during daylight hours.

Lottery spokesman Dan Rosenfeld said the lottery routinely cross references the names of winners with the state Revenue Department to see if they owe back taxes or child support. In those cases, winnings go straight to the Revenue Department.

But in this case, it will be up to the court to determine what will happen with Elliott's winnings.

"This is kind of new territory," he said.
 
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