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With great prize winnings comes great responsibility

Most Florida residents would likely consider a $338 million jackpot to be a boon, but for the New Jersey man who won the March 23 drawing, the big win has also drawn the attention of law enforcement officials in the state and no small amount of public scrutiny regarding an allegedly shirked responsibility. The man is reportedly on the hook for $29,000 in back child support, and law enforcement officials have noted that he is potentially subject to arrest if he doesn't pay what he owes.

The man has reportedly opted for a lump sum, which will ultimately come out to $211 million, still a respectable chunk of change. The drawing proved to be a lucky one for individuals in several states, including a $2 million Power Play winner in Iowa; Match 5 players won $1 million each in 11 states, including Florida. In all, over $30 million in non-jackpot prizes were awarded in the national drawing, and the jackpot is down to $50 million for the next drawing.

Child support is no small matter in Florida courts, and a winner of a nine-figure jackpot who incidentally owes thousands in back child support may not see any winnings until his or her debts are paid. A drastic change in income for the better could trigger an enforcement action by the court in the form of a warrant.

Parents who are having difficulty making child support payments may not need to hit the jackpot to afford them, however. While a job loss, extended sickness or injury or other hardship may entail a drop in income and present difficulties for the individual saddled with support payments, a family law lawyer may be able to draft a modification that takes these hardships into account and makes payments more feasible. The lawyer may additionally be able to mount a defense against an enforcement action as well.

Source: WebProNews, "Powerball Winner Owes $29K In Child Support," Chris Crum, March 28, 2013

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