Death By Lottery

By: Don McNay
By: Don McNay

Abraham Shakespeare should have been on top of the world. In 2006, he won $16.9 million in the Florida lottery.

Ooh, ooh that smell
can't you smell that smell?
Ooh, ooh that smell
the smell of death surrounds you

-Lynyrd Skynyrd


He even had a tragic name.

Abraham Shakespeare should have been on top of the world. In 2006, he won $16.9 million in the Florida lottery.

Last week, they found his body. Buried five foot deep and under concrete.

His death wasn't a big surprise. He had been missing since April, but no one bothered to report him missing until November 9th.

Shakespeare had acquired a huge entourage, but they didn't really miss him. They just missed his money.

I hope Mr. Shakespeare is now in heaven. From the day he stood in front of the cameras at a lottery-led news conference, holding a big replica of a Florida lotto check, his life became a living hell.

Like every other lottery winner, Shakespeare said the money wouldn't change him.

Like every other lottery winner, it did.

And not for the better.

Right off the bat, one of Shakespeare's co-workers sued, claiming that Abraham had stolen the winning ticket from him. The jury ruled for Shakespeare six months later, but by then, according to the New York Daily News, "there were people constantly asking for a piece of his fortune."

Dorice Donegan "Dee Dee" Moore was a person who apparently got a good chunk of it.

Moore is considered "a person of intense interest" in the police investigation of Shakespeare's disappearance and death. Troy McKay Young, a Lakeland, Florida, police office, was arrested for unlawful compensation, on allegations that he sold confidential information, such as Shakespeare's license plate number, to Dee Dee Moore.

It seemed like everyone wanted a piece of Shakespeare.

According to published reports, Dee Dee Moore had a joint bank account with Shakespeare and acquired nearly $2 million of his money.

They found Shakespeare's body on land owned by her boyfriend.

I've written a book about what to do when you win the lottery. Shakespeare was a textbook example of doing everything backwards.

I tell lottery winners to keep it confidential. Shakespeare had a news conference and waved a big check.

I tell people to take the annual payments. Shakespeare took a lump sum.

I tell people to get professional advice. Moore, who seemed to be his adviser, apparently went to great lengths, and possibly used illegal methods, to track him down.

Professional advisers don't track down clients. Clients are referred to them by attorneys or other financial professionals.

I tell people to use their money to make a positive impact on society. Shakespeare talked about setting up a foundation to help poor people, but it never happened.

Instead, the money was wasted and frittered away.

Just like his life was wasted and frittered away.

The day that Shakespeare cashed his winning ticket, the smell of death surrounded him.

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