A judge denied a 94-year-old woman’s attempt to force the Massachusetts Lottery Commission to pay her entire $5.6 million winnings up front on grounds she otherwise won’t live long enough to collect it all.
The ruling means the commission can pay Louise Outing, a retired waitress, in installments over 20 years worth about $200,000 annually after taxes.
“I expected that,” Outing said Thursday following the ruling. “I’ll make out some kind of way.”
Superior Court Justice Barbara A. Dortch-Okara said Outing, of Everett, was not harmed by the commission’s disbursement rules because she can obtain the lump sum elsewhere.
Lottery winners are allowed to “assign” their winnings to a state-approved financial company that makes the full payment — but only in return for a percentage of the total winnings.
Outing’s lawyer, James Dilday, said that’s an option if they decide not to appeal. He maintained the rules give lottery officials discretion to authorize a lump-sum payment.
Outing, who won a Megabucks drawing in September, has seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren.
“I’d like to get it and do what I want with it,” she said. “I’m not going to live 20 years. I’ll be 95 in March.”
Lottery Executive Director Joseph Sullivan said all players are held to the same rules, which are printed on the back of Megabucks tickets.
After an initial gross payment of $283,770, Outing would be paid 19 annual gross checks of $280,000. That’s about $197,000 after taxes.