Educator, Game-Show Winner Declares Bankruptcy

Kathy Cox, the Georgia state schools superintendent who recently won $1 million on the TV game show "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?," declared bankruptcy last week, another victim of the housing crisis.

A spokesman for Cox said she will uphold her promise to donate her winnings to two schools for deaf children and a school for the blind, despite declaring personal bankruptcy with more than $3.5 million in liabilities and less than $650,000 in assets -- which is separate from her winnings.

Cox is the co-signer on loans for husband John Cox's home-building business, Pebble Hill Homes, but otherwise has no role in the business, according to the couple's Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition filed Nov. 17 .

Cox, who earns around $125,000 a year, said she could not support the couple on her salary alone after a downturn in the home-building industry and as creditors sought the couple's assets.

"On Nov. 17, after consultation with numerous attorneys, my husband and I made the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy due to losses incurred by his home-building business," Cox said in a statement.

"The collapse of the home-building market has been well-documented and small builders, like my husband, have been hit especially hard. This was a gut-wrenching decision but, in the end, we felt that we had no choice," she said.

The Coxes filed under Chapter 7 of the federal bankruptcy code, which allows debtors to keep and continue paying for some assets, including their homes and cars.

The Coxes' biggest listed asset is a Peachtree City house valued at $450,000. The couple owes more than $33,000 on two car loans for a 2008 Ford F-150 and a 2008 Ford Edge, according to court documents.

In September, Cox took home $1 million on the Fox game show "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" by correctly answering "Queen Victoria" on the winning question "Who was the longest reigning British monarch?"

Cox, the program's first million-dollar winner, pledged to donate her prize money to three Georgia schools: the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf in Clarkston, the Georgia School for the Deaf in Cave Spring and the Georgia Academy for the Blind in Macon.

Dana Tofig, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Education, said Cox will honor her promise to donate the money and has set up a gift foundation to do so. He said the money would be distributed no later than next month.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6323783. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6323783. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6323783. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6323783. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6323783. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6323783. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6323783.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...