Connecticut Lottery Winners Deny Claiming Ticket for Client

Friend of Connecticut Powerball winners said a client was the actual winner.

ByColleen Curry
November 29, 2011, 11:38 AM

Nov. 29, 2011— -- Three wealth managers who won a $254 million Powerball jackpot in Connecticut Monday deny reports that someone else hired them to claim the ticket.

"To be clear, there are a total of three trustees, and there is no anonymous fourth participant," the men said in a statement released by a representative, Gary Lewi, today.

Earlier, two sources told ABC News that Greg Skidmore, Brandon Lacoff and Tim Davidson were not the "real" winners of the lottery but rather a front for an anonymous winner.

The three men appeared with their attorney, Jason Kurland, at the Connecticut Lottery offices Monday to accept their winnings. There, Kurland announced that the trio had formed a trust, called the Putnam Avenue Family Trust, to manage the money.

All three work for wealth management firm Belpoint Capital in Greenwich, which manages $82 million, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Skidmore is president and CEO of the company.

Earlier today, Thomas Gladstone, a friend of one of the men and the landlord of their office space, told ABC News that a client had come to Belpoint Capital with the winning ticket and asked for their help. A relative of one of the men, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the story to ABC News.

"These are smart guys. They want to turn the $100 million into ... $400 million. The plan was to keep all this private. You've seen people pry into other people's lives. They want to protect their client," Gladstone said.

But Lewi insisted that Skidmore, Lacoff and Davidson were the true -- and only -- winners.

"While there has been much speculation and quite a bit of misinformation over the last 24 hours, this Trust, with its three trustees, has been established to manage the winnings in the most practical and expedient way possible so that we can achieve our strategic goal of helping those who can best benefit from these funds," the statement said.

When asked if Tim Davidson bought the winning lottery ticket, as Kurland reported to the media Monday, Lewi responded that he did.

The Connecticut Lottery Corp. did not return calls seeking comment on this story. Lacoff and Kurland referred calls to Lewi, while Skidmore and Davidson could not be reached.

Lewi also said that the trust planned to distribute $1 million to organizations that aid veterans, the first of the philanthropic efforts the trustees hope to support.

"The three trustees consider this the first stop on what we see as a journey of philanthropy in the months and years to come," Lewi said.

Connecticut Lottery Winners Questioned

The winning ticket from the Nov. 2 drawing had gone unclaimed for so long that Connecticut lottery authorities had begun to advertise widely for people to double-check their tickets.

But Skidmore, Lacoff and Davidson were just taking their time to set up the Putnam Avenue Family Trust, Kurland said.

The attorney said that Davidson had bought a single Quick Pick ticket for $1 at the Shippan Point BP gas station in Stamford. A computer chose the random numbers of 12-14-34-39-46, Powerball 36. The jackpot was the largest ever won in Connecticut and the 12th biggest in Powerball history.

The three remained almost entirely silent at the press conference while Kurland answered questions, though he declined to describe the threes relationship to one another, how they came to purchase a $1 ticket together or what they would do with the money, except to say that Connecticut charities would benefit from the windfall.

"From the first conversation I had with them, it was very philanthropic," he said. "Charities was definitely, probably No. 1 on their priority list."

Kurland said the group called him the day after the drawing.

"They thought they were the winners, and then, that night, I think, one of the local TV stations had the numbers, and the Powerball number was wrong on the TV screen, so that put them into a little bit of a tizzy," he said. "But the news, to their credit, corrected it a few hours later, and they were confident they had it."The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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