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Florida Man In Assisted Living Squanders Lottery Winnings

Lottery winner Malcolm Ramsey, 55, sits in his room at the Loving Care assisted living facility in St. Petersburg, Fla., with some of the shoes he bought recently with his winnings. Ramsey was on a $54 monthly allowance before buying a scratch-off ticket worth $500 a week for life. (James Borchuk/Tampa Bay Times)
Lottery winner Malcolm Ramsey, 55, sits in his room at the Loving Care assisted living facility in St. Petersburg, Fla., with some of the shoes he bought recently with his winnings. Ramsey was on a $54 monthly allowance before buying a scratch-off ticket worth $500 a week for life. (James Borchuk/Tampa Bay Times)

It’s every scratch card lottery player’s dream — seeing those matching numbers that mean big bucks. And that’s exactly what happened to Florida resident Malcolm Ramsey, whose winning numbers added up to $500 a week, for life.

But Ramsey’s story hasn’t ended well. The 55-year-old, who lives in an assisted living facility and has been deemed mentally incompetent to care for himself, blew through nearly $300,000 of his winnings in only two months — at one point spending $1,500 for a taxi fare and $14,000 in cash checking fees. And then there was his family, who were given watches, new phones, cash gifts and car repairs.

So why did the state issue a man deemed incapable of caring for himself a check for more than $400,000? Susan Taylor Martin of the Tampa Bay Times talks to Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about the story.

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