A Waitress' Life Turned Into A Nightmare After $10 Million Lottery Win. Read Her Story

For 12 years, she was chased by the IRS to pay $1 million in “gift taxes”

Edward Seward, a regular customer at the Grand Bay, Alabama, Waffle House on March 6, 1999, tipped waitress Tonda Dickerson with a lottery ticket he’d bought in Florida. The next day, the winning lottery number was announced and waitress Dickerson realised her life was about to change. She won over $10 million. 

Ms Dickerson chose to take 30 annual payments of $375K rather than a lump payment of $4 million, Medium reported. The employees at the Waffle House were happy for Ms Dickerson and for themselves. Well, they had agreed to split the amount if they ever hit the jackpot. However, Ms Dickerson decided not to split her prize money. Her co-workers were furious and they sued, alleging that there had always been an agreement to split any winnings among them, it was an oral contract, Forbes reported. 

The court found that there was no official contract and the Alabama Law says that contracts related to gambling, which is illegal are not enforceable. So, Ms Dickerson was allowed to keep the entire amount. 

Meanwhile, Mr Seward was not only upset that Ms Dickerson did not share with her co-workers, but also that he didn’t get the pick-up truck that he claimed was promised to him if any of the employees won the lottery. He also sued Ms Dickerson, however, his case was dismissed by the court. 

Ms Dickerson’s legal woes didn’t end here, she started an “S corporation” with her loved one to avoid paying income taxes. She was eventually looked at by an attorney with the IRS who slapped a bill in the amount of $771,570 for not paying federal tax. 

Toye Sue alleged that Tonda Lynn made a gift in the amount of $2,412,388 when she transferred shares of 9 Mill to her family. That amount represented 51% of the present value of the lottery winnings, Forbes reported. 

She then challenged the IRS and claimed that the transfer was not a gift, because she had an agreement with her family that if she wins the lottery, she would share it with them. She said that it was not a gift but a contract between family members. 

In her testimony, she said, “Our family had always talked about if anyone had won any big amount of money in a lottery, that we would take care of each other or share in the family.”

For 12 years, she was chased by the IRS to pay $1 million in “gift taxes”. In 2012, a court said that she had to pay taxes on her jackpot. She was asked to pay a percentage of the gift portion sized at $1,119,347.90, Forbes reported.




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