It’s the first thing responsible retirement planners tell their clients: We want to make sure you don’t outlive your money.
Well, Wayne Schenk, a 51 year old former Marine and longtime smoker from Naples, NY, has exactly the opposite problem: He’s got lung cancer, has been told he has only a year to live, and a fortune is just out of his reach.
In one of fate’s crueler tricks, Wayne won a million dollars in the state lottery. The problem is the terms of payment: $50,000 a year for twenty years. A cancer treatment center says it can probably prolong Wayne’s life, if he pays $125,000 and puts an additional quarter million dollars in an account to be tapped as his medical bills pile up.
A lottery spokeswoman says the state feels great sympathy, but so far has not found a way to pay Wayne Schenk his full jackpot in a lump sum. And so begins a test of how kind or cruel, and how creative or inept, our state government can be.