An unemployed Bronx man who won £3.7 million ($5 million) on a lottery scratch card may not be able to claim his prize as he is refusing to take part in a mandatory press conference which would reveal his identity.
The lucky New Yorker realised he won the fortune last month after finding a forgotten scratch card which he bought at the Mosholu Parkway liquor store on April 24 in his back pocket.
According to reports, when he went to claim his money he was told by state lottery officials that he was required to take part in a press conference which would reveal his identity as the winner.
This is a requirement of all New Yorkers who win more than £700,000 ($1 million), and is outlined on the back of the scratch card.
“In claiming the prize, winners must sign a claim agreeing to attend the press conference,” Gaming Commission spokesman Brad Maione told the New York Post, “We don’t have any provisions for anonymity.”
The unnamed man from Norwood, New York, said he did not want to reveal his identity as he feared some people may treat him differently once they found out.
“Where I grew up, everybody knows me. All these people would know and I’m afraid they might come for me,” he said.
He said he plans to sue the commission if they do not let him remain anonymous.
According to The Post his lawyer plans to file court papers before the press conference is due to take place next Thursday.
His attorney said: “It’s a really bad idea to identify people. They might not get harmed right away, but one, two years down the road, they might get robbed.”