12-16 Months To Live With Cancer, Man Wins A Million Dollars

Wayne A. Schenk figured that someday he might get lung cancer. His parents both died of the disease, and Mr. Schenk, 51, increased the odds with a pack-a-day smoking habit.

Sure enough, after visiting a doctor in mid-December for a sore neck, he learned that a tumor was pressing on his nerves. “I was kind of devastated,” he said.

With treatment, Mr. Schenk might live 12 to 16 months, the doctors told him. Four weeks later, just as he had ended radiation and was about to begin chemotherapy, he and a close friend, Domonick R. Gallo, spent an afternoon playing the lottery with scratch-off tickets.

“We were driving and I’d scratch one off and holler, ‘I’m a loser,’ ” he said, smiling at the memory as he and Mr. Gallo took turns describing what happened.

Then Mr. Gallo said his friend looked at the next ticket and said: “Oh, look at that. I’m a winner. What’s the jackpot?”

It was $1 million.

The odds of someone Mr. Schenk’s age developing lung cancer are roughly one in 5,000; the odds of winning the jackpot in the $5 game of High Stakes Blackjack, as he did, are one in 2,646,000.

Now Mr. Schenk, a Marine Corps veteran, hopes to spend his lottery winnings, which come to $34,000 a year after taxes over 20 years, on medical care. But it is not that easy — getting a lump sum payment of his winnings is not an option with this type of game.

Read the full article here.

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One Response to 12-16 Months To Live With Cancer, Man Wins A Million Dollars

  1. Dave says:

    It strikes me that if he received a buy out of $450,000+ and had the cancer services performed, or at least started and then prepaid any charges that would carry on through the end of the year, he would have a tax deduction for the medical expense, thus leaving taxes due only on the difference between his medical costs and the net proceeds of the buyout; which, would probably bring him under the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) of a 40% rate.

    Or another scenario would offer the treating instution a donation of how much ever he would like to donate, thus, again, cutting the tax man out or the picture.

    One other scenairo would be for him to set up a none revocable trust, granting proceeds of the buy-out to the treatment facility with the stipulation that he would receive any of the proceeds of the trust that is earned on the balance left that is left over after the trust has paid his medical bills. This would also allow him the option of obtaining a better rate, just as insurance companies enjoy when the pay their insured’s bills. In fact, the rates that he would pay could be tied to the rate that a major insurer such as Blue Cross Blue Shield would pay. Then, upon his death, the trust and all further income would pass on to the treatment facility and physicians that are involved.

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