Florida's Lottery Winners
The financial adviser for a mother and son who won the $590.5-million Powerball in May has seen his life change nearly as much as theirs.
On a muggy Wednesday morning in early June, 84-year-old Gloria MacKenzie and her son Scott left his home in Jacksonville's working-class Lakeshore neighborhood in a silver Ford Focus and drove 160 miles west on Interstate 10.
They parked in a lot at the headquarters of the Florida Lottery in Tallahassee, where they were joined by a phalanx of advisers. Wearing sunglasses and a pink short-sleeved sweater, MacKenzie walked into the building and told the clerk at the front desk that she was there to validate a ticket.
The office went abuzz when they learned which ticket it was — the single winning ticket for the $590.5 million Powerball lottery, which MacKenzie had purchased 17 days earlier at a Publix in Zephyrhills. The numbers 10, 13, 14, 22, 52 and a
Powerball of 11 made her and her son the biggest single winners of a lottery in U.S. history.
The MacKenzies filled out the necessary paperwork and left a few hours later, answering none of the questions lobbed at them by the reporters who had gathered in the lobby. Their only comment came via a prepared statement, read by a lottery executive, in which Mac-Kenzie called the winning ticket a blessing and pleaded for privacy.
Among the horde of advisers, visible in photos and video images of the day, was a sandy-haired man in a suit who helped usher MacKenzie and her son out of the building.
The man is Harry "Hank" Madden, financial adviser to the MacKenzies and CEO of Madden Advisory Services.
Madden, 69, born and raised in Jacksonville, is a Vietnam veteran who has worked as a financial planner since 1975. For nearly 20 years, he has co-hosted a popular weekly radio program on WOKV-104.5 FM called "Smart Money." Scott MacKenzie had heard the program and called Madden after he learned his mother had the winning Powerball ticket.
Madden, who describes his firm as "Christian-based," sees divine intervention at work, but he wasn't sure at first he even wanted to accept the blessing. He'd worked with lottery winners before, he says, "but nothing of this magnitude."
He knew immediately that the size of the MacKenzies' portfolio — $270 million after taxes — and complex planning needs would drastically change his work life, starting by instantly doubling the assets under Madden's management. "A case of this size will require every bit of your expertise and some you didn't know you had," he says.
Madden says he knew that helping the MacKenzies invest their riches would be the easy part of his job. First on his agenda was protecting their identities — and personal security. At the same time, Madden connected the MacKenzies with William Brant, an attorney in Jacksonville who had worked with lottery winners before and was familiar with security firms that can protect wealthy families.
MacKenzie immediately moved from her modest apartment in Zephyrhills to her son's home in Jacksonville. "We had them sequestered," Madden says. "Initially you have to get them out of where they currently live." They got new email addresses and phone numbers. He also set up corporate names for them at private clubs where they could escape public scrutiny. Madden and Brant advised them to purchase a kidnapping insurance policy. "No matter how careful you are with clients of this size, you will get bombarded with people trying to get in to see them and write them," Brant says.
Before the MacKenzies validated the ticket, Madden urged them to set up blind trusts in order to avoid their names being leaked. He also had to worry about the tax penalties for "gifts" because the IRS will want proof that MacKenzie and her son had arranged to share the prize in advance. "We made sure to go back and check telephone logs," he says. "If you are off, the IRS can say, no you didn't have a pre-arranged deal. What you did is make a gift" and MacKenzie would face a 40% gift tax. Madden's team developed a sworn affidavit to head off the IRS.
Madden also helped the MacKenzies assemble a financial team, locating accounting firms capable of handling the complexities of this case, though the MacKenzies have the final say over any hires.