Waffle House Waitress Wins Lottery, Loses A Million To The Tax Man

Not Tonda Lynn Dickerson

Photo: Flickr / xeeliz

A former Waffle House waitress just got served some karma: The IRS ordered Tonda Lynn Dickerson to pay a gift tax for $1,119,347.90, reports Forbes’ Kelly Phillips Erb. The ruling came exactly 13 years after Dickerson won $10 million from a lotto ticket given to her by Edward Seward, a regular at the Green Bay, Ala. Waffle House where she worked.

Seward and Dickerson’s colleagues—who also received tickets as gifts—sued Dickerson, alleging that they’d verbally agreed to split the earnings if anyone won. (Seward alleged he was promised a pick up truck.)

Neither party had a case since oral contracts related to gambling are illegal in Alabama, but by placing her winnings in a corporation and granting her family 51 per cent of the stock, Dickerson qualified for the gift tax, according to the US Tax Court.  

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