Quantcast

Two Registered Sex Offenders have Won the Lottery in the Past Four Months. Should Convicted Felons be Allowed to Play the Lottery?

Not Einstein 2008/07/05 20:16:41
Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to participate.
No, convicted felons should not be allowed to play the lottery.
Undecided
You!
Add Photos & Videos
Fred Topous, the Kent City man who just won $57 million in the Mega Millions lottery, is a registered sex offender with a criminal past.
A co-worker describes Topous as a man who turned his life around and would do anything for a friend.
Topous, 45, previously served time for larceny in Grand Traverse County. He's also been imprisoned on a weapons offense, unlawfully driving away in a vehicle, and forced-entry burglary. The burglary charge is from the 1980s.
He's also on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry for committing a criminal sexual assault with the intent to commit penetration. He registered in 1999, and is compliant.
24 Hour News 8 spoke with Joshua Hoch, who works with Topous at Structural Standards in Sparta. He said Topous is a family man who turned his life around after getting out of prison two years ago. He said everyone has their dirty secrets, only Topous' went public when he won the lottery.
Hoch said Topous should be left alone to enjoy his good fortune. "I didn't think its right for it to come out like this. Fred's a great guy. He doesn't need to be portrayed as a criminal. Everyone gets a second chance."
He described Topous as a hard worker who's always willing to do something extra to help out, a stand-up guy who'd give a friend the shirt off his back. Topous, Hoch said, is active in his church and has paid his debt to society for the mistakes he previously made.
"I think the truth needs to be told," he said. "He's not the bad person he's been made out to be. He deserves everything he got, and congratulations to you, Fred."

Massachusetts Sex Offender Wins $10 Million in State Lottery
BOSTON — A man listed as one of the state's most dangerous sex offenders has won $10 million in the Massachusetts lottery, but the attention may have landed him in new trouble.
Daniel Snay had been living and working in Massachusetts since 2004. In January, he paid $20 for a "Billion Dollar Blockbuster" scratch ticket at a suburban convenience store and hit the jackpot.
He picked up the first of 20 annual checks for $500,000 on Jan. 30. And the Massachusetts Lottery Commission said he gambled legally. But his story caught the attention of police in neighboring Connecticut, where Snay had lived for several years and where, officials said, he never informed authorities he was moving out of state.
Connecticut Trooper William Tate said Snay could face up to five years in prison if convicted of failing to notify authorities of his change of address, a felony. He said Snay hadn't confirmed his address for the Connecticut sex offender registry since May 2004, though that state requires address verification every 90 days.
"We're trying to determine when he moved, why he didn't register with us and whether any charges are warranted," Tate said.
Snay, 56, a divorced father of five, was convicted several times of indecent assault and battery from 1974 to 1987. Two of the assaults were on a child under the age of 14.
Snay's lawyer, Joseph Fabbricotti, said that when Snay moved from Connecticut, he believed he had to register only in the state where he was moving.
"If that is incorrect, we'll have to fix it," Fabbricotti said. "He wasn't running. He's been living here for four years."
He is classified in Massachusetts as a Level 3 offender, people deemed most dangerous or most likely to re-offend.
Uxbridge Police Chief Scott Freitas said Snay's lottery winnings have caused some "conversations" in town, but not an uproar. "In this particular case, he isn't forbidden from gambling," Freitas said.
Snay is a truck driver for Certified Sales Inc., a boat dealership in Mendon. There was no immediate response Monday to a message left for him there seeking comment.
One of the company's owners, Brian Bethel, said Snay has been employed there on and off for 40 years.
He said Snay plans to use the money to pay for his children's education. "He could have taken the money and left, but he's still working," Bethel said.
It is the second time in recent months that a convicted felon has won the Massachusetts lottery. Last month, a judge approved an agreement allowing a convicted bank robber to keep a $1 million lottery prize even though his probation terms prohibited him from gambling.
Add a comment above

Top Opinion

  • 168290 2008/07/05 20:18:32
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    168290

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest
Opinions

  • Katsuma 2013/08/14 04:35:42
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    Katsuma
    The truth is, winning that money will only put the sex offenders farther in the spot light. They won't be able to get away with as much if they were just anonymous joe-blows. Besides, wealth won't lead to better crime committing. What is he going to do? Buy underage people? Pay to molest children? Really, worst case scenario, they buy a big bag of dope and overdose. That's it.
  • Zoomie 2013/08/14 00:26:29
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    Zoomie
    Let's remember, sex offenders have the lowest likelihood of reoffending of any class/group of criminal, except for murderers (for obvious reasons).
    They've also overwhelmingly completed their criminal sentence, be it probation, prison time and/or parole. For any other crime, even if it killed someone (i.e. DUI, manslaughter, etc.), they'd be out and free. Instead, they're locked into a Byzantine set of rules, which vary from state to state, for at least 15 years, possibly as long as life! No other group of criminals has to put up with the rules sex offenders do, even though many other groups of ex-felons are far, far more likely to reoffend and seriously hurt people.

    So if this guy has turned his life around, and wins the lottery, more power to him!!
  • mothermayhem 2013/08/14 00:17:21 (edited)
    Undecided
    mothermayhem
    Make them pay back their victims.
  • Zoomie motherm... 2013/08/14 00:36:06
    Zoomie
    Pay who back what?

    Some sex offenders didn't have a "victim" (i.e. being caught with kiddie porn on your PC makes you a sex offender, but you never touched anyone).

    And in some cases, it's arguable who the victim really is...I know a guy who, at 22 yrs of age, finished a 4yr stint in the Army. He came home, got his discharge, and that weekend went out drinking with some buddies. They went to a club with live music, so they had a bouncer at the door checking IDs, 21 and older only to enter.
    While there, he met a woman, danced, drank together, had a good time! She said she was 21, and showed an ID at the bar once when she bought booze. She went home with him, they had a good time. She left in the morning, left her number and said "Call me!"
    Two days later, he was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child. Turns out, she was only 15, with a phony ID. But in most states, under the concept of strict liability, someone who breaks the law, even unknowingly, is still guilty of the felony! He pled guilty, was sentenced to 2-5 years in prison, and he'll be on the sex offender registry as a "sex offender" for 25 years! The girl? She was convicted of a misdemeanor for buying alcohol with a phony ID, got 90 days house arrest. The bar owner paid a $250 fine.

    So, tell me...who's the victim?
  • motherm... Zoomie 2013/08/14 11:29:12
    mothermayhem
    +1
    Point taken, thank you.
  • Justice... motherm... 2014/03/03 14:40:27
    Justice League
    +3
    If you urinate in public, you can get arrested as a sex offender. So who is the victim?
  • Timothy 2013/05/01 19:08:55
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    Timothy
    +1
    You know what? The only people who truly know if some of these sex offenders are even guilty are them and the so-called victim(s). Of course they should be allowed to play and win. Hell, no one wants to give them gainful employment or really any chance whatsoever. Perhaps a big win is just what they need to pick up the pieces of their lives and get it back on track. These people, guilty or not, suffer enough before they even get to their trial. Then if found guilty, they get to serve a prison sentence and get branded for the rest of their lives. MURDERERS GET AWAY WITH MORE! Some innocent people actually have to take a plea bargain just to avoid a 15-20 year sentence. I say quit being bitter and just keep playing. God knows no one is perfect. I would even bet that some of these people with their harsh comments are no better. They just have not been caught yet.
  • Keith 2009/08/04 12:30:07
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    Keith
    +2
    Yes, they ought have the right to play. However, if a deed they committed caused a victim's material loss, restitution costs ought be garnished from any proceeds.

    That's why a civil lawsuit against criminals is as vital as the criminal prosecution's effort.
  • Not Ein... Keith 2009/08/05 00:30:35
    Not Einstein
    I agree they have the right to play. But what about the victims of rape? They may not have suffered any material loss, but the emotional pain they live with for the rest of their lives is certainly worth a good chunk of change. I hope all these guy's victims filed civil suits.
  • Timothy Not Ein... 2013/05/01 19:15:40
    Timothy
    +2
    You know, the sad thing is, if it is a rape and a child is conceived as a result, people would say, "She should be allowed an abortion, because a child would just serve as a constant reminder of what happened to her." So would a cash reward. No, If the "offender" pays his/her "debt" as ruled by the court, then the "victims" should not be entitled to diddly!
  • Jon 2009/04/22 22:15:56
    No, convicted felons should not be allowed to play the lottery.
    Jon
    +1
    Not unless they're reformed and/or pardoned. It would be better if they give their winings to me. convicted felons allowed play lottery reformed andor pardoned winings
  • Zoomie Jon 2013/08/14 00:38:05
    Zoomie
    Most sex offenders do their time, and parole with no problems.

    Most never reoffend.

    But most are on the Sex Offender Registry for at least 25 years, literally decades longer than their criminal sentence.
  • hunter 44 2008/07/06 20:04:09
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    hunter 44
    +1
    What are you going to do? Background checks before buying a ticket?
  • Malibulorie 2008/07/06 19:59:56
    No, convicted felons should not be allowed to play the lottery.
    Malibulorie
    +1
    I think it's sick that they even let them keep the money!
  • mike 2008/07/06 17:48:24
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    mike
    +2
    and then be forced to give it to their victoms
  • KimL 2008/07/06 04:11:00
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    KimL
    +1
    I have a real problem with this ongoing condemnation of people who have been in jail. If they are not rehabilitated why are they out? If the system can not rehabilitate them then we need a new system. If this person is not a repeat offender he deserves the same rights as anyone else.
  • Mr. Nic... KimL 2008/07/06 04:25:24
    Mr. Nichols
    +1
    There are certain crimes that should be a "One strike and you're out" policy. Furthermore, some people, child rapists, for example, cannot be rehabilitated. I do agree with you though that if you are not in jail (right or wrong), you should be able to play the lottery. The really fucked up criminals should be in jail forever or dead, and we wouldn't be asking this question.
  • Debby 2008/07/06 03:17:44
    Undecided
    Debby
    +1
    They can play but when they win it should be taken away and given to their victims.
  • Zoomie Debby 2013/08/14 00:39:44
    Zoomie
    Sure...along with lottery winnings won by people with DUI's, misdemeanor convictions, felony convictions...why single out sex offenders?
  • Mikey3664 2008/07/06 02:41:58
    No, convicted felons should not be allowed to play the lottery.
    Mikey3664
    +1
    Are you freaking kidding me? That just sucks! Think of how easily a criminal can revert back to his old ways with a big stack of money to finance his sick behavior.
  • .Christine. 2008/07/06 02:35:46
    No, convicted felons should not be allowed to play the lottery.
    .Christine.
    +1
    I think it should depend on the crimes and how long ago they got out of jail. And please don't ask me to expand on that i'm bein lazy now and won't anyway
  • Regina 2008/07/05 23:29:39
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    Regina
    +1
    They need to make money somehow since no one will give them a job.
  • roger 2008/07/05 22:22:19
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    roger
  • grizzly 2008/07/05 22:19:57
    Undecided
    grizzly
    +1
    DEPENDS ON THE CRIME
  • Not Ein... grizzly 2008/07/05 22:38:51
    Not Einstein
    Can you be more specific? Which crimes could one commit to still be eligible for the lottery?
  • grizzly Not Ein... 2008/07/05 22:41:22
    grizzly
    MAYBE DRUGS
  • old mccain 2008/07/05 22:03:22
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    old mccain
    +1
    WE DON'T NEED MORE LAWS ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!
  • crsone 2008/07/05 21:37:47
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    crsone
    +1
    It's pretty darned weird that two sex offenders have hit the lottery in such a short period of time. Still -- I don't think that should stop a person from legalized gambling.
  • The Original BonBon 2008/07/05 21:22:28
    No, convicted felons should not be allowed to play the lottery.
    The Original BonBon
    +1
    hell no!!!!! They can't vote, why should they be able to participate in the lottery?
  • Not Ein... The Ori... 2008/07/05 21:25:44
    Not Einstein
    +1
    Apparently some felons' probation terms limit them from gambling, but even then they have been allowed to keep lottery winnings.
  • The Ori... Not Ein... 2008/07/05 21:31:05
    The Original BonBon
    that sucks....it just takes away from us good people who really deserve it! :)
  • Ace~Mr.Giantess~ 2008/07/05 21:08:50
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    Ace~Mr.Giantess~
  • Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥ 2008/07/05 20:59:04
    Undecided
    Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥
    +2
    I am personally against gambling, lotteries included. I think it's ridiculous that my State is profitting from other people's addictions.

    I think the lotteries hurt the poor more than the rich, because they have the least to lose. Everyone who plays the lottery takes the same chance of winning or losing.

    Having said that, if he won the lottery, then God gave him the money, and it will either come out to his good or ill, accordingly. Who are we to judge?
  • Not Ein... Dave Sa... 2008/07/05 21:02:25
    Not Einstein
    Thanks for sharing your opinion Dave. The only part I disagree with is that God gave him the money. I do not believe God pulls the lottery numbers.
  • Dave Sa... Not Ein... 2008/07/05 21:06:13 (edited)
    Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥
    But He does know how it will all turn out.

    Here's my view in poem form:

    Luck

    By definition, Luck is Chance,
    And Chance is what is done.
    The Preacher said that Time and Chance
    Will come to everyone. (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

    We cannot tell what may befall
    As we go trudging through,
    But when it does, it's we who say
    What kind of Luck we knew.

    Good Luck is just as we suppose;
    Of Bad, the same is true;
    However we perceive a thing
    According to our view.

    Though others may find blessings in
    Events that we think curse,
    If we don't see the good in them
    Is not our lot the worse?

    I don't know how God looks at Luck;
    I know He's not confused.
    He knows how things will come about,
    Perhaps with us, amused.

    There must be rules to how Luck works
    Of which we're not aware.
    And blessings it most surely brings,
    As rain comes from the air.

    For God sends rain to all below
    And we see Good or Ill.
    Some choose to see the damage done,
    While others start to till.

    Of all He sends to us in Life,
    I know He means us well.
    It's up to us to see in strife
    The Good, though hard to tell.

    For Luck is only what has passed.
    We cannot see it come.
    And what we choose to make of it
    Should never make us glum.

    It's all to make us stronger,
    As each event comes by.
    The "Good" to give us c...
    ""

    But He does know how it will all turn out.

    Here's my view in poem form:

    Luck

    By definition, Luck is Chance,
    And Chance is what is done.
    The Preacher said that Time and Chance
    Will come to everyone. (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

    We cannot tell what may befall
    As we go trudging through,
    But when it does, it's we who say
    What kind of Luck we knew.

    Good Luck is just as we suppose;
    Of Bad, the same is true;
    However we perceive a thing
    According to our view.

    Though others may find blessings in
    Events that we think curse,
    If we don't see the good in them
    Is not our lot the worse?

    I don't know how God looks at Luck;
    I know He's not confused.
    He knows how things will come about,
    Perhaps with us, amused.

    There must be rules to how Luck works
    Of which we're not aware.
    And blessings it most surely brings,
    As rain comes from the air.

    For God sends rain to all below
    And we see Good or Ill.
    Some choose to see the damage done,
    While others start to till.

    Of all He sends to us in Life,
    I know He means us well.
    It's up to us to see in strife
    The Good, though hard to tell.

    For Luck is only what has passed.
    We cannot see it come.
    And what we choose to make of it
    Should never make us glum.

    It's all to make us stronger,
    As each event comes by.
    The "Good" to give us courage,
    The "Bad" to make us try.

    by David E. Sawyer on September 23, 2005
    (more)
  • Not Ein... Dave Sa... 2008/07/05 21:08:03
    Not Einstein
    Nice poem, and written on my birthday! Thanks Dave.
  • Dave Sa... Not Ein... 2008/07/05 21:12:02
    Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥
    See what I mean about Chance?
  • Not Ein... Dave Sa... 2008/07/05 21:12:38
    Not Einstein
    Point taken.
  • Timothy Dave Sa... 2013/05/01 19:25:40
    Timothy
    +4
    Yes, very nice poem.
  • Mike 2008/07/05 20:49:31
    Yes, the lottery is an even playing field and all adults shoudl be able to pa...
    Mike
    +2
    but they should require that 50% of all lottery winnings be distributed to victims and used to repay the state for expenses incurred while incarcerating the guy. also what do you think a guy like this is going to do with 57 million. (probably use it to pay for sex) If he realy is re-habilitated this will probably end that, a sex offender is just like an alcoholic, never cured just sober, and 57 million could buy alot of beer

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.

News & Politics

2014/10/01 06:02:37

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals