One would think that winning the lottery would be the answers to many dreams. Ex-Marine Wayne A. Schenk thought so when on January 12, 2007 he hit the scratch off $5 High Stakes Blackjack lottery ticket jackpot for a $1 million prize. However, Wayne Schenk’s lottery dreams were not to spend his winnings on an expensive car, a new homes or lavish toys.
His lottery winnings were to help pay for his $400K cancer treatment. A month prior to winning the lottery, Wayne A. Schenk was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.
With doctors giving him little more than a year to live, the former Marine has no need for a new house, or a fancy car. He’s hoping to buy a little time _ by checking into a Philadelphia hospital that specializes in treating advanced-stage cancers.
“I understand money can’t buy everything, but money can prolong things, you know?” Schenk said. (Washington Post)
However, there is a problem. A big problem. Thinking that winning the lottery solved his problems in paying for the necessary cancer treatment only turned into a further nightmare. It appears that the $5 High Stakes Blackjack lottery only pays out in annual installments, not a lump sum. Larry Garrison, The NewsBreaker, as Wayne’s spokesperson is trying to get Mr. Schenk the help that he so justly deserves.
The $1 million New York Lottery prize pays out in $50,000 annual installments over 20 years, and the Eastern Regional Medical Center told him it would need $125,000 up front and $250,000 in reserves to be tapped as his treatment proceeds. His insurance with the Department of Veteran Affairs cannot be transferred to an out-of-network provider.
The yearly payment of $50K after taxes only amounts to about $34K. The lottery by law does not offer a lump sum payment; however, it appears that Schenk was able to find a lump sum offer of $400K that would only leave him with a little over $200K which is still not enough for the treatment. The hospital in Philadelphia where Schenk would receive the treatments has offered to help.
Chris Hamrick, a spokesman for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America that runs the Philadelphia hospital, said officials were looking into how they could help.
In a day and age where health care facilities take payment plans so that patients can pay off their balances rather than have individuals with no insurance use services that exhaust resources, I find it amazing that the hospital does not make an arrangement with Wayne Schenk. Hospitals write off more than this all the time. One only needs to see the amount of write-offs are done when illegal aliens or those with no insurance use emergency room services.
But Gallo says that he and Schenk approached several banks which turned them down and that hospitals are equally resistant. “They have to pay their electricity, their doctors — they have to pay those bills today — they can’t wait 20 years for their money.” (AOL News)
Winning a Jackpot, Facing the Ultimate Loss. Between his non-transferable Veterans insurance, his lottery winnings and Wayne’s wanting to receive cancer treatment to spend a little more time with friends; one hardly thinks that this is the intent of his insurance, health care and lottery winnings.
Why can’t he sign over or assign a portion of his winnings to the hospital as payment? One also wonders how some benevolent individual has not stepped forward and made a deal with Schenk. The installment payments equal about $680K over 20 years after taxes. Surely there must be some good samaritan who is rich that is willing to pay Schenk a fair lump sum in lieu of the yearly payments. The time is ticking for Wayne Schenk. Someone hear his prayer.