Millionaire Predator: Sex Offender Wins Lottery
Should a convicted sex offender be allowed to keep a lottery jackpot? INSIDE EDITION reports on the debate.
Timothy Poole, 43, just won $3 million with a scratch off ticket in Florida. He even posed with the giant check from the Florida State Lottery.
Big mistake, because somebody recognized him from this photo from the Florida registry of sex offenders and predators.
Turns out, the 450-pound giant served three years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted sexual battery.
His victim: The 9-year-old son of a friend of his. According to the Orange County Circut Court, the boy told police Poole molested him 40 times.
Reporter Mike DeForest broke the story for Orlando's WKMG TV.
DeForest said, "There is no law in Florida that prohibits convicted felons from playing and winning the lottery. We did an investigation looking where the sex predators work, and we discovered Timothy Poole was driving a taxi cab. Well, on Monday I was sitting at my desk looking at a local newspaper website, and saw a photograph of him holding up that $3 million check, and I think I screamed out, 'Hey, that's the guy!'"
See More of DeForest's Interview with INSIDE EDITION
INSIDE EDITION viewers are buzzing about it on social media.
One viewer, Angie Grace, commented, "It just seems completely unfair that someone who harmed a 9-year-old boy could serve time in prison and then get out and win a $3 million lottery."
Viewer Helen Little said, "There is no reason why he shouldn't be able to keep his earnings as a lottery winner. I mean, at what point do we keep punishing people for things they have already paid the price for."
When cameras turned up at Poole's modest home, he called the police.
Poole told the cameras, "They do not have my permission to film me. Put the camera down."
One cop said to the cameras, "Leave!"
Poole works as a driver with his mother's taxi company and says he plans to use his lottery win to expand the fleet.
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