Authorities Offer Reward for Florida Lottery Winner

Published December 3, 2009

The family of a 43-year-old Florida man who hit the $31 million lotto three years ago want to know where he is.

Abraham Shakespeare has been missing since Nov. 9, according to authorities in Polk County, who have offered a $5,000 reward for information about his whereabouts.

Family members say they began suspecting foul play when he didn’t surface for Thanksgiving.

The family of Abraham Shakespeare, 43, reported him missing on November 9, according to the. When Thanksgiving passed without word from him, authorities raised the reward in an effort to get information, said.

"The fact that he's been gone since April, no contact with family, and that Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone with no word from him, that's a concern," said Polk County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Donna Wood. "We are hoping that the offer of a reward for information leading to his whereabouts will challenge someone who may have seen him or know where he is to come forward."

After Shakespeare won the $31 million lottery in 2006, his co-worker sued him, claiming that Shakespeare stole the ticket from him. A jury found that Shakespeare was the rightful owner of the ticket.

 "We have a man who certainly has the means, being a lottery winner, to take himself into seclusion. If that's what he has chosen to do, no law says can't do that," Woods said, noting that Shakespeare is not being investigated for any wrongdoing. "If that's the case, all we need is a phone call or some confirmation to verify his well-being. But we can't take the chance that something else might have happened.

 "Until we can verify his whereabouts, we consider him missing and potentially a victim of a crime," she said.

Shakespeare is a Black male, with brown eyes and black hair. He is about 6 foot 5 inches tall and weighs about 190 pounds, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

 

 

 

Written by <P>By BET.com Staff</P>

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