A convicted Florida sex offender wins the lottery and claims the jackpot prize worth $3 million. When the man made headlines, his photo quickly spread over the Internet where some recognized him as a registered sexual predator.

The lottery winner is 43-year-old Timothy Poole, and he has a lengthy criminal history. The most heinous one stems from a 2001 incident in which he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old child. Years earlier in 1991, he was arrested for stealing $20,000 worth of food stamps from a Safeco Inc. agency where he was employed as a security guard. Some of his more minor charges include check forgery and grand theft. He spent three months in prison in 1996 and an additional three years behind bars from 2003 to 2006.

Poole won a total of $2,219,870, which he claimed in a one-time lump-sum payment. The winning came from a $20 scratcher, which has a total of five $3 million grand prize winning tickets.

Since winning the lottery, the convicted sex offender has maintained a low profile. Requests for an interview went unanswered, and no one has responded when reporters visited his home.

Amid learning of Poole’s shady past, the Florida Lottery immediately removed his profile picture from its website. He will, however, get to keep his winnings; there are no laws that bars sex offenders from playing the lottery. The Lottery commission is also prohibited from withholding a winner’s earnings due to a criminal record.

This is definitely one of those stories that gets people raging mad. To make matters worse, this isn’t even the first time a sex offender won the lottery. In 2007, another Florida man snagged a $14 million lottery jackpot. The winner was previously convicted of lewd conduct and assaulting a minor. There was also another case in Massachusetts in which a man won a $10 million jackpot. The money was later used to buy lavish gifts for a child who would later become one of his victims.

[photo credit: J. Money]