Judiciary

Magistrate's $79M Powerball Win Is Also a Windfall for His 'Fearless and Fair' Predecessor


After cashing in a $79 million winning Powerball ticket that left him with about $30 million after taxes, W. Randy Smith decided to step down from his job as a magistrate judge in Berkeley County, W.Va.

And that has left his predecessor in the job, Jim Humphrey, feeling as though he won the lottery, too, according to the Journal, because he’s been appointed to his old magistrate seat now that it’s been left vacant by Smith. He was sworn in Friday by 23rd Judicial Circuit Chief Judge David Sanders.

Humphrey is described as “fearless and fair” by Sanders, who had seen Humphrey do the job well before and hence didn’t hesitate to appoint the retired West Virginia state trooper again when he expressed interest in returning.

Although the $50,000-a-year position involves a pay cut for Humphrey, he tells the newspaper he is thrilled to take it:

“I just love anything that deals with the law—applying the law, being fair and just to people,” says Humphrey. “When somebody needs a break, I give it to them, but if I feel they don’t deserve it I can also bring the hammer down.”

Additional coverage:

Herald-Mail: “Powerball jackpot winner to step down from bench Labor Day”

Herald-Mail: “Jim Humphrey appointed to fill Smith’s remaining term”

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