Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Life of a Lottery Winner

So, I'm sure we all have thought of that age old question at some point or another: "What if I won the lottery?" I am fascinated with the psychology that goes along with people and their money and naturally that dichotomy is far from black and white when it comes to lottery winners. Some feel that is makes their life easier and gives them everything they dream of, while others feel that it imposes an unnecessary burden that they never would wish upon their worst enemies.

I find some of these stories inspiring and quite positive for the human spirit. For example, I came across this story recently when doing some reading about lottery winners (I get on weird kicks with my reading, I will admit). This man, Solomon Jackson Jr., won the jackpot in the Powerball game and won $260 million. He basically said that he had retired early and has a blessed life, so his life won't change much, if at all. He goes on to say that someones life will be blessed from his winnings. That's commendable and hopefully it works out well for him.

Do you think that it would make your life easier? Would you just create new problems for yourself? Ideally, I think we would all like to think that we would invest wisely and live off the interest for the rest of our lives, but emotions get involved and guilt becomes a factor in how people use their money as well.

The not so glamorous side to winning the lottery is when humans get greedy and take advantage of winners and their financial windfall. This article illustrates that point very well. A successful construction company owner, Jack Whittaker won $314.9 million only to have his granddaughter (the apple of his eye) become hooked on drugs, spending frivolously until she got herself killed and others around her killed as well.

Money can do strange things to us and cause an emotional strain on us as humans. It can come from the stress of making ends meet or the pain of not being able to feed your family. When a large financial windfall comes and the "high" from spending that money comes in to play, all bets are off and emotions really take over. There are interesting stories abound about people who have had it all and then lost it all in short periods of time. I think we as humans will continue to be fascinated by the winners themselves, the situations that drive them to "spend it all," and also by the winners that manage to have the dream life as well.

What would you do if you won? One can fantasize right? I would travel the world and make sure my family was taken care of. Here's to wishing in one hand and ....well you know the rest. :-)

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