Its very easy to assume that money will solve all our problems, but it doesn't work that way. In the first place stop and think about the most important thing in your life. Your health and the health of your family. Okay, I know with money you can buy the best health care available, but that's not my point. If your going to have a heart attack, stroke or some form of cancer you will. And, a sudden influx of money can lead to a 'partying' lifestyle. Too much alcohol, the wrong foods, no exercise and even taking illegal substances.
Successful people will have worked their way to a 'luxury' lifestyle, they will move in circles with other successful people. Whether you agree or not, most of us move in circles according to our income. Look at the car you drive, where you live the job you do. As a lottery winner you would be like a fish out of water. How would your friends and family feel ? How would you share your winnings with them. And, no matter how you shared the money out there would be bad feelings by someone, “you didn't give them enough” “you give anything to their son/daughter/ niece/the dog/ the goldfish” and so on. Simply going out with friends, imagine, would it be embarrassing standing at the bar and letting your friends order a round of drinks, going out for a meal and sharing the bill. How would your friends and family really feel.
If your lottery numbers came up and you had won, say $1 million. That would be great. For $1 million you could get a nice home, you could pack in your job and live a nice life and do mostly what you wanted within reason. But what happens when you win $100 million.
Surely that amount of money is too much for one person. Wouldn't it be better to have a system dividing it up so that 100 people got $1 million each. What about the publicity, you would not be able to go anywhere or do anything without the media knowing about it. You would probably have a bunch of reporters with their cameras all waiting to capture your every move. This happened to a lady in Northern Ireland. She won £84 million Euros on the Euro lottery. Her house was surrounded by the media, she became frightened to go anywhere and within weeks of winning began to wish it never happened.
Then you would have the begging letters, by the sack full. The hate mail, the death threats and what about the possibility of kidnapping. That's right, all your family and friends are suddenly potential kidnap victims. What a terrible thing, but that's the world we live in – and you thought winning the lottery was going to be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Here are a few real life stories about ordinary people who won the lottery:
Willie Hurt won $3.1 million in 1989 – Two years later the money was gone and he was in jail and up for a murder charge. His money gone on divorce and crack cocaine.
Mark Gardiner from London won £11 million in 1995 - Seventeen miserable lonely years later, although he hasn't lost all his money, he has lost all his friends including the ones he treated to £100,000 homes. His family don't want to know him.
In 2008 an unnamed Sicilian won £79 million on the Italian lottery. Before he/she could collect their winnings, consumer groups were up in arms demanding that the windfall money be sized by the government. The unlucky winner has since gone into hiding fearing that the Mafia will come calling.
William Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988. He later described his experience as a nightmare and that he wished he had never won the money. He was sued by a former girlfriend eager to get her hands on the cash. Then his brother hired a hit-man in the hope of inheriting the winnings. And to cap it off he invested in the ill fated family business and within one year was in debt for $1million. To day he gets by on social security payments.
Jack Whittaker won a record $314 million on the Power-ball jackpot in 2002. After a long list of arrests, lawsuits and broken relationships he died in 2007. His then current wife said “I wished he had torn the ticket up”
A major problem appears to be the lack of understanding on how to look after money, especially in today's world where its a case of 'I want it now' Lottery organisations do provide help and support but when you've just won millions it must be difficult to listen to anyone. When do we teach our kids how to look after money ? We don't, not in school or college, so its down to the parents. And for most parents they just haven't got much money, not to invest or even save. Their struggling to get by as it is. So its just not an important subject. Have you ever sat on a beach, cupped your hands together and scooped up a handful of fine dry sand. No matter how hard you try the sand will find a way to trickle through your fingers, until your left with nothing. That's exactly how it is with most people and their money.
The good news is that not every lottery winner is a sad story. There are people out there who have had large wins and are still very happy and content with their lives. Apart from having no publicity there appears to be two things that makes for a happy winner. The first thing is sharing or giving away the money to others. Lets take Mr and Mrs Smith as we will call them. A retired couple living in a small town in the united kingdom. After a two week holiday to think things over they moved into a bigger house, bought a new car and then started a campaign of gradually giving money away. First came the family, the children, the grand children. Then the local brass band, the local boy scouts who needed a new scout hut. The girl guides, a new village hall, the list went on. You could get a map of where they lived and draw a circle around that area, everyone in that circle would have benefited from their generosity. Mr and Mrs Smith said “we get a really warm feeling inside helping others”
The second thing that becomes apparent is that we have to have a reason. Most people like to have a reason to get up in the morning and feel like they are achieving something. Although it seems great to be able to lay in bed till midday and then go down the pub or whatever, sudden wealth means loss of drive and ambition. You have to be doing something, even if its travelling around the world. Lets take the case of, we will call him Mr Jones. Mr Jones had a very large win on the UK lottery several years ago. He packed in his job as a baker and went to live in the south of France, Big villa, luxury yacht and all the trimmings. Mr Jones is quoted as saying “After 18 months of non stop partying it gets boring, your health suffers and you begin to realise that there is more to life”. Mr Jones now lives in the UK. He runs a small bakery where he creates and bakes wonderful mouth watering cakes. He goes to work six days a week in his £100,000 Mercedes, and he loves it.
Winning the lottery does not solve all your problems. It just creates another set of problems, and the bigger the win the bigger the problems.
Either people have the time because they are out of work or retired, or they have the money because they are working 60 hours a week. Winning the lottery means that you have both the time and the money to do what ever you want. What would you do if you won the lottery ?