We’ve all heard the stories: “Lottery Winner Takes Home Jackpot” or “Lucky Ticket Holder Wins Big”. We also tend to hear how they feel so lucky, how they plan to travel or pay off their debt, We even hear plenty of gossip if they choose to stay in the spotlight through outrageous behaviour and lavish spending. What we generally don’t hear is what happens to the after the initial media coverage of interviews and new life goals. Here are a few things that seem to be a trend amongst many, many lottery winners.
Into the Spotlight
You may win and dream of living a life of anonymity but let other winners tell you that you’re often shoved into the limelight unwillingly. Winner stories are often used for transparency (to prove jackpots are being won) and as marketing for future jackpots. Either way, a big jackpot often means publicity and it’s hard to remain completely under cover.
Winners are exploited. It is really no secret that coming into such a large amount of money means being asked to share it. Lottery winners say that it is actually those closest to them who can get really nasty. One man had his brother take out a hit on him just to get his hands on some of the winnings! Less extreme was a woman whose friend lied to her about needing money because she was behind on tax and about to lose her house. It’s shocking really, but lottery winners soon find that many of their inner friends circle change anyway. It’s hard to have millions or billions of dollars and still keep the same circle.
Going for Broke
Lottery winners tend to spend their wealth almost as fast as they won it. When you come into such a large amount, it’s easy to suddenly start spending without thinking long term. After all, such a large amount seems like it could last forever! Statistics show that whether it’s a $1 million or $500 million win, 70% of these winners will be broke within five years or less.
Why? Because they either spend or lose all their money and haven’t sought out a proper financial team.
They Don’t Quit Whilst they’re Ahead
This may seem truly strange but once the lottery-winning-bug bites it seems like the first jackpot is just not enough. Many lottery winners will carry on playing the lottery and are convinced they will win again and again. The problem lies in how much they are willing to squander on trying to win yet another jackpot.
So many lottery winners give in to impulse buying – fancy cars, big new house, etc. The problem is, impulse buying means going out to get the shiniest trinket you can find simply because you can now afford it, not because you need it. These impulse buys have a way of coming back to bite lottery winners. One lottery winner says they bought a 10 000-square-foot, eight-bedroom house with seven bathrooms only to later sell it because it was the most impractical house for a family of four.
You think you’ve won and joined the elite but the truth of it is a little harsher than that. Lottery winners have said that they are often looked down on by the truly wealthy. This snubbing has little to with snobbery and more to do with the ones who worked super hard for their wealth not thinking that the winners have really earned it – old money versus new money. One winner said they hosted a Fourth of July party in their new exclusive neighbourhood and not one of their invited neighbours showed up.
Many lottery winners eventually realise that the biggest reward of winning massive amounts of money is being able to help those in need. It’s wise to donate smaller amounts to a charity of your choosing over a period of set years, that way you can have more control and make sure the money is being spent where it should be. Being able to give back in some way, even starting your own foundation is a sure-fire way to bring happiness.
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