Lottery winners stories: prevent your millionaire dream from becoming a nightmare
Winning the lottery: how many people dream of that?
Just think of all the times that, maybe talking with friends or relatives, you started planning your possible millionaire-style life: “Well, if I won the lottery, with the money I would…” and from there drawing up an endless wish-list full of projects, material goods to be bought, good works, and so on. How many times has this happened to you?
But the point is: if that's the case, if today was actually the day, could you manage the money as you say? Cause you know, the money can be very tempting... and not all the lucky winners were able to make sensible decisions.
Though, it has to be said that there were also people who decided to share some of that luck, showing great altruism.
3 success stories, how it should be done
Let’s see together some of the most interesting cases in history about lottery winners, starting with the people who chose to do good:
- Tom Crist donated the full staggering prize of $40 million to charity
He took everyone - including his own children - by surprise, but that is what Tom Crist, the winner of the Lotto Max jackpot, did in May 2013. He decided to use the multi-million dollar jackpot to fund a charitable trust he had started, following the passing of his wife Janice, who died of cancer. After serving as president and CO of an electricity company for 44 years, in September 2013 Crist decided to retire. He said he didn't need the $40 million himself, and was glad he could put it to good use. “I just want that to go on and on and on, for years and years, so kids and grandkids can donate out of that fund.
- Rachel Lapierre set up a charity after winning a lifetime salary of $1,000 a week in the Quebecois lottery "Gagnant à vie"
"I wanted to do something I loved for the rest of my life. I wanted to help others," this is what the former Miss Quebec stated. After running her own modelling agency and working as a nurse, she was looking for a way to follow her idol, Mother Teresa, and dedicate her life to charity. Her chance came in 2013, winning a significant sum of money. So, she quit her nursing job and launched her own charity, Le Book Humanitaire. Her non-profit organisation, which is located in Saint-Jerome, about 60 km northwest of Montreal, uses social media to connect those in need with people who can help.
- Anonymous man shared more than two-thirds of €72 million lottery win with 10 charities
Sounds incredible, but this is what happened in May 2014: an anonymous french man scooped more than €72 million (£58.5 million) on the EuroMillions lottery and decided to give €50 million of it to charity. In what the Le Parisien tabloid called an incredible act of generosity, the unidentified winner from the Haute-Garonne area of south-west France shared his giveaway between about 10 non-governmental organisations working on behalf of the disadvantaged. Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), the organisation that runs the transnational lottery in France, said the winner had asked to remain anonymous, but the media reported that he was single, in his 50s and did not have any children.
"He has a strong sense of social solidarity and he believes in generosity," an FDJ spokesman said.
3 horror stories, how it should not be done
Not every lottery winner has been good managing his new fortune. Some of them, in fact, made huge mistakes or ended up in a horror life and finally lost it all! The following cases are an apt illustration of that:
- Billie Bob Harrell Jr., $31 million gone in two years
Billie Bob Harrell Jr. won $31 million in the Lotto Texas game in 1997, and he no longer had to stock shelves at Home Depot. Harrell purchased a ranch and bought a half-dozen houses for himself and other family members. He, his wife and all the kids got new automobiles. He made also large contributions to his church. If members of the congregation needed help, Billie Bob was there with cash. But in 1999, less than two years after his big win, Harrell locked himself inside an upstairs bedroom of his fashionable Kingwood home and stood at the point of no return. Investigators say he stripped away his clothes, pressed a shotgun barrel against his chest and fired. Shortly before his death, Harrell confided to a financial adviser: "Winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me."
- William “Bud” Post and his nightmarish winning of $16.2 million
William “Bud” Post won $16.2 million in 1993, and five years later said, “Everybody dreams of winning money, but nobody realizes the nightmares that come out of the woodwork, or the problems.” Indeed, he has been in a real bad mood for years: Post’s brother tried to hire someone to kill him and his wife, a landlady forced him to give her a third of his winnings, he was convicted of assault for firing a shotgun at a bill collector, and for passing bad checks. Finally. he went broke and declared bankruptcy. When Post died of respiratory failure in 2006, he left behind little or nothing for his seventh wife and the nine children he had with his sixth wife.
- Callie Rogers: too young to win?
Callie Rogers is perhaps the youngest big lottery winner: at age 16, she won £1.9 million ($2.2 million) in 2003. Her winnings went toward cosmetic surgery, drugs and partying. For instead of bringing happiness, her riches left her feeling so lonely and vulnerable that she attempted suicide three times. Now married and a mother of three, she has only £2,000 ($2,359) left in the bank, but says she is finally happy. She says of the experience, “I was too young to win the lottery — I don’t think 16-year-olds should be eligible.”
The way forward
There are plenty of other stories to tell about lotteries but fortunately there are enough people who are treated fairly and are not misused when they win a huge amount of money.
Actually it is all a matter of choices: spending all your money in one month or calling on an independent consultant who helps you manage the lifechange. Many people aren’t prepared to deal with the idea of suddenly having a lot of money and have no clue on how to spend it.
So, why not getting ready before you hit the jackpot? Follow these essential tips to act properly after winning the lottery, understand the importance of managing your winnings. Be aware of taxes and watch out who surrounds you, because there is always somebody who would like to prey on your money. Now that you know all this, you are ready to become a millionaire and spend your money wisely.