Oh great, now that I said that, the Power Ball Gods will be against me and I won’t win! Oh well, being that the odds are 1 in 175 million and that I only play once or twice a year for fun, my chances were pretty bad to begin with.
Every time the Power Ball jackpot gets over a certain amount, there is a mad rush to buy tickets. Office pools organize, friends and family organize pools, and sometimes friends who are not in a Power Ball state even asks you to buy a ticket for them. Someone in a small town in Florida just won 590.5 million dollars a few days ago. Who wouldn’t want to win over half a billion dollars?
It’s easy to see the upside of winning the lottery: you can quit your job, have plenty of money to travel the world, buy fancy new cars and luxurious mansions and help others. But, there are also plenty of downsides as well.
Bankruptcy: There have been plenty of stories of lottery winners who lose it all. Generally, the people who lose the money are those who do not know what to do with such a big windfall and spend it all. I’d like to think that I am a better money manager and that I wouldn’t blow threw my winnings. I would definitely find a good fee only financial advisor, legal advisor, and probably put most of the money in a safe investment before making any big decision. Sure, there will be lifestyle inflation, but hey it’s Half a Billion dollars. You can afford some lifestyle inflation.
Become a Target: You might have to hire security guards to protect yourself and your family after winning. There have been assassination attempts by jealous people wanting the money (these jealous people include family members), and kidnapping attempts for the ransom money. Yea, I don’t need the stress of this. I know the lottery doesn’t allow anonymous winners because they need transparency and to market the lottery by showing off the big winners, but that’s too bad for the winners who want some privacy.
Family and Friends coming out of the woodwork: I think this would be a big stressor for me. When you win the lotto and have hundreds of millions of dollars, there will be many people wanting a piece of the pie. Sure, you can say you would ignore them, but could you really? I’m sure there are plenty of people you’d like to help…if only you just had the money. Yes, you would help your immediate family and close friends, but where would it stop? Now that you have hundreds of millions of dollars, you will probably feel a good amount of burden to help as many people as you could (well atleast I would to an extent). There will be friends and family down on their luck, so what’s a few thousand dollars here, a few thousand there to help them pay their credit card debt and help them through whatever financial crisis they’re facing. There will be people who have great investment opportunities that require your money. It’s funny because if you had earned the money, I think you would feel less obligated to throw the money around, even to help people. There would also be less of an expectation that you should help people out. Cause hey…it’s not like you had to work for the money, you got lucky and picked the right numbers.
Change in relationships: This is a derivative of the above problem. People often times will resent the fact that you are rich, especially when you did not earn it through the sweat of your own brow. Money changes people and it changes how people view you, especially such a large amount. Feelings and friendships will be hurt if they feel slighted by you not sharing your wealth.
As they say “Mo money Mo problems.”
Well maybe I’d be down with a smaller lottery jackpot that allows for more anonymity!
What other downsides do you think would come from winning a lot of money?