Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: April 1st, 2012
Why you DON’T want to win the lottery

Face it, we’ve all been dreaming of it. What would you do with $656 million?

By now you know you didn’t win, so it’s a moot point anyway.

But what if you did? Is there a downside to that windfall?

Simply put, according to experts, money can bring out the worst in people. Especially when it’s unplanned and a massive windfall.

While I am one of those who pshaws that belief, I fear it might be true.

Look at it this way: If you suddenly came into that kind of money, what would your friends and family think?

Exactly what you might think. “Hey, there’s so much of it, why can’t I ask for a couple thousand? It’s not like you’re going to miss it.”

Not only do you see another side of your loved ones you might not like, you will also attract relatives you never knew you had, who also might share a similar belief.

With your name plastered all over the place, guess what happens? You get a lot of attention. And it’s easy to find you and for you to become a mark for the less than scrupulous–statistics bear out that big money lottery winners are sued in bogus lawsuits more than the average, broke Joe; the scrupulous–charities come out of the woodwork looking for your generosity; and the gold diggers.

But the stress doesn’t end there.

Experts say that those who win huge sums of money in the lottery also have a much greater chance of filing for bankruptcy. Sounds strange? It’s true. The overall belief that the money won’t ever run out is systemic with big winners. And significant impulse purchases far outweigh their previous means.

Finally, the relationship with your spouse can suffer as well, and often times, because money can bring out the worst behaviors in people, will hasten the end to a union. Just think how lack of money can be a problem. The converse is true, too, especially when two people view the windfall differently.

The moral of the story: be thankful you didn’t win.



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