Lottery Winners Often Become Losers

Lottery Winner's Houseboat?

I had always figured that if I won the lottery, the first thing I would do was make my phone number unlisted and unpublished.  I never understood the need for an attorney because generally they just take money.  Unless there was some legal snafu, then Perry Mason can sit this one out.  I already have a Financial Consultant and used to be one myself.  I would not contact any insurance folks as that would fall under the investment advisors arena and, again, I was licensed in that too.  I have an accountant and would be on the phone with her immediately.  I also would not go on TV if I could avoid it. Some states allow winners to remain anonymous, though I”m not sure that’s a great way to show transparency and invites charges of corruption. 

Lottery Winner's Limo?

In any event, I once worked with a guy whose father-in-law won $1 million.  I told him what  would do and he didn’t do it.  He got a lawyer to sit with him on a tv interview.  The lawyer said nothing.  I think the winner just liked the idea of being on tee vee with “my attorney” whom he referenced several times.  I had thought he’d get phone call from every insurance agent and stock broker in the state.  He did. But he also regularly got calls from women offering to come to his house for a mere $1000 a week!  I never thought of this one.  I had thought that publicity could also be an advertisement for every criminal within hailing distance.  A winner in Florida may have been a victim of both a woman and a criminal.

Abraham Shakespeare

Abraham Shakespeare once lived with his mother while he worked as a truck driver’s assitant.  Three years ago, Abraham Shakespeare won $30 million in the lottery.  He was assailed by friends and family looking for a piece of the action, which is typical.  It also wasn’t out of the norm that he was sued by a fellow employee who claimed they owned half the ticket.   The judge thought that was a fraud.  Now,  Shakespeare himself wasn’t an angel.  He had a rap sheet but perhaps his new found wealth could turn things around for him.  He was approached by a woman who said she wanted to write life story.  That is a little more creative than simply offering to hang around in his house for $1000 a week.  I do not know if Shakespeare knew that this “writer” was a high school drop out, but probably not.  See, she also became a financial advisor.  She claimed that he wanted to get away from all of the hangers on and she helped him “disappear.”  No one has seen Abraham Shakespeare since April and now Florida police think that the woman may have indeed made him disappear for good. 

Jack Whittaker: Winning Took Its Toll

I’m not sure that anyone could be unluckier than someone who got murdered, but there are some that claim one of the biggest single winners in history holds the title.  If you recall, Jack Whittaker won a $314 million jackpot.  It was assumed at the time that he would be able to handle it since he was already used to handling a large estate as it was reported that Whittaker was a millionaire at the time of his good fortune.  Well, that wasn’t the case.  Whittaker has been involved in some tragic and bizzare incidents that includes a couple of deaths, his getting into physical altercations which led to lawsuits and also having been had by some locals who knocked him out and took a cool half a million from his car.  Most experienced money people don’t ride around with $500,000 in their car.  He’s been sued a number of times and his last venture into court found him pleading poverty.   But, he’s not alone.  Many times, lottery winners end up worse off than they had been regardless of their status when they became a big winner. 

Carl Atwood won $57,000 in an Indiana Lottery game that was taped on TV.  He was to return with a chance to win $1 million.  He never made it.  A couple hours after he won the initial prize, he was run over by a truck

A man named Arnim Ramdass was part of a pool of people who bought a winning lottery ticket.  He didn’t tell his wife.  She became suspicious when he disconected the phone and kept the TV turned off.  He skipped out on her when she found out about the windfall.  She tried to sue but the judge dismissed the case saying it should be in a divorce court.  She’d love to take it there, if she could find her Ramdass.

Unlike Bud Post, this Lottery Winner's Fortune Turned for the Better-a rare tale

That judge wouldn’t give a wife part of the money, but a Pennsylvania judge ruled that William “Bud” Post had to turn over 1/3 of his $16.2 million in winnings to his former landlady (or ex-wife or girlfriend-depending on who you believe) because she said that they had agreed to split any winnings. He denied it but the judge ruled for her.  He ended up dying in poverty.

At least one story ended up with a happy ending.  Frane Selak survived a train wreck, a plane crash that killed 19 others, a bus crash, a flaming automobile and  two other car wrecks.  Just when it looked as if a dark cloud loomed over his head in a hellish life, he won the lottery and he lived happily ever after.

GFS claims nearly 4 inches by 1AM Saturday

Weather Bottom Line:  Snow White and I like to feed the animals and especially when its icy, snowy or cold.  People neglect Henry’s Ark in winter and the little fellas (and the big ones too) get hungry and miss the attention.  The poor old ducks at Cave Hill Cemetery suffer from lack of food and also from a frozen pond.  So, I made the mistake of going to the grocery store to get four loaves of bread for us to feed to the ducks on Thursday when it snows.  Bad idea.  I said that either everyone knows that it’s going to snow on Thursday so they’re buying their milk and bread, or it must be Friday. Turns out, it was “Seniors Day” and every senior citizen in town must have been in the store to get their discounted supplies.

NAM only has about 2 inches by 1am Saturday

The snow is coming and I still think its going to be pretty much what I’ve seen since last weekend.  The low should run almost right over us and the raw data seems to suggest about 2 inches.  But, if I assume that its a much drier, fluffier snow than average, then it may be more like 2-3 inches with about 2 inches on Thursday and something less than an inch for Thursday night through Saturday as we get flurried to death.  But, graphically, the GFS still is insisting on close to 4 inches while the NAM has a graphic depiction of about 2.5 inches.  The only thing that messes this up would  be if the low tracked about 100 miles farther south; snow totals would then be higher.  But, nothing suggests that will happen.  Friday and Saturday will not only be cold but also a wind of 12-25 mph will take its toll.  If we do clear the skies and decouple from the winds on Sunday morning, I still think some readings below zero will be a fair bet with the warmest locations in the low single digits. If there’s too many clouds or its too breezy, then forget it…but I think we’ll get it.  Warm-up to above freezing temperatures for the first time in 2010 may come about before January 15…but I don’t think too many people will be upset if I got that one wrong.  From midweek on, we start to moderate our temperatures as the long wave pattern finally changes…but don’t break out the tanning butter.  In general we’ll move back toward seasonal January temperatures and that’s still a little chilly.


7 Responses

  1. I suppose the story about the lottery winner from Georgetown prompted this post. I think that Proverbs 13.11 is supported by your post (not as though The Bible needs support). The only money I care to have is what the good Lord allows me to earn. This “something for nothing” mentality is the ruination of this great nation, although I’m afraid it’s just the symptom of a greater disease unfortunately.

    Man, you were right on the money with your snow forecast. It’s going to be very COLD for a few days it appears!

  2. “Man, you were right on the money with your snow forecast.”

    Have you seen my unemployment check?

    BTW-the Georgetown winner was not the inspiration. It was the story about the guy who is missing. There are many many other stories of tragic results of lottery winners that I did not post, including the woman who won two times, which defied the odds. She too is in the poor house.

  3. Maybe a poor choice of words on my part! Our business has picked up some in these first few weeks of the year. Being as our business is tied directly to manufacturing, hopefully this is a sign of things beginning to turn around!

    I wonder how much of the generally poor outcome for folks that win the lottery has to do with the type of people who normally play the lottery. My sister calls the lottery a “stupid tax”. I’ve also heard it called the “tax for people who aren’t good at math”! Unfortunately, some folks view the lottery as their 401K which is probably not the best investment strategy. So maybe the frequent lottery players are not the sharpest tools in the shed and therefore quickly squander their winnings.

  4. Who in their right mind keeps $500,000 in their car?! That’s a heck of a lot of pocket change.

  5. yeah….I’ve never heard a real good explanation for that.

  6. like for facebook…

    […]Lottery Winners Often Become Losers « Symon Sez[…]…

  7. It’s interesting to read people’s comments regarding lottery winners. I suppose people don’t really know what goes on when you win the lottery and like to focus on the mishaps that come with winning. Yes there are many mishaps too, thanks to human nature’s harsher side. The thing is my life has been nothing but good times since the the good fortune. Yes it’s true people flock to you like flies on poo, but you have to take the good with the bad and a pay day for many millions makes it all better, I promise. So, for those that would like to know more please read my story: and thanks for reminding me what it’s like to wonder about winning the lottery.

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