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Survey: Few lottery winners go wild

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: Survey: Few lottery winners go wild

In the eight years since he won a $1-million lottery, Bill Clifford has enjoyed one aspect of being wealthy more than any other -- not having to shovel out his car on winter mornings. The Goderich man allowed himself few luxuries after winning a fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. He continued driving the same car he had for another five years.

But he did buy a new home, something he had planned before the lottery win, a house with a garage that kept his car clear when it snowed outside.

"The garage would be the single greatest pleasure," he said.

"We were taught to appreciate the value of a dollar," the 65-year-old said. "I was brought up with outdoor privies and coal-oil lamps."

His frugality is typical of lottery winners in Ontario.

Few big winners go on a major spending spree or subject their winnings to big investment risks, according to a survey by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. Of 260 people who won at least $1 million between 1991 and 2003:


  • Only 14 per cent said they changed their lifestyle.

  • More paid off their mortgages (37 per cent) than bought houses (34 per cent)

  • Nearly 90 per cent put money in the bank, 59 per cent paid off debts and 95 per cent sought professional advice.

  • Fewer than half -- 42 per cent -- gave up their jobs, went to school or opened their own businesses.

  • Splurges were small scale: 56 per cent took a vacation and 63 per cent bought a new car.

Clifford, who was 58 when he won the lottery, continued to work for another five years as a real estate broker.

"We don't tell too many people we won and we don't flaunt it in any way . . . Money has never meant a whole lot to our family," he said.

When it came to investing the money, Clifford was better positioned than most -- before owning his own real estate brokerage, he had worked as a banker.

"We already had a modest investment portfolio, so we simply continued to add to it," he said.

He missed the tech boom and bust, using low-risk strategies, included buying bonds that mature at different dates, an approach called laddering.

"Last year, our return was between eight and nine per cent," he said.

He and his wife's nest egg is secure and their life a bit more comfortable, he acknowledged.

"Did it change our life? To say it didn't would be wrong. But I hope it didn't change us," he said.

Life has also changed little for a London couple who in 2000 bought a Lotto Super 7 and won $2.5 million.

Antonio and Theresa Maisano struck it rich in the June 23 draw that year, winning $2.5 million.

"I haven't changed at all," Theresa Maisano said.

Maisano said she and her husband still live in the same house and drive the same car.

Their win came after decades of hard work -- Theresa Maisano worked in a laundry for 30 years after coming to Canada from Italy in 1967.

"Sometimes, I had to get up at four or five in the morning to go to work," Theresa Maisano said.

The Maisanos retired before they bought their winning ticket at Frontenac Convenience on Commissioners Road. But life after winning $2.5 million hasn't been much different than it's always been, Theresa Maisano said.

Maisano said she's only bought "simple" things.

"I don't go high. I don't go low. I go middle class."

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10 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by DoctorEw220.
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fwlawrence's avatar - Yavill
Austin
United States
Member #9378
December 6, 2004
196 Posts
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Posted: February 21, 2005, 5:38 pm - IP Logged

Nice to read about people who don't go crazy a la Jack Whittaker.

    Maverick's avatar - yinyang
    USA
    United States
    Member #8242
    October 29, 2004
    1133 Posts
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    Posted: February 21, 2005, 11:08 pm - IP Logged

    I will be one of those who win big, but continue to stay under the radar

      whodeani's avatar - lightening

      United States
      Member #2484
      October 9, 2003
      212 Posts
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      Posted: February 22, 2005, 4:11 pm - IP Logged
      Quote: Originally posted by fwlawrence on February 21, 2005


      Nice to read about people who don't go crazy a la Jack Whittaker.



      True, but is quite hard to go really crazy when you only win a million or two. After taxes you aren't even a millionaire. There is a big difference between winning $315 million and a couple of million.
        fja's avatar - gnome1

        United States
        Member #91
        January 19, 2002
        10228 Posts
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        Posted: February 22, 2005, 4:20 pm - IP Logged
        Quote: Originally posted by whodeani on February 22, 2005



        Quote: Originally posted by fwlawrence on February 21, 2005


        Nice to read about people who don't go crazy a la Jack Whittaker.



        True, but is quite hard to go really crazy when you only win a million or two. After taxes you aren't even a millionaire. There is a big difference between winning $315 million and a couple of million.


        there is a big difference in people period....Jack is the only Multi-million dollar lottery winner that you here about.  There have been 34 jackpots ranging from 12 million to 294 million in Mega millions and you don't hear hardly anything about them...... 

        "Everybody has to believe in something...I believe I'll have another beer!"   = W.C.Fields                      

          DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
          Yinzer Country, PA
          United States
          Member #4067
          March 18, 2004
          2733 Posts
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          Posted: February 22, 2005, 5:45 pm - IP Logged

          when i win, i would decline a press conference. some people want to be known for being rich. i'd rather be known for being me.

          I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

            Maverick's avatar - yinyang
            USA
            United States
            Member #8242
            October 29, 2004
            1133 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 22, 2005, 9:59 pm - IP Logged
            Quote: Originally posted by whodeani on February 22, 2005



            Quote: Originally posted by fwlawrence on February 21, 2005


            Nice to read about people who don't go crazy a la Jack Whittaker.



            True, but is quite hard to go really crazy when you only win a million or two. After taxes you aren't even a millionaire. There is a big difference between winning $315 million and a couple of million.



            I was gonna say the exact same thing, but the article did say, "Of 260 people who won at least $1 million between 1991 and 2003". So I said hmm maybe there is a big multi-million dollar jackpot winner in there some where.
              LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
              Tennessee
              United States
              Member #7853
              October 15, 2004
              11334 Posts
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              Posted: February 24, 2005, 5:09 pm - IP Logged

              i'd simply like to be able to not have to go to work,live in a nice house and have money to do a few simple things.............

                Avatar
                New Member
                edo state
                Nigeria
                Member #11851
                February 26, 2005
                2 Posts
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                Posted: February 27, 2005, 11:43 am - IP Logged

                how dose it mean ?

                  pls i want to know how they use to win it .

                  Avatar
                  New Member
                  edo state
                  Nigeria
                  Member #11851
                  February 26, 2005
                  2 Posts
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                  Posted: February 27, 2005, 11:45 am - IP Logged

                  pls my name is sunday iyare  from nigeria , i want to know how they use to win it, iam just a member i dont understand it now pls tell me more about it i will love to hear from u pls have a nice day..... thanks for reading 

                    DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
                    Yinzer Country, PA
                    United States
                    Member #4067
                    March 18, 2004
                    2733 Posts
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                    Posted: February 27, 2005, 1:56 pm - IP Logged

                    i would probably keep working after i win the lottery, if i enjoyed my job.

                    I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.