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Father, son trying to live like regular guys after $88 million lottery win

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: Father, son trying to live like regular guys after $88 million lottery win
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CONCORD, N.H. — Jeff Wilson's life changed forever two years ago when he plucked a winning Powerball ticket worth millions from a number of lottery tickets bought by his father, Billy.

The father and son, and former Kings Mountain residents, were at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday as part of the hoopla surrounding the lottery-sponsored Camping World Truck Series event and NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Weekend.

The younger Wilson, dressed in blue jeans and untucked plaid shirt, and his father, wearing khakis and a white knit shirt, described themselves as regular guys.

Neither wore jewelry, but like a lot of race fans, each had a baseball cap on their heads. Nothing distinguished them from other race fans other than Jeff Wilson teaming up with wrestling icon Ric Flair to help judge a contest for race grand marshal and honorary starter sponsored by radio station WRFX.

Both Wilsons talked about the good and the crazy that occurred after winning so much money and why they won't be the subjects of another story about lottery winners going broke.

For the record, the lottery ticket won by Jeff Wilson in June 2009 was worth $88.1 million, but because he chose to take a lump sum the final value came in at $42.4 million. After state and federal taxes he cleared about $28.8 million.

How does becoming an instant millionaire change a person?

Not at all if you're Billy Wilson.

"As people, it hasn't changed us," he said. "The old saying is money doesn't buy happiness so you have to be happy with your life."

Jeff Wilson said. "I don't want it to change me so it hasn't.

"Now I just have a bigger house," said Jeff Wilson, who turned 29 earlier this month.

Billy Wilson: "We live around a bunch of millionaires and some of them are the most miserable people on earth. Just because you have money doesn't make you any better than anyone else and sometimes it seems like they forgot that."

What do you do with the money?

"It's given us an opportunity to do some things that we wouldn't have been able to do," said Billy Wilson. "We've traveled some, bought a new house. But we've also given money to groups like Holy Angels in Belmont and St. Jude (Children's Research Hospital)."

Jeff Wilson: "Everyone thinks you go out and have a big party. You pretty much have to get a crash course in taxes or you'll pay a lot. We've already paid a lot."

Billy Wilson: "It gives you security in life. You hear a lot about (lottery) winners going broke, but I don't see how.

"You get sound bankers, good accountants and lawyers and you can do some good if you don't go and do stupid things."

What has changed?

Billy Wilson: "I went from someone who worked 15 hours a day as a (general manager) of a car dealership to someone who can now do what they want. It takes some getting use to.

"You don't have to worry about buying groceries or the power bill, but you do have a separate sort of problems."

Jeff Wilson says he just enjoys hanging out with friends and fishing. He worked in real estate before striking it rich and still does, but he also looks after investments.

He still lives with his parents in North Carolina.

"But we have other houses," he added.

Neither Wilson wanted to say exactly where they live. Things turned so crazy at their house in Kings Mountain after the lottery win they never lived there again.

Too many people would turn up there looking for handouts or help. The Wilsons now channel their giving through a foundation they established.

One person from as far away as Russia showed up once asking for $150,000, Billy Wilson said.

"He wanted me to invest in whatever his crazy scheme was," Billy Wilson said. "That's what you have to dig through."

Making a difference

Contributions go to larger groups and individuals who need help. Money sent to a boy in Louisiana will help with medical bills. Other money will go to help pay for alcohol monitoring devices for low-income offenders in Mecklenburg County.

Both Wilsons said they hope they're making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. Helping others includes contributions to Holy Angels in Belmont, a residential facility for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities.

"If you can walk in Holy Angels and take a tour without shedding a tear you're not human," Billy Wilson said. "It gives you satisfaction that you are helping someone."

Relationships

Billy Wilson, 58, will celebrate his 41st wedding anniversary in December.

Jeff Wilson said after news of his big win leaked out he had a lot of people trying to be his new best friend. Things have settled out a lot since then.

"I'm not married, but I'm not single," he said of his current relationship status.

His lady friend works a regular job and must deal with the public every day. He doesn't want to complicate her life by letting everyone know she has a friend with a lot of disposable income, so he doesn't mention her name.

Both Wilsons said they try not to think about how much money is in their bank accounts, but they concede that the money does provide a sense of security.

They also have to deal with telling some people no, a fact some find hard to believe.

"As long as the family knows what's going on and God knows what's going on, I don't worry about the rest," Billy Wilson said.

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26 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by HaveABall.
Page 1 of 2
dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
Oklahoma
United States
Member #82391
November 12, 2009
5412 Posts
Offline
Posted: May 24, 2011, 8:43 am - IP Logged

Congratulation to Mr. Billy & Jeff Wilson; it's nice to read about stories like this....Thumbs Up

    taxijohn's avatar - odometer444
    Dutchess County, New York
    United States
    Member #8067
    October 22, 2004
    3184 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: May 24, 2011, 8:53 am - IP Logged

    And neither belonged to Lottery Post.

    GOD is great, beer is good and people are crazy! Crazy

    "I don't look for the numbers, the numbers look for and sometimes find me..."

      sully16's avatar - sharan
      Listens to the wind
      Michigan
      United States
      Member #81740
      October 28, 2009
      19989 Posts
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      Posted: May 24, 2011, 9:04 am - IP Logged

      Another great story, Congrats to the Wilsons.

      There's only one US Flag

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        21584 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: May 24, 2011, 9:09 am - IP Logged

        And neither belonged to Lottery Post.

        And you know that how?

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          dpoly1's avatar - driver
          PA
          United States
          Member #66141
          October 16, 2008
          1450 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: May 24, 2011, 9:57 am - IP Logged

          Great story ................ a lottery win doesn't have to turn into a nightmare!

          Just waiting for my big win .................. Thumbs Up

            swngnblues's avatar - abstract
            Greensboro
            United States
            Member #109773
            April 19, 2011
            2111 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: May 24, 2011, 10:04 am - IP Logged

            "He wanted me to invest in whatever his crazy scheme was," Billy Wilson said. "That's what you have to dig through."

            Neither Wilson wanted to say exactly where they live. Things turned so crazy at their house in Kings Mountain after the lottery win they never lived there again.

            Too many people would turn up there looking for handouts or help. The Wilsons now channel their giving through a foundation they established.

            One person from as far away as Russia showed up once asking for $150,000, Billy Wilson said.

             

            Probably the most worrisome thing about hitting it big.  Makes you wonder if you need to move, de-list your number, go into Witness Protection before you make your claim.  Roll Eyes

              rdgrnr's avatar - walt
              -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
              Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
              United States
              Member #73904
              April 28, 2009
              14903 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: May 24, 2011, 10:23 am - IP Logged

              "He wanted me to invest in whatever his crazy scheme was," Billy Wilson said. "That's what you have to dig through."

              Neither Wilson wanted to say exactly where they live. Things turned so crazy at their house in Kings Mountain after the lottery win they never lived there again.

              Too many people would turn up there looking for handouts or help. The Wilsons now channel their giving through a foundation they established.

              One person from as far away as Russia showed up once asking for $150,000, Billy Wilson said.

               

              Probably the most worrisome thing about hitting it big.  Makes you wonder if you need to move, de-list your number, go into Witness Protection before you make your claim.  Roll Eyes

              I wouldn't worry too much with all my dogs around.

              I have a sign on my gravel road coming up into my holler that says:  "Best to remain still while the dogs are biting you".

              And another one as you enter the holler. It's a picture of a target with the message:  "You Are Now In Range". 

              I never get any visitors.


                                                           
                                   
                                                       

               

               

               

               

                                                                                                                 

              "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                          --Edmund Burke

               

               

                dpoly1's avatar - driver
                PA
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                Member #66141
                October 16, 2008
                1450 Posts
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                Posted: May 24, 2011, 10:39 am - IP Logged

                I wouldn't worry too much with all my dogs around.

                I have a sign on my gravel road coming up into my holler that says:  "Best to remain still while the dogs are biting you".

                And another one as you enter the holler. It's a picture of a target with the message:  "You Are Now In Range". 

                I never get any visitors.

                A few years ago some people came out here from Pittsburgh ................... they were about to burglarize a house when a neighbor that was related to the homeowner came down the road, stopped, and fired his gun to miss, and all were caught. No "visitors" from Pittsburgh after that!

                1st order of business is to find a hideout if you win, and then be sensible. No interviews or pics! Patriot

                  Avatar

                  United States
                  Member #26330
                  November 16, 2005
                  330 Posts
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                  Posted: May 24, 2011, 10:59 am - IP Logged

                  Their first mistake was not claiming in a Trust or LLC.  Sounds like they have good heads on their shoulders and are planning for their future.  Hopefully they will make good decisions and not go broke....Best of luck Wilsons!    Smile

                    Avatar
                    Downhere, S.C.
                    United States
                    Member #35033
                    March 11, 2006
                    1956 Posts
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                    Posted: May 24, 2011, 11:42 am - IP Logged

                    And you know that how?

                    Wink

                    US FlagPlease Pray For Our Troops And Their Families.

                      OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
                      Gurnee, Illinois
                      United States
                      Member #49731
                      February 12, 2007
                      842 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: May 24, 2011, 1:14 pm - IP Logged

                      When I win, I am going to claim the prize incognito.  I have been watching enough old Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence movies where they portray other characters...that is exactly what I will do.  But I will be dressed that way as the representative for the winning family...their financial advisor and the lawyer will also be in attendance.  I will instruct the media to only take pictures of the lawyer and financial representative...then after that, I will slip into the restroom, change and come claim my prize.  Sound like a plan?  Actually that sounds like too much trouble.  I think I will just claim it in trust, and wear a ball cap and oversized jacket so no one will be able to recognize me as I normally appear.

                      And like the BEPs sing....I have a feeling...that tonight's going to be a good night.........or maybe tomorrow night.....or maybe this week!!!!

                      Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

                      The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

                        HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                        United States
                        Member #72448
                        March 18, 2009
                        987 Posts
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                        Posted: May 24, 2011, 3:46 pm - IP Logged

                        Their first mistake was not claiming in a Trust or LLC.  Sounds like they have good heads on their shoulders and are planning for their future.  Hopefully they will make good decisions and not go broke....Best of luck Wilsons!    Smile

                        Thanks for the two ideas, petergrfn.  How much in taxes (fed and state) would have been saved, now that you've peaked our interest with these two different lottery jackpot claiming methods?

                        On an unrelated note, the article reads that Billy bought the ticket but gave it to his son, Jeff.  Consequently, Jeff's name was on the lottery headquarter's promotional blimp check.  However, the article somewhat insinuates a few times that Billy possesses big lottery monies from Jeff.  So, what's going on?  Did Jeff decide to give his father millions of dollars AFTER he received his lump-sum, after-tax payment; only to be taxed a second time on those monies? 

                        Congratulations, and keep on keeping with enjoying your new lifestyles, Wilson Family! Razz

                        Having millions of dollars in my financial accounts means more, consistent fun for me.Lovies

                          ttech10's avatar - blobdude
                          Texas
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                          June 5, 2010
                          781 Posts
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                          Posted: May 24, 2011, 8:11 pm - IP Logged

                          "As people, it hasn't changed us," he said. "The old saying is money doesn't buy happiness so you have to be happy with your life."

                           

                          That's how I'd be, as a person I would stay the same but I would definitely change a bit in terms of how I lived. I think that's how most lottery winners should be. That's what I like about a good amount of the Lottery Changed My Life episodes, they have people that haven't really been affected, personality wise, by their winfalls. I think most of them end up on the Curse of the Lottery after they let the money go to their head and either cloud their judgement or just made them feel like they were untouchable with all that money.

                          I'd also say that having that kind of disposable income would definitely increase my happiness level. I could get a Mustang for when I want to drive around the country and then a Tahoe for when I want to get out to a lake and fish.

                          Congratualtions to them though for still living like normal people and not letting the money change them for the worse.

                           

                          Lastly, I remembered seeing some videos on YouTube a while back and found them on my playlist. They definitely seem like good people from the two videos. 

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ6dypRI4lM

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGOzY8cuGz4

                            ConstantlyB's avatar - masked
                            Wilson
                            United States
                            Member #54516
                            August 21, 2007
                            2796 Posts
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                            Posted: May 24, 2011, 8:20 pm - IP Logged

                            Congratulations to the Wilson's....finally folks with some sense of who they are!

                            "MAKE THAT MONEY YA'LL"

                            wisdom from Tyler Perry's Madea:"It doesn't matter what people call you....it's what you answer to."