Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
The time is now 12:23 pm
You last visited October 31, 2014, 12:09 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Life after winning the lottery

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: Life after winning the lottery
54
Rating:

LEESBURG, Ind. — Haven't we all dreamed about winning the lottery at least once? It happened to Roy and Barb Hamer of Leesburg, Indiana. They hit the jackpot — and it was BIG.

Barb says "we checked our ticket, my eyes went blank, he looked at it and said, 'oh, my god! they all match!'"

There was some initial confusion over how much money they won.

"We thought, we'd only won ten million. We thought we were poor millionaires," Barb Hamer said with a laugh.

But in fact, the Hamers won $41.5 million playing Powerball.

It's been 13 great years since that day in September 1999.

"We've stayed out of jail," they joked.

Barb also says that she and Roy have stayed together and still have the money, which amounted to $13 million after taxes.

"We didn't buy yachts. We bought a marina. Who needs a yacht when you have a marina?" said Barb.

When they bought the marina in Kosciusko County, they just sold gas. Now, it's a successful bar and restaurant that employs up to 60 people during the summer.

Her other big splurge is hard to miss.

"Roy bought me a really nice diamond. This is my toilet cleaning diamond. We bought a cigar store Indian. First thing we ever bought. We still have him," said Barb.

The Powerball game that made the Hamers millionaires has turned out more winners in Indiana than any other state.

There are plenty of games to choose from.

The top retailer in the state is the Silver Express store on West 10th Street. The store sells more than 50 different kinds of scratch-off games, and even draws in customers with extra chances for a spin to win.

So would winning millions send your life into a tailspin?

Are other winners as happy and content as the Hamers?

We wanted to know, so we decided to ask more than 100 Indiana lottery winners who became instant millionaires.

Every millionaire who responded to our exclusive Eyewitness News survey said yes — they'd do it all over if they had the chance to win again.

But three-quarters of them said their sudden windfall made their lives more difficult, not easier.

More money means more responsibility, from deciding how to invest the money to dealing with all of the taxes.

Most said the biggest challenge of all is dealing with people who think they have endless amounts of money.

In reality, if you win $1 million, after taxes your take home check is just over $700,000.

The Foote family of Vincennes became instant millionaires just last year. They won $2.6 million — it's money the family of seven really needed.

But it doesn't leave them living a life of luxury, said Dwight Foote who bought the winning ticket.

"A lot of people don't know the reality of the check every year. We don't have money just sitting around to spend left and right," he said.

Dwight won his money with a $5 Lucky for Life scratch-off ticket.

It's $1,000 every week for fifty years. His family gets one check a year. After taxes, it's just under $37,000 a year.

Certainly, nothing to snub your nose at, but Dwight — who works as a carpenter — says it's not "quit your job, and live out life on the beach" kind of cash.

"The reality is, we're still paying bills, not living the vast lifestyle. We take our vacations, we let the girls experience more of what's out there," he said.

The money has given the family a little cushion — they were able to take their first ever family vacation and now all five girls can play in sports.

It's made the Foote family happier.

But half of the millionaires who responded to our survey — said their happiness level is the same as before they won the money.

When we asked about their big purchases with their winnings — their answers surprised us. It wasn't big homes or fancy cars like many of us imagine. They bought normal, everyday things like — a riding lawnmower, a new air conditioner and a saving money for a child's college.

Another big surprise from our survey of millionaires is that most kept their jobs.

As for the Hamers, they say winning the lottery changed their lifestyle, but not who they are. That just happens to be happy, and now rich, people.

Top 5 Cities for Winning $1 Million or Larger Tickets

  • Indianapolis (44)
  • Fort Wayne (11)
  • Muncie (9)
  • Evansville (7)
  • Elkhart (6)

Top 10 Winningest Hoosier Lottery Games

  • Hoosier Lotto (88)
  • Powerball (49)
  • Game Show (35)
  • Two Million Cash (7)
  • Hoosier Millions (7)
  • Monthly Money (6)
  • Mega Millions (6)
  • $54,000,000 Extravaganza (6)
  • $2,000,000 Bonus Spectacular (6)
  • $100 MIL Cash Extravaganza (5)

Thanks to rdgrnr for the tip.

WTHR

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

42 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by psykomo.
Page 1 of 3

United States
Member #111446
May 25, 2011
6323 Posts
Offline
Posted: November 9, 2012, 7:55 am - IP Logged

Yep, Indiana is the new hot spot for Mega-Millionaires. Wish I knew someone from that state, so I could get the inside scoop!    Unhappy     Hyper

    Avatar
    Texas
    United States
    Member #132460
    September 4, 2012
    483 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: November 9, 2012, 9:40 am - IP Logged

    That was 13 years ago...but still they couldn't forget that day they when they found out they won Powerball jackpot.  So lucky, so happy and so nice to know that a couple became millionares.  $41.5 million was a very huge amount that time...

      TheGameGrl's avatar - necros
      Pennsylvania
      United States
      Member #17084
      June 10, 2005
      3124 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: November 9, 2012, 9:45 am - IP Logged

      Very wise for none of them to reveal any big splurges, Best to "appear" modest in their investments.

      Enjoy the real life folks who maintain normalcy after the win.

      PLeased to know their is goodness in winners !!

      ________________________________

      Signature quote-If I'd agree with you , we'd both be wrong.

        Original Bey's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

        Bahamas
        Member #133467
        September 30, 2012
        5462 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: November 9, 2012, 10:05 am - IP Logged

        Dumb luck brought you the win.

         

        Smart decisions made it a happy 13 years

         

        Congratulations on both!

        "Everything works  ONCE!"


          United States
          Member #116272
          September 7, 2011
          20244 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: November 9, 2012, 10:15 am - IP Logged

          Yep, Indiana is the new hot spot for Mega-Millionaires. Wish I knew someone from that state, so I could get the inside scoop!    Unhappy     Hyper

          I think I would skip the Marina and just buy the Yacht.

            RedStang's avatar - threefin zpsd48411ab.jpg
            Dutchess NY
            United States
            Member #121966
            January 21, 2012
            2688 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: November 9, 2012, 11:13 am - IP Logged

            Toilet cleaning diamond?? Must be a new as-seen-on-tv product.

              Avatar
              Kentucky
              United States
              Member #32652
              February 14, 2006
              5541 Posts
              Online
              Posted: November 9, 2012, 11:27 am - IP Logged

              "The Foote family of Vincennes became instant millionaires just last year. They won $2.6 million"

              And all their long lost relatives and friends probably showed up on their doorstep, but then found out it's only $37,000 a year for the next 50 years. They could some day be millionaires if they deposited their yearly check for the next 27 years and never withdrew a penny, but that's not likely. Using lottery math, any employer paying an average yearly wage of $50,000 can honestly say, they'll create several millionaires over the next 20 years.

              Winners getting a lump sum prize of $1 million aren't "instant millionaires" either because about 30% will be deducted before they get their checks and probably will pay more in Federal taxes the following April.

              The good news is, they'll have their picture taken holding a gigantic check, "Pay to the order of, $1 million" even if they really aren't millionaires.

                helpmewin's avatar - dandy
                u$a
                United States
                Member #106669
                February 22, 2011
                17583 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: November 9, 2012, 12:28 pm - IP Logged

                That was 13 years ago...but still they couldn't forget that day they when they found out they won Powerball jackpot.  So lucky, so happy and so nice to know that a couple became millionares.  $41.5 million was a very huge amount that time...

                yeah forsure,, It's been 13 great years since that day in September 1999,,

                indiana can't find a Winner, Something more recent, anyways Congrats !to Barb & Roy Hamer. Dance

                                 

                  helpmewin's avatar - dandy
                  u$a
                  United States
                  Member #106669
                  February 22, 2011
                  17583 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: November 9, 2012, 12:35 pm - IP Logged

                  Yep, Indiana is the new hot spot for Mega-Millionaires. Wish I knew someone from that state, so I could get the inside scoop!    Unhappy     Hyper

                  Maybe i can give you a scoop,, buy your tickets any STATE other than indiana Thumbs Up

                                   

                    HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                    United States
                    Member #72448
                    March 18, 2009
                    987 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: November 9, 2012, 2:48 pm - IP Logged

                    "The Foote family of Vincennes became instant millionaires just last year. They won $2.6 million"

                    And all their long lost relatives and friends probably showed up on their doorstep, but then found out it's only $37,000 a year for the next 50 years. They could some day be millionaires if they deposited their yearly check for the next 27 years and never withdrew a penny, but that's not likely. Using lottery math, any employer paying an average yearly wage of $50,000 can honestly say, they'll create several millionaires over the next 20 years.

                    Winners getting a lump sum prize of $1 million aren't "instant millionaires" either because about 30% will be deducted before they get their checks and probably will pay more in Federal taxes the following April.

                    The good news is, they'll have their picture taken holding a gigantic check, "Pay to the order of, $1 million" even if they really aren't millionaires.

                    I Agree!, Stack47.  You truly understand the crucial difference between a person/household becoming a post-U.S.A. Fed, State, and County Income Taxed, net:  tens-of-thousandsaire, hundreds-of-thousandsaire, one-millionaire, multi-millionaire, and the BEST-case scenareo a NET $5M+ millionaire lottery gambler solo or household winner.

                    Kudos to these survey participants, it was great to receive their "winer's hindsite solo and household beliefs and conclusions."

                    Cool

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

                      Saylorgirl's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg
                      Indiana
                      United States
                      Member #129230
                      June 13, 2012
                      352 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: November 9, 2012, 3:48 pm - IP Logged

                      Yep, Indiana is the new hot spot for Mega-Millionaires. Wish I knew someone from that state, so I could get the inside scoop!    Unhappy     Hyper

                      I have lived in Indiana my entire life and I am still looking for the inside scoop!!  I will tell you when I find it!!


                        United States
                        Member #116272
                        September 7, 2011
                        20244 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: November 9, 2012, 3:53 pm - IP Logged

                        I have lived in Indiana my entire life and I am still looking for the inside scoop!!  I will tell you when I find it!!

                        Perhaps you have the scoop and just dont know it..... Like peace of mind, no worries, so few bills.....  What?

                          HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                          United States
                          Member #72448
                          March 18, 2009
                          987 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: November 9, 2012, 3:53 pm - IP Logged

                          I have lived in Indiana my entire life and I am still looking for the inside scoop!!  I will tell you when I find it!!

                          Thanks, in advance, Saylorgirl.  LOL! Wink Crazy

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


                            United States
                            Member #116272
                            September 7, 2011
                            20244 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: November 9, 2012, 3:55 pm - IP Logged

                            "The Foote family of Vincennes became instant millionaires just last year. They won $2.6 million"

                            And all their long lost relatives and friends probably showed up on their doorstep, but then found out it's only $37,000 a year for the next 50 years. They could some day be millionaires if they deposited their yearly check for the next 27 years and never withdrew a penny, but that's not likely. Using lottery math, any employer paying an average yearly wage of $50,000 can honestly say, they'll create several millionaires over the next 20 years.

                            Winners getting a lump sum prize of $1 million aren't "instant millionaires" either because about 30% will be deducted before they get their checks and probably will pay more in Federal taxes the following April.

                            The good news is, they'll have their picture taken holding a gigantic check, "Pay to the order of, $1 million" even if they really aren't millionaires.

                            Im glad to find out I'm a millionaire........ Perhaps I should be paying higher taxes....... What?