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Lottery winner goes from rags to riches to rags

Topic closed. 62 replies. Last post 9 years ago by Perfect Timing.

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Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
United States
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May 31, 2000
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Posted: August 22, 2007, 1:06 pm - IP Logged

Typical?  There have been over 220 Powerball jackpot winners.  I only know of two that have had problems with their lives (other than the occaional paint chip on the Maybach).

The press loves to tell stories of "lottery winners" who have problems.  Many of these big winners actually won prizes in the hundreds of thousands and do quickly go through it.  You are not likely to see a big story on the thousand of winners who buy a new home, send their kids to college, start a business, take lots of nice trips (yawn). 

That jackpot winners have tragic lives is a myth used to sell some media show or to sell slick finanical services (like the folks who put out their suvey findings that 90% of winners have spent their entire lottery winnings within five year - yeah right! - literally true if you are talking about the $5 winners). 

This is a news story because it is unusual.

I agree.  Bad news sells newspapers and increases ratings.  It also makes juicy gossip, and most people enjoy their gossip.

Even though this article is not representative of most winners, it happens to be one of the better stories I have read that documents the tragic rise and downfall of a top-tier winner.  The only thing missing is quotes from the key players themselves, but other than that I think it is exceptional in its detail.

 

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    Greenwich, CT
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    Posted: August 22, 2007, 1:22 pm - IP Logged

    What a read!

    Makes me think that Jack should be coming up for sainthood any day now.

      Jill34786's avatar - Lottery-006.jpg
      Windermere, FL/Franklin, TN
      United States
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      Posted: August 22, 2007, 1:23 pm - IP Logged

      Chuck,

       

      I had meant to say those who were in similar situations (drug addicts, ex-cons) such as the subject being profiled in the article.

      I agree with you that many others who came from "better" backgrounds have fared much better with their winnings.

        LuckyLilly's avatar - savy chick.png

        United States
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        Posted: August 22, 2007, 1:37 pm - IP Logged

        ...James Gibbs, a 31-year-old Morgan Stanley broker, as his financial adviser. The first thing Gibbs did was arrange a $200,000 loan so David could celebrate in Las Vegas while awaiting the Powerball payment...

        I wonder how many people would want this guy as their "financial advisor" if they knew how freely he was willing to discuss his clients' dealings.

        Well, it wasn't exactly a secret.  The guy went on all the tv shows bragging about how much he paid for his watches and rings, I'm sure he's the one who told about the $200k trip to Vegas.

        Them judging him for spending $3 mil in 3 months kind of irks me.  When I win the Powerball tonight, I'll probably spend that much within 3 months after I claim it too.  He spent much of it on a house, which is what I'll do.  Of course, I'm smart enough (I hope) that I won't then go buy a couple dozen cars and kilos of drugs and fake antiques and my children's love with the rest of it.  The rest will stay in the investments my advisors put it in and I'll live off the investment income.

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          Urbandale, IA
          United States
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          November 11, 2004
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          Posted: August 22, 2007, 1:39 pm - IP Logged

          Chuck,

           

          I had meant to say those who were in similar situations (drug addicts, ex-cons) such as the subject being profiled in the article.

          I agree with you that many others who came from "better" backgrounds have fared much better with their winnings.

          Too true. 

          This is a great article.  A nice record of how this winner burned out. 

          One thing to remember is that this money is not "lost".  It was simply moved to someone else - realtors, car dealers, jewelry dealers, and sadly, sellers of trashy trinkets and drug dealers.  That is likely the saddest part - better funding of drug dealers.

            jeffrey's avatar - moon
            Hamilton, OH
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            March 27, 2004
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            Posted: August 22, 2007, 3:03 pm - IP Logged

            We all benefit from the lessons of the unwise few. You just don't need everything you see. That is a slave mentality. These people were obviously slaves to their appetites. I truly feel for them in a way. If you starve for a long period, you develop a food hording tendency. The same goes for cash and a fear of poverty. People like these need to take payments. It is unfortunate that some people live in the moment with no thought of tomorrow. Drug addicts commit slow suicide due to self hatred, maybe this is the case here.

              whitmansm2's avatar - Lottery-029.jpg
              Right here...can't you see me?
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              Posted: August 22, 2007, 3:26 pm - IP Logged

              There are plenty of stories where people have blown their newly found money.   

               

              I agree with Jeffery with what he said about people who starve for a long period, they tend to horde food.  I was just thinking the same thing.  I don't have a lot of money but I know that winning will just be over whelming!  (IN A GOOD WAY...but there will be pressure)  That's why I already planned my first couple of weeks.  I'm going to be taking DEEP BREATHES.  Really deep, calming breaths.  When the money is finally given to me....while I'm taking deep breathes, me and my hubby get a couple thousand to go insane with.  He can buy whatever his heart desires and so can I.  Just get BUCK WILD!  This is after my tithes are paid, of course.  We get ONLY a couple of thousand.  There HAS to be a limit.  Once it's gone...it's gone...no touching what's left.  Once it's spent on stupid useless crap....we've now gotten that out of our system...we can now be more level headed and more prepared to make better decisions.

              No No

              Don't cry over spilled milk.  Go milk another cow!!

              Stephanie

                RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                mid-Ohio
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                Posted: August 22, 2007, 3:31 pm - IP Logged

                Sounds like he ended up where he was headed before he won the lottery.  Winning the lottery caused a slight detour.

                 * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                   
                             Evil Looking       

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                  MI
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                  Posted: August 22, 2007, 4:21 pm - IP Logged

                  When this guy was on 60 Minutes in 2004 or 5, he was one of 4 winners that looked like they would be successful with their winning. To my knowledge the others are still doing well.

                  The thing I remember most was when he talked of buying a suit of armor, "So what if it cost $50,000, I make that much a month in interest". Also, if my memory is correct, his wife was never mentioned.

                  It's a sad story and one I hope to learn from when I hit the Mega Millions on Friday.Wink

                    AuntiePat's avatar - animaniacs10
                    Just outside of Cleveland, OH
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                    August 3, 2007
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                    Posted: August 22, 2007, 4:37 pm - IP Logged

                    Sounds like he ended up where he was headed before he won the lottery.  Winning the lottery caused a slight detour.

                    LOL

                    Or merely caused it to happen more rapidly.

                    Sudden changes (for good OR bad) basically intensify behavior characteristics that are already there. 

                    A recent article on handling sudden wealth on MSN Money pages pointed out that the first thing to those who find themselves in these circumstances is do to take a breather, then see a planner and put a plan in place that you can live with, then tie the rest of your money up so that even if you WANT to respond to those who will "put the touch on you", you cannot.  I know that I can say NO as well as the next person but there are some types of sob stories that REALLY get to me--so I need protection against those who know this about me (as an ex-nurse, I run a Blood Pressure Clinic for my church and Health Screening Program in my community--both free--and have provided an ear and Kleenex to many in dire straits). 

                    To those who say to just say no to freeloaders--last time I did that--the next morning I came out to find that the car we park outside had been egged--could be just a coincidence, though, since I have a lot of teenagers in my neighborhood.

                    Money provides freedom,  lots of money provides lots of freedom--if you don't trust a planner, then tie up your money in receiving the annuitized  pmts, so your exposure to loss is limited--too bad David and Shawna thought they could handle the lump sum--this is a once in a lifetime event--there's no more where that came from.

                      jeffrey's avatar - moon
                      Hamilton, OH
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                      Posted: August 22, 2007, 4:55 pm - IP Logged

                      Sounds like he ended up where he was headed before he won the lottery.  Winning the lottery caused a slight detour.

                      Unfortunately, I agree. People like that usually have a bad end.

                       

                      RJOh, congrats on your past win in the Ohio Lottery.

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                        Qabloc!zewana
                        Neutral Zone
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                        Posted: August 22, 2007, 6:35 pm - IP Logged

                        Great post.  I had watched his 'little' story on the Discovery Channel(?) about new lottery millionaires

                        and wondered if this fellow would stay clean.  Apparently not.

                         

                        I also wonder is people like this fellow know what a 'budget' is.  Is that even in their vocabulary?? 

                          Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                          Zeta Reticuli Star System
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                          Posted: August 22, 2007, 6:41 pm - IP Logged

                          I'm still thinking about the $200,000 and the trip to Vegas.

                          OK, he wins the Powerball, the OP said his share was $27,000,000. So in that respect at the time the $200,000 loan is chump change. He's going to retire the loan as soon as he gets his lottery check and not keep paying interest.

                          But as the story goes on he gets sued by the homeowners association for several thousand.

                          So at first that $200,000 was peanuts but how bad do you think he's like to have that $200,000 now?

                          Just my $.02 here - there's something else very, very disturbing about this story- and that is many, many people here have posted in threads about, "What would you do if you won....." and described a very similar course of action that this guy took.

                          "I'd go to Vegas"

                          "I'd buy a really hot Italian sports car or two"

                          "I'd buy a yacht"

                          etc...etc.... 

                          If there was ever a solid case for proving the need for reamining anonymous and for choosing to remain anonymousy, this is it.  

                          Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                          Lep

                          There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

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                            Urbandale, IA
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                            November 11, 2004
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                            Posted: August 22, 2007, 6:54 pm - IP Logged

                            Remaining anonymous is a great idea, but probably not realistic - even if the state's law allows it.  You could do it if you want to continue with your current lifestyle (and working) and watch the interest grow unspent.  Some folks might enjoy that, but not many.

                            If you have a tough time saying "no", a better option is to appoint a person to handle all money requests.  That way, you don't ever have to say 'no'.  Just say that "All financial requests are being handled by Mr. X" and hand over a card.  Then, when they try to continue with their sad story, say, "Really, Mr. X is handling all of those requests, it would not be fair to handle your's differently."  Then when Mr. X denies the request say, "Well, those decisions are really made by Mr. X on the merit of each case and how it compares to other request; perhaps you can approach Mr. X later, when the nature of other requests changes." 

                              justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                              Wandering Aimlessly
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                              Posted: August 22, 2007, 7:07 pm - IP Logged

                              In memory of Cash Only...

                              If I win the $40 million Florida Lotto jackpot tonight, I'll probably take the annuity.  I used to think it was better to take the money & run, and still wonder about it.  However, knowing every year that, no matter how badly you screw up your life, you'll still be getting a big check soon must be a very comforting feeling.