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Will millions spoil Bunky Bartlett?

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: Will millions spoil Bunky Bartlett?

By Kevin Cowherd
Baltimore Sun

Ladies and gentlemen, a big round of applause for our new Wicca-practicing Mega Millions lottery winner, Mr. Bunky Bartlett of Dundalk!

Is this guy beautiful, or what?

Most people who hit for a huge share of a $330 million lottery drop out of sight faster than a snitch on The Sopranos.

They huddle with lawyers and accountants for days and hole up in some fancy hotel suite, all the while issuing the usual statements along the lines of: "We ask that you respect our privacy as we contemplate our recent good fortune and blah, blah, blah."

But not Ellwood "Bunky" Bartlett.

Bartlett, a 40-year-old accountant, hits for the prize of a lifetime Saturday night, and yesterday he's driving around in his new Ford Explorer, checking in with his bank, yakking with friends on his cell, doing media interviews and trying to dodge the usual con artists and slimeballs who want to be his new best pals.

"I think my e-mail box is about to explode," Bartlett said.

Probably the weirdest e-mail, he said, "was from a doctor who wants to do a complete workup on me to make sure I'm healthy and will live long enough to spend all the money."

Then there was the gold-digger who recognized him outside Wal-Mart and promptly proposed marriage.

Was she a looker at least?

"She wasn't my type, I'll say that," said Bartlett, who had to inform this junior-varsity Anna Nicole Smith that he was already married. He and his wife, Denise, have two kids, which would therefore make another marriage inconvenient.

But this is what happens when you hit the lottery for more than $80 mil: The nuts come out of the woodwork.

"Well, the first thing I'm doing with the money is, I'm not giving it to anyone," Bartlett said with a laugh. "So hopefully that will calm things down" with the opportunists.

To which I'd say: Hah! Good luck calming down those leeches, Bunkaroo.

Otherwise, he said, he plans to invest the money, set up family members in a real-estate venture, donate to charity and invest in the White Marsh New Age store, Mystickal Voyage, where he teaches classes on moon-magic, psychic-shielding and psychic-healing.

Oh, sure, he got the new SUV. And he'll also move out of Dundalk into a bigger house, which is practically required by law for all lottery winners.

But he won't exactly be sunning himself on the Riviera for the rest of his life, since he intends to devote much of his time to spreading the word about Wicca, which he describes as "an Earth-based spiritual practice."

"I don't see the money changing him one bit," said his friend, Lori Perdue, who owns Mystickal Voyage along with her husband, Mick. "He's generous of heart ... and he's an accountant, for God's sake.

"He's pragmatic ... he's not going to do anything crazy with the money."

When I stopped at the shop yesterday, everyone was still buzzing over Bartlett's good fortune. The love was everywhere for the guy.

Me, I love the fact that he's 40 years old and still goes by the nickname Bunky.

Bunky is a good, solid nickname, a nickname that connotes both playfulness and regular-guy-ness.

And I hope when he starts rolling in all that dough, he doesn't stop calling himself Bunky and start demanding to be called Ellwood B. Bartlett III, or something gag-inducing like that.

"Nah, Bunky was given to me by one of my uncles when I was a baby," he said. "My uncle said: 'We can't curse this one with [Ellwood].'"

On the other hand, there's a tendency among many to think that someone who practices Wicca is more of a, well, weirdo than a regular guy.

Bartlett said he never used to advertise the fact that he was a Wiccan.

"I let [people] get to know me before I tell them," he said, "although that will be harder to do now."

Yep, it'll be harder because as soon as he found out he was a multimillionaire, he got himself a tattoo that features 12 alchemy symbols around his left wrist.

In case anyone can't see the tattoo, it's "also outlined in a material that will glow under a black light," Bartlett said.

"My philosophy is: If [being a Wiccan] matters to people to the point where they don't like me, then they're not the type of people I want to be around anyway."

Well, lots of people want to be around Bunky Bartlett right now, Wicca or no Wicca.

This morning he's scheduled to appear on NBC's Today show, and then there will be a news conference at 11 a.m. at lottery headquarters to officially announce what everyone already knows: that Bartlett won't exactly be clipping coupons out of the Sunday circulars anytime soon.

I just wish I could have listened in on the phone conversation Bartlett had with the Ford dealer before he drove off with that shiny new Explorer, a conversation he described as going like this:

Bartlett: "I just won the lottery. Will you give me any car I want today and I'll pay you later when it's official?"

Ford dealer: "Uh, you're joking, right?"

Nope. Turns out he wasn't joking at all.

Baltimore Sun

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19 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by psykomo.
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Avatar
Coastal Georgia
United States
Member #2653
October 30, 2003
1866 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 5, 2007, 9:39 am - IP Logged

Will Millions spoil Bunky Bartlett ?

It all remains to be seen.

 

                               

              

 

 

    Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
    Indiana
    United States
    Member #48725
    January 7, 2007
    1953 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: September 5, 2007, 10:32 am - IP Logged

    Will Millions spoil Bunky Bartlett ?

    It all remains to be seen.

    I Agree!

    It's way too early to tell.

    Gonna win.Big Smile

      TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
      A long and winding road
      United States
      Member #17084
      June 10, 2005
      4523 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: September 5, 2007, 8:14 pm - IP Logged

      I'd lay my losing lottery tickets on the fact that this fell'r has a good head on his shoulder and the right folks to keep him grounded. Seriously he comes from a decent background and I love his attitude that if folks dont like him for his practices, they aint worth knowing :)

      Not keen on the reporter for snubbin folks who are wise by getting counsel and advisal before coming forth. I lean to the side of caution when it comes to the media. Good thing Bunky was upfront on not tossin money to causes that he didnt have a personal connection with.

      ~~Is it true, Is it kind,Is it necessary. ~~~

       Thanks be to the giving numbers: 1621,912,119 02014

        four4me's avatar - gate1
        MD
        United States
        Member #1701
        June 18, 2003
        8360 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: September 5, 2007, 8:27 pm - IP Logged

        He will do just fine.

          SoBe Yourself's avatar - lizard3
          New Member
          Baltimore
          United States
          Member #54999
          September 5, 2007
          47 Posts
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          Posted: September 6, 2007, 11:22 am - IP Logged

          Maybe it's jealousy speaking, but I think he's a moron for being so public about his winnings. Remember the guy in West Virginia who won the lottery and all the problems he had. This guy is the latest version of him.

            justxploring's avatar - villiarna
            Wandering Aimlessly
            United States
            Member #25360
            November 5, 2005
            4461 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: September 6, 2007, 11:59 am - IP Logged

            No, you're not jealous.  Opinions are always welcome here.  However, Jack Whittaker (the man to whom you are referring) had a drinking problem.  He was rich before he won PB in West VA.  I don't think Bunky will have any problems, but I agree that keeping a low profile is the best thing to do.  If he was able to drive away in a new SUV before collecting the money, he must have done a little more than call the dealer.  He probably showed the manager the winning ticket unless I missed something in the story and he knew the owner.  I once worked at a car dealership and you wouldn't just let someone drive off in a new car.  I mean, anyone can say "I won the lottery. Give me a new car today." 

            He's been so vocal about his win that I'm surprised he hasn't been on Lottery Post.  We get lots of posters who claim to be the winner of a large jackpot. 

            **Welcome to Lottery Post.**

              Avatar
              Kentucky
              United States
              Member #32652
              February 14, 2006
              7295 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: September 6, 2007, 1:47 pm - IP Logged

              Maybe it's jealousy speaking, but I think he's a moron for being so public about his winnings. Remember the guy in West Virginia who won the lottery and all the problems he had. This guy is the latest version of him.

              "I think he's a moron"

              I think he's having the time of life and is really enjoying telling the world "I just won $82 million dollars".

              "Maybe it's jealousy speaking"

              Bunky is just being himself so doesn't that make you a hypocrite, SoBe Yourself?

                Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
                Indiana
                United States
                Member #48725
                January 7, 2007
                1953 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: September 6, 2007, 3:25 pm - IP Logged

                Maybe it's jealousy speaking, but I think he's a moron for being so public about his winnings. Remember the guy in West Virginia who won the lottery and all the problems he had. This guy is the latest version of him.

                Please, you don't even know the guy. The guy just won the lottery. Not everyone who wins the lottery is going to make claiming the jackpot a secret mission. This guy just won the lottery and he's very happy about it just like most people would be, and he wants to express how he feels about it. Get a grip on yourself. Face it, you weren't "the one" just like millions of other people who bought tickets. I know you wish you could win so you could never have to work again, but sorry bud, it wasn't this time. I think it is jealousy speaking.

                Gonna win.Big Smile

                  JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

                  United States
                  Member #4121
                  March 23, 2004
                  817 Posts
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                  Posted: September 6, 2007, 4:04 pm - IP Logged

                  WTG Mr. Bartlett! May you use the money to make all your dreams come true. 

                   

                  Party 

                    Avatar
                    New Member
                    Dallas, Texas, USA
                    United States
                    Member #5093
                    June 16, 2004
                    3 Posts
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                    Posted: September 6, 2007, 11:27 pm - IP Logged

                    Another great question would be, how many people who won lotteries used wicca but chose not to share their story.

                      Avatar
                      Indiana
                      United States
                      Member #29196
                      December 29, 2005
                      280 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: September 7, 2007, 8:29 am - IP Logged

                      I think winning has already spoiled Bunky.  He's shown an amazing lack of good judgment since winning.  And I think his circle of friends and family are doing him a tremendous dis-service by not reigning him in.

                      I wish him all the best but I have a feeling we'll be reading about the Bunkarino for a long time to come.

                      Jim 


                      Money frees you from doing things you dislike.  Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.  - Groucho Marx

                        SoBe Yourself's avatar - lizard3
                        New Member
                        Baltimore
                        United States
                        Member #54999
                        September 5, 2007
                        47 Posts
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                        Posted: September 8, 2007, 12:00 am - IP Logged

                        stack and guru,

                        There was a well written article about winning the lottery in a past issue of Maxim Magazine about winning the lottery. It can be an absolute nightmare for the winners. Winners have been robbed blind through many different ways and families have been torn apart. It's why I don't think that he's being too smart about his winnings. I've always said that if I ever hit the big one, <caps used only for emphasis> I'M GONE! It is the oppurtunity to start a new life that I have been looking for for a long time.

                        Besides, see my signature below.

                        "Greed makes people do strange things."

                        -classic Peanuts cartoon strip

                          SoBe Yourself's avatar - lizard3
                          New Member
                          Baltimore
                          United States
                          Member #54999
                          September 5, 2007
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                          Posted: September 8, 2007, 12:05 am - IP Logged

                          I think winning has already spoiled Bunky.  He's shown an amazing lack of good judgment since winning.  And I think his circle of friends and family are doing him a tremendous dis-service by not reigning him in.

                          I wish him all the best but I have a feeling we'll be reading about the Bunkarino for a long time to come.

                          Jim 

                          Just hope he's protecting a darn good chunk of that money. Wifey may be looking to take him to the cleaners.

                          BTW, this is not meant as a cynical look towards women or humanity in general. I'm just looking at this from a more realistic point of view.

                          "Greed makes people do strange things."

                          -classic Peanuts cartoon strip

                            SoBe Yourself's avatar - lizard3
                            New Member
                            Baltimore
                            United States
                            Member #54999
                            September 5, 2007
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                            Posted: September 8, 2007, 12:07 am - IP Logged

                            Another great question would be, how many people who won lotteries used wicca but chose not to share their story.

                            I jokingly said to someone that if being a wiccan could help me win the big one, then sign me up.

                            "Greed makes people do strange things."

                            -classic Peanuts cartoon strip