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Record powerball lottery winner reflects on sad life

Topic closed. 45 replies. Last post 9 years ago by fastball 9.

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Urbandale, IA
United States
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November 11, 2004
115 Posts
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Posted: September 14, 2007, 8:30 pm - IP Logged

I think it is a few things.  (1) The simple notoriety.  Some may think that he is rich but may not be sure or just not even be aware of a wealthy person until he/she gets press.  (2) The ease of the wealth also plays a factor; people assume that easy come to someone else will mean easy go to them.  (3) There may even be some entitlement feeling - either because they also put money into the game or because this was "fate" money and they deserve such a thing too.

Those who build up wealth slowly and build up press slowly also slowly learn to start locking up their lives.  You are not likely to be able to walk up to Bill Gates on the street and chat him up for cash. 

Sad cases for both Mr. Whittaker and Mr. Edwards.

    TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
    A long and winding road
    United States
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    Posted: September 14, 2007, 9:04 pm - IP Logged

    The case is Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants, P.T.S., Inc., No. D-202 CV-93-02419, 1995 WL 360309 (Bernalillo County, N.M. Dist. Ct. Aug. 18, 1994).  McDonald’s had settled more than 700 burn cases before this one came up – some of them settled for up to $500,000.  The woman had asked for $20,000 from McDonald’s but was refused.  The jury found her 20% negligent.  I checked on the facts and found that the medical costs were not as high as I had remembers.  Guess I need to check my facts too.  But she receive third-degree burns (require grafting) over 6% of her body; she was hospitalized for 8 days and followed up with two years of treatment. I see these issues as one of common sense.  Would a reasonable person accept the risk of taking the product into the car with full knowledge of the potential result.  Most folks accept the risk of a nasty burn (pain and redness for a few days) if they spill their coffee.  I don’t think anyone would accept the coffee if they were advised that they would need skin grafts if the coffee tipped over.  In this case, McDonald’s created a situation that no reasonable person was aware of and so was responsible for the risk.   My usual test on awards is whether I would accept the cash in exchange for the injury.  If you would not, then the cash is probably not excessive.   In the McDonald’s case, the jury awarded $200,000 and then reduced that by 20%.  They did award her two-days worth of coffee sales as a punitive award ($2.7 million), but the judge reduced that to $480,000.  In fact, McDonald’s still refused to pay and settled for less than the total award (secret amount).   

    Thank you Chuck for rechecking the data. Its important to get the facts :)  I love this case for two reasons -1 it brought about the Labeling on items - such as warnings or cautions. 2ndly- MCD's scuffed at this lady when she asked for restitution for her claim. MCD thought they were to big to be tampered with. The justice system thought otherwise :) Sometimes its the principal of the matter -which most legal cases are fought upon.  

    Think what ya will of J Whitaker, poor judgements (which we have all done in our business and personal lives) , loss of family , and ups and downs in our financial lifestyles. I sincerely beleive that the press magnified most of his misfortunes for gains in their own business sales. News stories sell!

    Bottom line is- He won .I don't envy in his decisions or winnings. His good deeds go unmentioned yet let it be a negative and folks feel compelled to down cast him as if they are some how a better breed of human (sorta Hitler style of thinking that there was a pure breed of humans to be had).

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

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

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      Posted: September 14, 2007, 10:47 pm - IP Logged

      I would have been willing to be friends with Mr. Whittaker and not ask for money, only thing is Kanawha/Putnam is a solid 500 miles from here. Sometimes he goes to Atlantic and sometimes we do so there's a remote possibility of one day shaking his hand and being honored to meet him.

      My best suggestion for him is to somehow get back together with his wife, get back to Church, and doing good deeds more indirectly (giving to charities, not individuals), and promising to henceforth live his life for the Lord and meaning it.

        jeffrey's avatar - moon
        Hamilton, OH
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        March 27, 2004
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        Posted: September 14, 2007, 11:46 pm - IP Logged

        I would have been willing to be friends with Mr. Whittaker and not ask for money, only thing is Kanawha/Putnam is a solid 500 miles from here. Sometimes he goes to Atlantic and sometimes we do so there's a remote possibility of one day shaking his hand and being honored to meet him.

        My best suggestion for him is to somehow get back together with his wife, get back to Church, and doing good deeds more indirectly (giving to charities, not individuals), and promising to henceforth live his life for the Lord and meaning it.

        Jack needs to take back his life and learn to say no. People who beg God for things need to re-evaluate their relationship with the creator. I think Jack should take care of himself and his family and tell the rest of the world to go to blazes. His generosity has destroyed both his life and his soul. There is a lot to be said for working behind the scenes. There are many causes he can give his money to discretely. He can pick a new heir or adopt. Have faith Jack, there are people who wish you well and I am one of them. God bless and comfort you.

          four4me's avatar - gate1
          MD
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          Posted: September 14, 2007, 11:51 pm - IP Logged

          Jack was already a millionare before winning the lottery. Did people prior to winning the lottery constantly ask for money from Jack. Was his homes and vehichles broken into for money prior to winning.
          His private life was only known by a few.

          Does winning the lottery put a different mentality in people towards the person that won.

          Does winning the lottery put a different mentality in people towards the person that won.

          Thats a big YES

            Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
            Indiana
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            January 7, 2007
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            Posted: September 14, 2007, 11:53 pm - IP Logged

            Does winning the lottery put a different mentality in people towards the person that won.

            Thats a big YES

            I Agree!

            Gonna win.Big Smile

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              portland, oregon
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              Posted: September 15, 2007, 1:04 am - IP Logged

              jack! hurry up and write a book!

                justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                Wandering Aimlessly
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                November 5, 2005
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                Posted: September 15, 2007, 3:54 am - IP Logged

                hello justxploring.....what i was trying to say ,was just to have a plan ready to go if you were to hit big ,or a plan B for that matter

                I think one problem with posting is that many of us are misunderstood since there is no face to face dialog.  It's often hard to express what you want to say in a few words.  Then the person who is reading them might be in a good mood, bad mood or simply read them too quickly.

                 Smiley

                Anyway, What I meant by "don't be ridiculous" is I thought you were saying that maybe it's not such a good thing to win money and I would love to win a million dollars, even 2!  I actually don't want the responsibility of winning $300 million and wouldn't have a clue what to do with it. 

                I agree with GameGirl that much of what we read has been blown up to get news stories.  However, many of the big lottery winners go on with their lives and don't get into trouble.  It must be frightening to get threats after winning a fortune, and his granddaughter might have felt confused by her new notoriety.  The saddest thing is that people won't just leave the family alone.  A great 2005 article which is 5 pages long is from the Washington Post.  It shows you what kind of down-to-earth nice guy he is.  It goes into detail and explains that Brandi (the granddaughter) was bitter & depressed because she had lost all her friends and her father had also committed suicide.  After reading this article I have a better understanding of how Mr. Whittaker got into financial trouble.

                Just one sentence pretty much sums up what happens when you tell everyone you won. Obviously this man cared about the needy in his community.

                "Meanwhile, Jack had so much mail that he hired three people to open the thousands of begging letters. He hired a private investigator to sort out which supplicants claiming to have a child with cancer didn't even have a child."

                http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36338-2005Jan25.html

                  hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

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                  Posted: September 15, 2007, 7:57 am - IP Logged

                  "Meanwhile, Jack had so much mail that he hired three people to open the thousands of begging letters. He hired a private investigator to sort out which supplicants claiming to have a child with cancer didn't even have a child."

                  ============================

                  just my .02

                  Quicker solution would've been to used them all as kindling and heat the house for the years to come ..... surely less of a headache ..... and yeah I know it seems rather cruel to ignore the inqueries of the truely needy and other wise without much hope other wise but then what difference would it really make in the long run ??

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                    Andover NJ
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                    September 15, 2007
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                    Posted: September 15, 2007, 9:00 am - IP Logged

                    Why on earth would you feel sorry for jack whittaker?  because he has ( or had ) 314 million dollars?  Feel sorry for me because I do NOT have 314 million dollars.  Yet.

                    You reap what you sow.  Should you feel bad that he got robbed a few times?  Maybe, until you find out he was robbed at strip clubs.  Not the kind of place where good people hang out.

                    The thing you need to realize is you CANNOT change your morals just because you win the lottery.  He may or may not have been a moral person before he won, but he surely wasn't a moral person after he won.  I read many articles about how he kept feeding his granddaughter money even though she was spending it all on drugs.  Did he killed her?  maybe not directly, but indirectly?   I do feel sorry for him in how that all transpired.  I hope he can eventually come to terms with it. 

                    You can change your life with that money.  But you should not change your beliefs.  I am not talking religon here, I mean you had principles before the money came, so you need to stick with those hard-earned principles that got you that far in life.

                    As for all the people that come into your life wanting money just because you won, thats crap.  Everytime they win a few dollars they never throw any my way.  They win 1,000 they dont throw me 10.  They get a higher paying job they dont give me anything.  Why should this be different?

                     I am not saying when I win I won't help people out, but I am saying none of them can demand that I give them something just because I won.   I will help many people that I love.  But it will be done anonymously.  They won't know I won and since everyone close to me will receive anonymous money, they will just assume I received it that way too. 

                    I like the idea that a gift or help should be given in such a way that the receiver never knows who gave it.  I feel that I should not get a reward for helping others.  The reward should be between myself and God.  We know we did the right thing and thats all that mattered. 

                    Money is like kids, they just intensify what already existed.  Having kids will not make a bad marriage better, it will get worse, it will intensify.  If you start on a solid foundation it will make things better.  Money is the same thing.  If you are not prepared for it, it will only cause heartache.  Unless you learn very quickly what you need to do.

                    Jack, I actually do feel sorry for you and wish you well. 

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                      Baton Rouge, LA
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                      Posted: September 15, 2007, 10:21 am - IP Logged

                      No.  Common sense vanished when folks started listening to one-sided views of reality and stopped checking out things for themselves (or applying a little common sense).  The McDonald's case is a good example.  Did you know that this store intentionally prepared the coffee to such an extreme temperature that no rational person would even think about taking it into their car if they knew about it; that the store had been repeatedly warned about it.  Did you know that this woman did not just burn herself, but that the coffee destroyed skin, musle and tendons; that she required several operations and skin grafts and is permanently disfigured and disabled (limits on motions) AND that the award did not even cover the medical costs.  She still ended up with medical bills (though likely fogiven). 

                      As for the other things - do you really want to set up a theocracy in the U.S. and get rid of the free America that we all used to love?  A boy kissing a girl - you know there must have been much more than that cute little headline portrayed.  And the kids were likely filling those mouth wash bottles with vodka and Kool-Aide.  Just not using common sense to believe every newspaper article. 

                      We certainly all have different views about how the nation should be run and we can all agree that there are issues that need to be solved - but we don't need to make up any more problems, heh?

                      I Agree!

                      It also went by the wayside when media outlets, in a rush to be first, put out a story without getting all the facts or any facts for that matter, and the public forms opinions based on that. In worse cases, the media outlets deliberately omit certain facts, just to make the story more interesting. The news media, in my opinion, is supposed to just tell the story with all the facts, but these days, they do that less and less.

                      Prisoner Six

                      "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

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                        Baton Rouge, LA
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                        Posted: September 15, 2007, 10:41 am - IP Logged

                        Why on earth would you feel sorry for jack whittaker?  because he has ( or had ) 314 million dollars?  Feel sorry for me because I do NOT have 314 million dollars.  Yet.

                        You reap what you sow.  Should you feel bad that he got robbed a few times?  Maybe, until you find out he was robbed at strip clubs.  Not the kind of place where good people hang out.

                        The thing you need to realize is you CANNOT change your morals just because you win the lottery.  He may or may not have been a moral person before he won, but he surely wasn't a moral person after he won.  I read many articles about how he kept feeding his granddaughter money even though she was spending it all on drugs.  Did he killed her?  maybe not directly, but indirectly?   I do feel sorry for him in how that all transpired.  I hope he can eventually come to terms with it. 

                        You can change your life with that money.  But you should not change your beliefs.  I am not talking religon here, I mean you had principles before the money came, so you need to stick with those hard-earned principles that got you that far in life.

                        As for all the people that come into your life wanting money just because you won, thats crap.  Everytime they win a few dollars they never throw any my way.  They win 1,000 they dont throw me 10.  They get a higher paying job they dont give me anything.  Why should this be different?

                         I am not saying when I win I won't help people out, but I am saying none of them can demand that I give them something just because I won.   I will help many people that I love.  But it will be done anonymously.  They won't know I won and since everyone close to me will receive anonymous money, they will just assume I received it that way too. 

                        I like the idea that a gift or help should be given in such a way that the receiver never knows who gave it.  I feel that I should not get a reward for helping others.  The reward should be between myself and God.  We know we did the right thing and thats all that mattered. 

                        Money is like kids, they just intensify what already existed.  Having kids will not make a bad marriage better, it will get worse, it will intensify.  If you start on a solid foundation it will make things better.  Money is the same thing.  If you are not prepared for it, it will only cause heartache.  Unless you learn very quickly what you need to do.

                        Jack, I actually do feel sorry for you and wish you well. 

                        I don't necessarily feel sorry for him either, based on some of his behavior. You point out he got robbed a few times in front of a strip club, but he also had hundreds of thousands in cash in his vehicle. Who keeps that much money in cash in their car? Not a smart thing to do.

                        I also read an interview with him, I wish I could find it, where he basically said he could tell everyone to kiss off. It's referenced in the Wikipedia article about him.

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Whittaker_(lottery_winner)

                        Anyone who thinks that way isn't someone I can feel sorry for. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

                        Prisoner Six

                        "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

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                          Kentucky
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                          Posted: September 15, 2007, 10:44 am - IP Logged

                          OLD POOR PITTY ME.

                            jeffrey's avatar - moon
                            Hamilton, OH
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                            Posted: September 15, 2007, 11:23 am - IP Logged

                            OLD POOR PITTY ME.

                            I was thinking about Jack Whittaker saying he had a sad life. He doesn't have a corner on a sad life. Bad things happen to the good, bad, rich, poor, white, black etc.  Grief does not discriminate. God help us all. I personally have had a lot of sadness in my life. My father committed suicide, my mother had MS and needed medical treatment. I used all my savings and my retirement fund to help her. My brother had leukemia but couldn't get a transplant because he didn't have $200,000. He died the hard way. He got a contaminated blood transfusion and I got Hepatitus B taking care of him in his last days. The nurses were letting him choke on his own blood because they needed the bed. I now have MS and it has moved to stage 2 progressive and everytime I get a cold, I lose the use of a limb. My mother committed suicide and I live with my older brother who is a paranoid schizophrenic. He tortures me when he thinks the world is out to get him. I lost my good job as a draftsman due to my illness but I now deliver pizza for minimum wage and I stay with my brother so he won't lose his home.

                            I prayed to win the lottery when my mother and little brother were alive so I could help them more but it wasn't meant to be. Jack won and so did many others. Jack you have the money to be happy, you just have to let yourself. I used to work with a man who said, "The only thing money can't buy is poverty." Good luck Jack and God bless.See Ya!

                              Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                              Zeta Reticuli Star System
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                              Posted: September 15, 2007, 5:58 pm - IP Logged

                              If we get nothing else out of this, I'd say remember this from the OP folks:

                              "Every friend that I've had, practically, has wanted to borrow money or something and of course, once they borrow money from you, you can't be friends anymore."

                              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.