|Posted: March 6, 2007, 9:31 am - IP Logged|
Being rich feels a lot like being poor, only you have more money.
Any problems (of a non-financial nature) you might have before hitting a jackpot will still be there after you pick up your check. You'll be able to pay your existing bills, but if you couldn't manage the money you were making before you won your jackpot, your debt load will likely increase exponentially in a very short time, unless you seek financial counseling before your friends and family spend your fortune for you.
Most people (except LP members, of course) believe that if they had millions of dollars, the little problems and inconveniences of everyday life will just magically disappear. Those people are very, very wrong. Making a fortune is much less difficult than keeping one; the rich have an entirely different set of worries to occupy their waking thoughts, especially if they have children. All the material possessions in the world can't be valued more highly than the safety of your son or daughter.
The one thing you can't buy with money is more time, and the rich say that's their most precious commodity. They can pay their bills, but they have no time to enjoy the lifestyle they saw in the magazine ads. More often than not, they're sitting in their offices waiting for a call from their attorney or accountant, or they're in court defending themselves against the latest claim on their fortune, or they're wondering how to dispose of the thousands of unsolicited requests for money and hard-luck stories sent by people they don't even know. They're not happy about this; the ads in the magazines indicate that millionaires spend their unlimited leisure hours lounging next to a bathing suit model, sipping mai-tais on a sunny, secluded beach in a remote corner of the world. Nice work if you can get it, but highly unrealistic.
Even a major jackpot of over $300 million can be counted. What I mean is, it's a finite amount of money; it's not unlimited and, if you're not careful, you could actually spend ALL of it in a few short years.
Money is not an end in itself, but only a means to an end. As lottery players, our primary objective is to win the jackpot. But what then? Does the mere act of possessing that money make us better people? I don't think it does, because money doesn't change our thoughts or how we feel about current events, for example. So what's our secondary objective? Well, personally, I believe we should expend some serious thought concerning how we can best use our new-found wealth to benefit ourselves, our families and our communities.
First and foremost, we should investigate how to set up a trust account in order to ensure the perpetuity of the principal. This way, we'll always have an income, but the original jackpot amount will never wane, so our children, and their children's children, etc., will always have means. Second, we must care for our parents and grandparents because, if not for them, we wouldn't have been here to buy the ticket. Third, we must care for and become involved in our communities. Millionaires are the salt of the earth, the very pillars of society, and their influence on American neighborhoods and communities, cities and towns, can be good or bad. We should insist that any money we donate for the common good benefits everyone, not just a select few.
Becoming a multi-millionaire overnight is fun to talk about, but it's also an enormous responsibility. If you're not prepared to receive that obligation if and when it happens, it's likely that the next time we hear from you will be during your segment on the next installment of "Curse of the Lottery."
Come, Pinky; we must prepare for tomorrow night...