Mega Millions Mania

With the Mega Millions jackpot standing — at post time — at a record $640 million, articles like this appear:

A Treasury of Terribly Sad Stories of Lotto Winners

This is a subject I covered in past posts:

Think About How To Treat Lady Luck Before Marriage!
I Lack But Heart The Math Gene
A Mega Millions Winner
Reference: Lottery Winnings Allocation
Won The Lottery? Then Prepare To Be Poor.

Back in the 1970s, I was fortunate to come across this book in the public library:

Winning the lottery is not like working your butt off and then becoming enormously wealthy via profit or post-IPO valuation.

Even though money is money, people seem to have the idea that won money is community property or something less than “real” money.

I recommend that book to everyone who is hoping to win the lottery. The stories are more in-depth than many you’ll find in cautionary articles that tend to pop up when record jackpots are in the news. A one-million dollar win should be taken with as much seriousness as a record-setting win.

And heed the words of B. Traven, from Death Ship:

It looked to me like quite a bit of dough. But somehow, before I could realize what a good feeling it is to have some cash, it was gone. Only those people who have lots of money learn to appreciate the real value of money, because they have time to find out. On the other hand, how can people who have no money, or very little, ever find out what money really means? It is in their hands so short a time that they have no chance to see what it means. Certain people, however, preach that only the poor know the worth of a cent. This difference in opinion is the cause of class distinction.

If anyone out there is lucky enough to win any jackpot:

1) STFU
2) Tell no one
3) Live modestly
4) Think before using any large portion of it — and that includes charitable donations

But if buying more stuff already makes you happy, you’re altogether doomed to begin with.

8 Comments

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8 responses to “Mega Millions Mania

  1. Geoff-UK

    Someone smart enough to STFU and tell no one while living modestly and not using a boat load of it within 30 days of receipt is…quite unlikely to tax themselves with a lotto ticket in the first place.

    I can’t undderstand why we do this in America. It adds NOTHING to the qualit of life for the state that implements it, and it ends up taxing stupid and/or poor people. enough already.

    • mikecane

      Lotteries were used to fund projects in the early days of this nation. And eventually *someone* wins, even if it’s never you or me or someone we know.

      And sure, there could be a person like that. Sometimes even a person like that is tempted to risk a single buck on a ticket. You don’t learn of every winner because those ones are smart enough to consult a lawyer and set up a trust as a shield against going public.

  2. Winning the lottery does not suddenly turn one into a genius. However it would be a nice experience to suffer through it. Those words of “wisdom” come from someone who bought fifteen dollars worth of self taxing tickets.

  3. Mike, glad to see you are turned on to B. Traven, mysterious genius that he was. As for lotto winners, in the UK apparently quite a few of them (a) manage their new-found riches very nicely and hence (b) find their lives much enhanced as a result.

  4. Top advice worthy of the shrewd Alvin Hall. One thing I would add is this: Perceive every note and coin as FREEDOM TICKETS. They buy you a moment, a day, a year, or years of freedom. £100,000 in your hand now would last you a couple of years, maybe more, living modestly.

    Look at money like that and you value it for what it really is: Your freedom. Win a massive sum and you don’t have to work, OR you can work in a field of your choice. You have the option. Most people don’t.

    See money as freedom tickets and you’ll use it wisely….in some cases, you’ll give others freedom too. But the game would always be using the lump sum to bring in unearned cash to live off. Keep the lump sum working for you.

    Bottom line: Fancy gadgets, flash cars, jewelery, all eat your freedom….if bought out of the lump sum, the bad wad.

  5. Oh, and that Mikey Carroll is a bit of a card. He lives in the same county as us. And I was down a London publishers sorting out one o’ my book deals, just after Mikey and crew had sealed their book deal. They scared the hell outta the publishers – whole hardcore crew of reprobates walked in the offices, full o’ attitude…and to be fair, great lines, classic lines.

    Mickey played up King of the Chavs….scared the hell outta the chattering classes in publishing. But they had to publish him coz they thought a book from him would make loot – him being slammed by the week in the tabloids.

    But old Mickey lost most of that cash…as I understand it. But he coulda minted out being king o’ those chavs.

    Thing about Mickey is he knew some iffy people in other parts of Britain and him winning the lottery loot meant he had to fortify his place, and push the almost gangsta image.

    Lesson learned, would be what you say, Mike, keep yo’ mouth shut. Don’t say a word. Keep cool. If you know iffy people, disappear suddenly one day and look to livin’ out your dreams.

    I hope Mickey fires up something and makes all that loot back by his own efforts – gets minted as an entrepreneur/star, whatever.

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