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Cha Ching!
June 29, 2001 7:14 AM   Subscribe

Cha Ching! I am not a person who really support the lotto but I couldn't be happier that a poor grocery bagger won millions of dollars. What makes me even happier is they plan to give some of it back to the community.
posted by aj100 (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I bet they also plan to not let the money change them, and go on living exactly the way they did before they won the money.

Anyone know of a book describing what happens to people who inherit/win lots of money?

The saddest story I can remember is a man who worked at a deli. He won the lottery, bought his kids a puppy, then keeled over from a heart attack due to the added stress.

I hear being famous is bad for you too.
posted by mecran01 at 7:18 AM on June 29, 2001


Wow. That is a sad story. I guess the moral of that story is don't buy your kid a puppy.
posted by aj100 at 7:20 AM on June 29, 2001


If he REALLY wants to give back to the community, could he spend some money insuring that 7-11's have separate lines for lotto tickets? I just love having a bag of ice drip on my feet while others experience lotto fever.
posted by machaus at 7:20 AM on June 29, 2001


From what I've heard, you end up having to weed out scores of new "friends" who appear out of thin air in hopes of cajoling some cash out of your wallet. Then you end up finding out who your real friends are. Then, they all disappear and you end up cursing the day you became rich. Then, alcoholism.
posted by Succa at 7:26 AM on June 29, 2001


Lots of bitterness. I guess it still early in the morning.
posted by aj100 at 7:28 AM on June 29, 2001


Not bitterness, just truth, friends. My aunt knows someone who struck it rich in the lottery, and it's exactly what happened. Perhaps minus the alcoholism.
posted by Succa at 7:33 AM on June 29, 2001


I'll take the money and take my chances....
posted by owillis at 7:40 AM on June 29, 2001


I'd give to the MetaFilter scholarship fund, and cover any expenses Matt has. Of course, I'd also buy the Boxster I always wanted and pay off my house and buy my parent's house for them and other materialistic things. But I'd like to think I'd do good things, such as give money to Cystic Fibrosis research, and my wife and I would like to be volunteers & benefactors at a zoo or something.
posted by msacheson at 8:23 AM on June 29, 2001


He chose to take the money in a lump sum, which means he will receive $70,794,364, or about $42.3 million after taxes. muppet!!!...
posted by monkeyJuice at 8:25 AM on June 29, 2001


"separate lines for lotto tickets" oh yes. I love watching the lotto lagergrenediers going "Ummm,3-4-1, two-way, 50 cent straight...ohhkkayy... gimme 4637 straight for 200$". I wanna rob these people. alot of the time, the money destroys people. Two area people i know of lost almost everything(greed, the gimmes, etc.) Lottery in other countries?, forgetaboutit. forget the kids, support your local bookmaker. Good conversation, they can come to you, and you get your payoff in $20's and $50's.
posted by clavdivs at 8:56 AM on June 29, 2001


I used to run a lottery machine and believe me, while this story is a nice one, its far more common for people who can't seem to be able to afford it to spend $1000 a month or more on lottery tickets. While I have no problem with the legal status of the lottery (I consider it a tax on the stupid), the idea that it is of great societal benefit is largely overstated.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:08 AM on June 29, 2001


Too bad the chump didn't plan ahead so that he'd know what to do if he ever actually won. Here's the basics:

First, put the ticket in a bank deposit vault. Get a notarized copy.

Second, get a lawyer and separate a financial advisor. Ask them to arrange a non-profit, private trust with you as the sole beneficiary. Such trusts can be arranged to make the beneficiary anonymous to the public. It takes a while, but has been done before. This means you will not see the money right away. Resist the urge to just walk in and claim the prize.

Third, don't tell anyone. Nobody. Not a soul. Not even Mom, Dad, Auntie, your best friend. If you have kids, don't tell them. If you're married, you have to tell the spouse. It is suggested that it not be an excited, incoherent phone call, but a sedate meeting with your lawyer and financial advisor. Resist the urge to blab.

Fourth, change your phone number and make it unlisted. Consider moving to a new home (not necessarily a mansion, just a different place). Make your lawyer's office your legal address.

Fifth, have your lawyer and financial advisor claim the ticket on behalf of the trust. This may be months after the winning drawing took place. Resist the urge to take out loans, thinking you will pay them back once the winnings are claimed.

End result: With the trust, you've avoided appearing in public record as a winner and will not be called by charities, old friends, distant relatives, scammers, fraudsters and crooks. With, the new phone number and address, you've avoided drop-bys from people who've managed to hear the news despite your best efforts. You've also avoided fraudulent lawsuits by people who claim to have broken their leg in your yard (such lawsuits will cost you money, whether you win or lose, and the fraudster will be pressing for settlement which pretty soon will seem like a good idea). With the lawyer and financial advisor, you've begun to educate yourself on how to handle paying the taxes, writing a will, investing, arranging for gifts (if you desire) and reducing tax liability for yourself and the recipients.

Most people, even knowing these steps, do not follow them. They are greedy and want the money instantly.

I should add, if you do play the lottery, you should ask for the lump sum payment, not the annual checks. The annual checks are based upon conservative returns from the lump sum payment. Even in a rough stock market, the lump sum will usually double or triple the returns estimated by the lottery commission. You can even invest more conservatively than the stock market and beat the lottery commission's estimates. So, if you have the capacity to find a good financial advisor or know enough yourself, you can easily turn the lump sum payment into a larger prize than the total dollar value given in the newspapers.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:15 AM on June 29, 2001 [1 favorite]


Winning the lottery would be a lot cooler if no one else could find out about it.
posted by daveadams at 9:16 AM on June 29, 2001


I agree with you mego. The lottery is often targetted at the people who can't afford it. It is sad that States have to resort to gambling in order to afford schools. Well, what you going to do?
posted by aj100 at 9:16 AM on June 29, 2001


Bravo, Mo, I've been wondering how to do that for years. Now all I need to do is win! ;)
posted by Hackworth at 9:22 AM on June 29, 2001


MO, if you set up a trust will you still have to pay taxes on your winnings? Why am even asking? I am never going to win the Lotto.
posted by aj100 at 9:26 AM on June 29, 2001


Mo, do you buy lottery tickets? That's such an organized plan.

I hate the idea of lottery tickets, but I'm loving Coke's current "Pop the Top." I'm up to seven 20 ounce bottles. An embarrassment of riches to be sure!
posted by heather at 9:36 AM on June 29, 2001


Gambling (and the lottery, in particular) is where my libertarian streak ends. Pot? Legalize and regulate it. Tobacco and alcohol? Keep it legal and regulate it. Prostitution? Legalize and regulate it. But gambling? Ugnh -- it drives me nuts! Yes, okay, I think it should be legalized and regulated, but States (in my mind) shouldn't being using it to make a quick buck. Especially when they advertise the damed thing on TV. Here in Washington you can only buy alcohol from State (county?) run liquor stores; imagine what people would do if the State started running ads urging people to drink more. I don't mean to imply that frittering your money away on lottery tickets is as bad as alcoholism, but the State should simply not be in the business of promoting vice.

If people were just wasting their money on lottery tickets, well, that would be bad enough. But, worse, the whole thing contributes to the atmosphere of debt that's already rampant in America. Why save, when the State lottery or Publish Clearing House will be handing you a check any minute? Why should you work hard and live frugally when Joe Nobody in Iowa just got $44 million for free? And it's not as if the gov. is setting a very good example when they themselves rely on the lottery instead of using sound fiscal planning.

Cigarette packages have warning labels, so maybe everyone, before buying a lottery ticket, should before forced to read this story. Or take a compulsory course in probability.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 9:42 AM on June 29, 2001


I'm going to go break out my copy of _Your Money or Your Life_ and reread it.
posted by mecran01 at 9:44 AM on June 29, 2001


I'm going to go break out my copy of _Your Money or Your Life_ and reread it.

Is that any good? I've got it sitting on my bookshelf, untouched.
posted by Succa at 9:46 AM on June 29, 2001


All I want is a chance to prove that money can't buy happiness. ;-) Give me $42M and let's see.
posted by davidmsc at 9:56 AM on June 29, 2001


Mo Nickels: Too bad the chump didn't plan ahead so that he'd know what to do if he ever actually won. Here's the basics:

Second, get a lawyer and separate a financial advisor.


Get a HONEST and TRUSTWORTHY lawyer and a HONEST and TRUSTWORTHY financial advisor.

You were right in giving the advise to isolate yourself from greedy friends and family, but how do you get the lawyer and the financial advisor from scamming you out of your lotto winnings?
posted by Rastafari at 9:59 AM on June 29, 2001


The other lottery nightmare is the group ticket-buy. Did you really pay in this week, and if you didn't, are they really going to let you ride along? Lawsuits and worse have come of such schemes.

But actually, I've read that more people are getting smart, the lump sum option is certainly more prevalent than it used to be, and more people are getting financial advisors to help them. Some of the lotteries even insist on it.
posted by dhartung at 10:03 AM on June 29, 2001


I do play the lottery. I do a five-dollar quick pick for lump sum payment when the New York state lottery is above $15 million. The lottery, however, is not central to my retirement plans (that's what 401K and mutual funds are for). It's a fun little game that I play. I do it for the tiny tingle of hope this little slip of paper in my wallet gives me. I often keep the slips for weeks without checking them, thinking all the while, Maybe I've got 28 million dollars sitting under my fat ass...

Are the odds numerically stacked against me? Yes. Am I bad at math? Yes. Am I stupid? Often. Do I need preaching from people who spend $5 a pack for cigarettes, or $5 per beer, or $5 for whatever their little pleasure? No.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:21 AM on June 29, 2001


While I have no problem with the legal status of the lottery (I consider it a tax on the stupid)

To use your analogy, do you honestly think it's OK in this country to tax people because of their stupidity? That's a pretty shitty way to look at things, if you ask me.
posted by jpoulos at 10:26 AM on June 29, 2001


[I am not a financial advisor.] Yes, taxes still have to be paid if the ticket is claimed by a trust, but the benefit is that it would not be your liability, but the trust's liability. The trust works to protect you from yourself, as well as from others, so that should you lose your mind and begin spending like a freak, you can't easily touch the money. This also protects the funds that are invested, reducing their liquidity and treating them more like seed money.

Also, I should have added in my how-to-handle-winning-the-lottery advice: Even if you ignore all the other advice, never, ever, under any circumstances, go to the press conference where they give you the big check. Never pose for photographers, never give a thank-you speech, never talk to a reporter about it, never have your picture in the paper. It'll forever be the moment from which your life descends a day at a time into misery.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:36 AM on June 29, 2001


Man I want to win. ALl that $$ I would be happy, or as happy as $42 million could make me, which is pretty damn happy I think.
posted by a3matrix at 11:00 AM on June 29, 2001


as happy as $42 million could make me

It might not provide ultimate fulfillment, but $42M could rent a significant portion of regular, workaday happiness.

As far as a financial advisor? T-Bills @ 6% generates $2.52M in annual income. Spend two mill off the bat on fun stuff and make it an nice round $2.4M annually for the rest of your life. That'd be $200,000 a month, or if you prefer a weekly paycheck, $50,000 every Friday. Using the safest investment known to man.

If you win, and you use my idea, send me a half-week's pay :)
posted by UncleFes at 11:28 AM on June 29, 2001


Succa said: "From what I've heard, you end up having to weed out scores of new "friends" who appear out of thin air in hopes of cajoling some cash out of your wallet. Then you end up finding out who your real friends are. Then, they all disappear and you end up cursing the day you became rich. Then, alcoholism."

Yeah I've put a lot of thought into this. I've decided if I ever win the lottery, I'm gonna go straight to the alcohol.

MegoSteve said: "...its far more common for people who can't seem to be able to afford it to spend $1000 a month or more on lottery tickets..."

I never understand that. Why buy more than one at a time? Buying two tickets does not double your chances. Even a thousand doesn't cut into the percentages. I only buy one for each big Lottery.

"...I consider it a tax on the stupid."

Oh. Well. Uhm... Ah... Well then... yeah.

Mo Nickels said: "...It'll forever be the moment from which your life descends a day at a time into misery."

It's just as well that I never win the lottery. I'd hate for my life to be more miserable than it already is. Besides, no matter what I did my life would start looking like an episode of Black Adder, only without the frilly clothes.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:03 PM on June 30, 2001


one has a better chance at being an internet billionaire.
posted by clavdivs at 8:30 AM on July 1, 2001


Buying two tickets does not double your chances.

Of course it does, as long as they have different numbers on them.

Of course, it remains a fact that your odds of winning the big prize in a lottery are not materially changed by buying a ticket (or two or ten), versus not buying any at all.
posted by kindall at 10:30 AM on July 1, 2001


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