Tragic Lottery Win-- More Tragedy Ahead?

I recently read the tragic story of a woman who won the lottery on ticket bought by her husband just hours before he died.

Tragic, yes. However, I think an additional tragedy may be on the horizon.  The 78 year-old woman won $10 million as an annuity (or $6 million lump sum).  In the article, she discusses a Corvette purchase, and worse, the local casino.  My estimate is the lump sum (that's what I think she'll take) will gone in less than 2-3 years . . .

Windfalls like this need to be managed, otherwise this will be another of the countless stories of lottery winners who end up broke.

Yes, I admit it, I buy lottery tickets from time to time, but I only by one.  Buying more than one does not improve you chances.  This is a long-shot-- you actually have a better chance of being hit by lightening . . .

Here is another point of view on lottery tickets, from Clair Schwan, a frequent contributor to the site,


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  • 1/6/2009 12:15 PM Clair Schwan of Frugal Living Freedom wrote:

    Thank you for the link to my page about lotteries and powerball. It is one perspective to consider.

    With respect to the focus of your post, I remember a story from 20 years ago about a single mom on public assistance who had several children to care for. She played the lottery (with tax payer funds) for years and finally won. She won $17,000 and soon thereafter went on a spending spree.

    She bought a car that didn't run well, dinners out with the children, and paid back a loan to a family member - all the while still receiving government support...right up until the state came to her home to inform her that her taxpayer funded welfare was terminated because she now didn't qualify for public assistance.

    The only smart thing she did was pay off the loan. The rest of the wealth was wasted. This story speaks to how some folks are unrealistic about money and they play the lottery (regularly) as their only hope of getting ahead.

    My money says our 78 year old winner will be flat broke in less than two years, and most likely she'll be in debt. But of course, I'm not a gambling man.

    And, you are right, one ticket improves your chances of winning infinitely because if you don't play, you have no chance of winning, while playing just one ticket makes winning possibile - albeit a very very long shot.

    Reply to this
    1. 1/6/2009 6:48 PM DDFD wrote:
      I see people dropping $20-100 on one drawing-- especially, when the jackpot rises.  What these folks don't realize is that statistically, buying more than one ticket for a single drawing does so little to improve your odds-- you are really wasting the extra buck-- or extra $99.  To improve your odds, you would need to buy 100,000 to 1,000,000 tickets-- not very practical . . .

      My occasional tickets are the only gambling-- a real low percentage play . . .

      I usually prefer sure things . . .

      Reply to this
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