Good use for lottery winnings

October 29, 2007

That winning the lottery can be a curse in disguise is no secret. According to this article, nearly one third of all lottery winners end up broke or deeply in debt within five years of hitting the jackpot. Most winners have never had to manage anywhere close to the amounts that state lotteries pay out, and with most awards paid over time, making drastic lifestyle changes and pursuing one’s dreams without a large cash stash in the present can spell disaster.

The author’s recommendation is to get a lawyer, or at least talk with a financial planner. Sage advice to be sure, but if you ask me, lottery winners should take after this couple. The husband-wife pair owns a gas station in the Northwest Territories in Canada. They were one of two ticketholders to win a $22 million dollar jackpot. You’d think that they would sell the station and haul ass to a tropical island, but you’d think wrong. Instead, they shared the love, offering 10,000 litres of half-price gas to members of the community. They also have no intention of high-tailing to warmer climates:

“We’re not going to sell the store. We’re going to still stay here,” Ann Heron said.

“Just because we’re millionaires — or multimillionaires, I guess — we’re not going to leave. Like, this is our home. We have family and friends here. I’m hoping we might be able to do something for the community.”

The husband even plans on building his mom a new house. The dictionary entry for “awesomeness” needs updating.

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