Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Bane of Winning

     Admit it, you bought one, or two or ten.  Lottery ticket or tickets of course.  That half a BILLION dollars.  I did, please see above and nope, didn't win, not even one number.

     Of course, it's fun to think about what you could do with ALL THAT MONEY!  Issues that are a daily, if not hourly concern would (in theory) vanish.  Your kids (and grandkids) could be perpetual students.  For that matter, I could go back to school and bring my fraternity brothers with me.  We could re-colonize our old fraternity and I could even represent us in misdemeanor court for noise violations.  (Oh wait, I don't stay up late any more and complain about my kids' music being too loud.  Never mind...)

     Seriously, everyone I know had the "If I don't come in tomorrow" line on Wednesday.  And that's fine.  It is part of the fun to dream about how your life would change.  And it would.  Of course, it might not be for the best.  As the link below shows, there is the "lottery curse."  People who have won it have suffered deaths of loved ones and other less horrible but nonetheless heartbreaking events.  As the wife of one winner commented, "I wish I would have tore up the ticket."  (Or words to that effect.  (Please see the link below for the precise quote.)

     But what about those who do not suffer tragedies?  There is a strong likelihood that a winner of a mega jackpot will be broke down the road.  Oh and by the way, not decades, but a mere half of one.  I found this quote that sums it up pretty well:

"The researchers, led by Mark Hoekstra of the University of Pittsburgh, found that five years down the line, there were almost no meaningful differences between the big lottery winners and the small. The two groups had comparable assets and debts. But there was one big distinction -- the big winners were more likely to have gone bankrupt, for the simple reason that, as the authors put it, they had "'consumed their winnings.'"

     So be of good cheer if you did not win.  If you think about all the good stuff that is in your life, you are already a winner.  (OK, I admit, it is a trite expression but it is the best I come up with at 9:39 on a Thursday night and I have to be up at 5 tomorrow for mandatory fun (PT) so go with me on this, please. I will end on something I heard from Tony Robbins years (like 1990s) ago.  He was commenting about how he interviewed Sir John Templeton, then one of the richest men in the world.  As I recall the discussion, Robbins said,

     "Sir John, what is the secret to wealth?"

     The answer offered was one word- "Gratitude."

     We are all capable of this so in theory, we are all wealthy, even if we have to go to work tomorrow.  Oh, and we are free of the bane of the lottery win.  Perhaps that is the most priceless thing we can possess.


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