Winning The Lottery Isn’t Always A Happy Ending
Updated Dec. 18, 2013. The winning numbers in last night’s mega millions Lottery were 8, 14, 17, 20 and 39, with a Megaball of 7. The winning ticket was reported sold in San Jose, Calif. While we wait for the winners to step forward, most of the rest of us will have to come to terms with the fact that we will probably never be fabulously rich. Darn!
Recently, mind you, we were sitting around the Thanksgiving table listing all the things we have to be thankful for. But once the turkey leftovers were gone, we began to think that never having to worry about money again would make us really thankful. And it seemed like the quickest way to reach that point in life was to win the lottery.
If only we won the lottery, we thought, we would quit our jobs; spend with abandon instead of counting our pennies; be generous to friends, family and charity; or travel around the world. Instead, we have to face the fact that none of this is going to happen. So we need to show up at work on time tomorrow and go back to being thankful for the things we were thankful for last week.
As it happens, winning the lottery isn’t always the happy ending to a life story anyway. It’s just a financial opportunity. Some people make the most of it, and others blow it.
Among those who made the most of it are Jim and Carolyn McCullar of Ephrata, WA. They bought a winning Mega Millions lottery ticket in January 2011 worth $190 million. They’ve set up trust funds for their four kids and 23 grandchildren, have given generously to charity, and still have millions to spare. Even if you haven’t won the lottery, this is something you might want to consider if you have more than you need. (See my post, “6 Ways To Give Family And Friends Financial Aid.”)
Cynthia Stafford, who won in 2007 won $112 million in the California lottery, split the winnings with her father and brother (don’t do this without seeing a tax pro), then started a company and has also been very philanthropic.
Far more often, it seems, money doesn’t buy happiness in this context any more than it does in others. Take the case of Evelyn Adams. She beat the odds by winning the New Jersey lottery twice – in 1985 and 1986, collecting a total of $5.4 million. But she totally blew through the money with her own spending, bad investments, gifts to family and gambling. Today she lives in a trailer.
William “Bud” Post, a 1988 lottery winner, died broke in 2006. What happened to his $16.2 million Pennsylvania lottery winnings? He spent it on houses, cars, boats, an unsuccessful family company and a twin-engine airplane (even though he didn’t have a pilot’s license). Within a year, he was $1 million in debt. His former girlfriend successfully sued him for part of winnings, his brother tried to hire a hit man to kill him.
As these cases illustrate, winning the lottery is no substitute for good money management. For more about that, see my post, “10 Things To Do When You Win The Lottery.” Our money habits are formed long before we win the lottery. Use lottery winnings wisely and you–and your heirs–could live handsomely for many, many years. If you didn’t have smart money habits up until now, you could easily turn out to be your own worst enemy by quickly squandering the fortune.
Winning the lottery is just another financial opportunity. Some people make the most of it, while others blow it.
Cynthia Stafford Net Worth
How much is Cynthia Stafford Worth?
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Cynthia Stafford net worth: Cynthia Stafford is an American businesswoman who has a net worth of $20 million. She is best known for winning the $112 million dollar California lottery in 2007 and using the money to change her life.
Before 2007, Cynthia Stafford was raising five children and struggling to pay the bills. She claims she used to lull herself to sleep at night by imagining she was holding a winning lottery check. On Mother’s Day of 2007, she bought the $2 lottery ticket that changed her life. Upon receiving her winnings, she split the money with her father and brother, and then started a production company. From there, she went on to invest in great projects and real estate properties, and has become quite successful as a result of the lottery win.
She is the CEO of Queen Nefertari Productions LLC. Today, Queen Nefertari Productions is packaging and financing 3-4 feature films per year and is looking to expand its multi-million dollar fund, which comes in the form of private investments from Stafford and other investor friends. Queen Nefertari Productions released two award- winning films Polish Bar and The Inheritance. Cynthia Stafford is also hosting an online talk show called, Hearts of Angels Network with Cynthia Stafford which focuses on drawing attention on local charities in the Los Angeles area. In addition to her dramatic transformation professionally, she is also known for being incredibly philanthropic, focusing on empowering people through education, particularly children with special needs, and in support of women’s rights. Stafford admits that she still plays the lottery every week.
Cynthia Stafford net worth: Cynthia Stafford is an American businesswoman who has a net worth of