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There are many out there that blithely state that ‘it won’t change me’ when they win a big payout. It could be the lottery, a jackpot on the slots or a big win at the races. It does change most people and not always for the good. There are some tragic stories connected to big wins.
Some end up in jail, others have committed suicide. There have even been murders committed, but let’s not dwell on the negative. As a psychologist, negativity comes through my door often enough. The nature of the beast is, I don’t get the good stories first hand.
There have been some truly heartwarming stories connected to lottery wins. They unfortunately don’t make such good press so may not get the coverage they deserve. So here’s a couple I have heard.
Colin and Christine Weir won a staggering amount in 2011. $250 million is enough in anybody’s eyes. The couple soon gained a reputation for being generous. A young girl suffering from cerebral palsy got a chunk of cash as did a young artist. They gave their house to a teenage mother and set up the Weir Charitable Trust to help their community.
Now for the downside. That much money in one go can push you over the edge. A prime example is the Euro Millions winner Jane Park. At 17 years of age she was the youngest ever winner. Scooping a £1 million jackpot in 2013 the Scottish teen went about spending it.
But, as they say money doesn’t buy happiness. Jane has been quoted as saying:
I have material things but apart from that my life is empty. What is my purpose in life?
I thought it would make my life ten times better but it has made it ten times worse
She even talked about suing the lottery organizers saying people her age should not be allowed to win such sums. Claiming it has ruined her life!
There are more than a few that have blown their winnings in spectacular fashion. Pete Kyle reportedly blew £5.1 million in a couple of years. Ex garbage man Michael Carroll self-styled ‘lotto lout’ won £10 million at the age of 19. He proceeded to spend every penny on fast cars and an extravagant lifestyle. Spending a significant amount of money on cocaine, gambling and prostitutes he claimed the lifestyle nearly killed him.
He has been quoted as saying that he now loves his life. There are no more hangers on he says and he doesn’t get begging letters anymore. So maybe you might want to think twice about buying that ticket!