I’ve got two tickets to Paradise.
— Eddie Money
When the body of murdered Florida Lotto winner Abraham Shakespeare was found, his mother said that on many occasions Shakespeare had said he wished he had torn up the winning ticket.
After lottery winner Jack Whitaker, of Hurricane, W.Va., went through a litany of problems, including the drug overdose death of his granddaughter, his wife, now his ex-wife, he said he wished he had torn up his record-breaking Powerball ticket.
Seems like a lot of lottery winners want to tear up the ticket.
Some don’t verbalize the thought. They just run through the money as fast as they can.
Having unlimited wealth is a dream for many people. However, I keep running into others, like 9/11 widow Kathy Trant, who consciously or subconsciously hated the idea of being rich.
What is going on?
A lot of misery comes from not having financial systems in place. The winners weren’t ready for their 15 minutes of fame and the hangers-on who would want a piece of them.
People don’t really know what to do with wealth. Some dream of showing off or sticking it to people they don’t like. While “take this job and shove it” probably feels good for a day, revenge won’t keep you happy over the long run.
Money equals security for most people. Or, at least, it should. One of the primary reasons that people become entrepreneurs is to keep big corporations from running their lives. They want to be responsible for their own financial destiny.
Because money is the ultimate security blanket, it seems senseless that people fritter it away. Yet, it has been said that 90 percent of people who get a lump sum do exactly that.
Some people get tired of pursuing money for money’s sake.
I’ve long been fascinated by the story of Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity. Fuller became a millionaire at a very young age. His primary focus had been getting rich.
His wife was at the point of leaving him. He stepped back and took a look at himself and didn’t like what he saw. He and his wife sold everything and moved to a commune-like farm. From there, he redirected his passion and business skills and built an organization that made a profound and lasting impact on society.
I’ve studied “Big Money” for all of my adult life, and most of the problems come down to a few areas.
First is a person, like Abraham Shakespeare, who just couldn’t say no. He was the perfect mark for every con artist with a story.
Usually, the person with a story isn’t a stranger. It’s family, longtime friends and newly found “romantic interests.” A lot of emotions get brought into play.
And money seems to flow out the door.
The second is having too much money all at once. Most of the lotto winners who get in trouble are the people who took all the cash up front.
If it were up to me, I wouldn’t let lottery winners take a “cash option.”
If they took the annual payments, they would learn from the mistakes with their first installment or two, and would still have 18 or 19 more chances to get it right.
Most lottery winners eventually figure things out, once the money is gone. Or when they are at the point where they wish they had “torn up the ticket.”
The government figured it out a long time ago. We don’t give people a lump sum Social Security check at retirement. We don’t want them to run out of the money. The same used to hold true with pension plans. People received an annuity that lasted the rest of their lives.
Today, most pensions are 401(k) plans. Just like the lotto winners, people are running out of retirement money while they are still alive.
When you think about it, almost all of us have our own “lotto moment.” We make decisions about money that will either give us long-term security and happiness or bring on pain and regret.
Handling a lump sum wisely can be a “ticket to paradise.” Or, like Abraham Shakespeare and Powerball Jack, it can be a ticket to misery that they wish they would have torn up.
I’ve got two tickets to Paradise.
- Lifestyles & Community
Victory through Stratagems: the Allied Invasion of Normandy France on June 6th 1944
Dr. Ralph Thompson a former chemistry professor at Eastern Kentucky University spoke on the “Deceptions of WWII” to the Central Kentucky World War II Roundtable.
When will the ordeal finally be over?
I was just thinking about the ordeal I’ve been going through since Sept. 19.
Life in Stringtown was full of hard work, simple pleasures
I had a chance to visit recently with an old friend, Alene Perkins Long.
Burning bridges and the importance of relationships
“Congratulations on your new job!” You tell a co-worker who announced she would be leaving in a couple of weeks. “Where are you going?” You ask her.
“I’ve landed a job that will put this place to shame! I am so excited about leaving here. This is going to be a great chance to advance my career,” the co-worker tells you.
Ensuring children develop a habit brushing their teeth
“Are you sure you brushed your teeth?” the father asked his son. His son solemnly nodded. His father said, “Let me smell your breath.” The son obligingly opened his mouth. Finally, the father said, “I need to check and see if your toothbrush is wet.”
This type of exchange happens in many households as children often do not brush their teeth, even when told to do so. This nightly inquisition can occur less frequently if parents establish a habit in their children to brush their teeth.
Saturated fat consumption leads to abdominal fat
New research from Uppsala University shows that eating more saturated fat in the diet causes an increase in the amount of fat stored in the abdominal area in comparison with extra consumption of polyunsaturated fat.
County’s oldest consignment sale begins today
The Little Ones’ Consignment Sale, Madison County’s oldest semi-annual sale of its kind, is open to the public 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today (Friday) and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the multi-ministry center behind United Methodist Church, West Main Street, Richmond. Marked items are half price on Saturday.
There’s more to do at the Village Trough
“I wish there was more to do here.”
Do you ever find yourself saying this sentence as you sit there bored out of your mind? Have you heard others ask it?
Well, there is something more to do now that Village Trough in Berea is staging shows with local and regional talent and preparing to open as a full dining and entertainment venue.
Let’s have a Mardi Gras party in Kentucky
It’s the time of year when the people in New Orleans celebrate a festival called Mardi Gras. Many states now do the same. Some call it “Fat Tuesday” which I have never understood till I went to New Orleans (five times) and saw all of the excitement for myself.
Beat the winter blues with meatballs
When it’s this cold outside it’s nice to warm up with some good comfort food.
I can think of few things more wonderful than the smell of simmering meatballs coming from the kitchen while I cuddle with my two young children, and a few good books, on a brisk winter day.
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- Victory through Stratagems: the Allied Invasion of Normandy France on June 6th 1944