Blessing or Curse? Depends on you.
A life changing event for someone who bought a Powerball ticket at a Trenton 7-11 store. Best thing that could’ve happened to that person, right? Well, maybe not. Turns out that many lottery winners end up broke and worse off than they were before cashing in the big check. Other than playing in the Chasing News and NJ101.5 lottery pool for the previous billion dollar jackpot, I’m not a lottery player. Seems like throwing away your money in small increments without even the enjoyment of a boardwalk midway game. And after spending nearly $50 I’ve sworn it off… at least until the next billion dollar jackpot. Money has value. It doesn’t come from nothing and has to be produced and earned. The more people understand how to earn money, the more value it has for them and the more likely they are to manage it well and make it grow. Unfortunately so many people who win the lottery have no understanding of how to manage money and as a result nearly half of large prize lottery winners actually end up broke. The irony is the person most likely to avoid a financial hardship as a result of winning the lottery is the person who really didn’t need the lottery to be financially stable in the first place.
Some have attributed the phenomenon to guilt spending and being stretched too thin because once your big win is public, everybody wants a piece. Probably true, but doesn’t really speak to the real issue of dealing with personal finances that seems to elude many people around the world.
Bottom line is that having more money doesn’t make you a better money manager. And being rich doesn’t exempt you from financial difficulties. Just look at how many million-dollar NFL stars end up broke. The story of William “The Refrigerator” Perry is one I reference often in conversation about how it’s critical to value money and how you earn it.
You don’t need to win the lottery to have money. Work hard, strong positive attitude and a little professional luck and you might get rich anyway. My advice? Instead of buyin’ a lottery ticket, take the dollar, buy some coffee and work harder at your job.