Lottery: Any data on how winners fare afterward?

Has anyone looked at how the winners of big lottery jackpots ($1 mil+) end up? Do their lives tend to improve in the long run, or do they tend to turn out worse, b/c the people go crazy, spend all their cash, and wind up totally broke?

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I read an article on this in the local paper (San Jose Mercury) a while back and as I remember it it was a pretty mixed bag. There were a few stories about how idiots squandered their fortunes… a few even committed suicide because of it (how do they know for sure?)… but most people invested their money and either made their fortunes bigger or smaller… depending on how wise their investments were.

The biggest change to their lives I remember was the fact that everyone and their brother would call them and try to sell them something so they invariably changed their phone numbers and tried to go underground…

Every so often you’ll see on Dateline NBC or some other such show where they’ll offer some anecdotal reports about some such person whose life was ruined by winning the lottery. It makes for good TV…

Interestingly enough, I saw a report on TLC about people who won the lottery and are now living The Good Life (or something approaching it) with no complaints. I guess it all depends on how well you manage your life and your money. Which, upon reflection, is true whether you’re filthy rich or just a regular Joe.

I can’t offer you any hard statistics, but my WAG is that probably around 60% mis-manage their winnings and thus wind up broke (as well as suffer other tragedies like divorce, etc.) and 40% hire good accountants and do OK. FWIW, YMMV.

I heard a little trivia on the radio months back.

The question was: 100% of ALL lottery winners do this?
Lady answers “Buy a car”
DJ “Gain weight”
It certainly makes sense…

Therefore we can conclude:
Annorexics will be worst off
Megarexics will be best off