Poor old lottery winners.

I keep reading that “The average multi-million dollar lottery winner is broke within 18 months”. Is there any truth to that?
Sounds like envy (sour grapes?) to me. I know that some fall on hard times, but the average, and broke in 18 months?
I googled and found opinions, but no real facts.

It happens. Viv Nicholson won the football pools (UK Lottery) and then lost it. Dunno whether *most *do it.

Don’t know if it helps, but here’s a google thread on someone trying to track down lottery winners:


And it’s a good excuse for my favorite lottery story (included in the above thread, btw):

Woman wins the big one.
Rushes home. Tells husband: “I just won the Big Prize. Hurry up and pack!!”
Husband: “Fantastic! Spectacular! What’s the destination?!!”
Woman: “I don’t give a rat’s butt. Just get the hell out.”

I don’t have any hard data to offer, but this is the tale I’ve heard:

If you are one of those people who spends every paycheck a week before you make it, and spend your life praying that your next paycheck arrives before your next bill… then you will treat a lottery jackpot the same way. You are likely to squander the money, and end up just as broke as you were before.

If you are in the habit of living within your means, and saving more than you spend, then you are likely to benefit from a jackpot.

In our culture, the former tend to outnumber the latter.

There have been a couple programs on lottery winners lately. Many do wind up broke or in trouble with the law. One winner of over 100 million spent and spent and spent until his mansion was lost and cars sold. A couple that looked at the lottery winning as a way to enjoy and enhance their lives have done quite well. Give an idiot 10 million he is still an idiot.

I don’t know about that last statement, but it does seem to me that more ‘former’ types probably buy lottery tickets. I consider them a waste of money, as do an awful lot of ‘latter’ types. I’m sure many savers buy lottery tickets every once in a while too, but I bet not as often.

My uncle won $4 million back in the 80’s. It was a disaster and he has truly lost everything including his wife, house, health and everything else you can think of. He is in his 60’s now and weighs about 350 pounds. He has no health insurance and the family was forced to shun him because of extreme irresponsible behavior. That is what happens when an unemployed person decides to spend $150 a week on the lottery. People told him he was an idiot but he won and thought he had the last word but that turned out to be false. Managing money responsibly takes a certain kind of smarts and people that blow everything on lottery tickets are, by definition, extremely lacking in those skills.

Eh, that’s kind of us, but while I’d expect to be broke within a couple years (depending on the size of the prize) I’d also not have any debt and would still have a job (and the kids would have college money invested) - Got the whole thing planned out, I have. The primary problem with my plan is that I don’t even gamble, much less throw money away on crap like Lotto.

Those that go wild and buy mansions and the like would burn Bill Gates fortune and still end up in debtors prison…

For a more positive story:


Post lottery success is definitely related to pre-lottery personality and IQ. And I agree that many players fall into a group that is not going to do well.
But as the link shows, some seem to do exactly the right thing, including a teeny splurge up front (he took friends to Tahiti).

I think it’s how you think of money. If you think of it as a tool, you’re in pretty good shape. If you think of it as the goal, then you’ll be in trouble.

I read somewhere that you should take the first 10% and blow it, get it out of your system, then invest the rest.

I’ve thought about what I’d do (I’m sure most of us have) and quite frankly, except for a bigger house and more travel, I don’t see my lifestyle changing all that much. I’m not one that needs sixteen Bentleys in the garage and trips to Tiffany on a weekly basis and haute coutre in the closet. I certainly would not tell the world I’d won. I’d probably spend some on charities and endowments, but for material things…not much flashy stuff needed here.

Bill gates’ net worth = $57 billion. $57,000,000,000. (About :stuck_out_tongue: )
Spend 1mil/day = $365 mil/year. $365,000,000 per year.
57,000,000,000/365,000,000 = 156 years
Did I miss any zeros? Could be.
It would take you, at 1 million dollars per day, 165 years to spend Bills money. Trouble is, all that time the money’s making even more money.
I saw a guy on tv who said that you couldn’t spend all his money if you wanted to. It would be physically impossible. He was talking about spending, not tossing.
Corrections are welcome. I’m dizzy.

After a couple of years of hearing sob stories from friends and relatives I’d tell everybody I was an idiot and blew all the money myself. :smiley:

Like the person in Chief Pedant’s post (#3), I’m having no luck finding comparitive data.
Among most of the people I’ve talked to, most don’t play the lottery. But if they did win, the multi-million dollar one anyway, It would scare the poop out of them. They would have some fun up front then hire a financial advisor for the bulk of the fortune.
So I doubt that any but a few, percentage wise, would wind up in the hole. I think lack of sophistication would be to their advantage if anything. The lotto does offer initial advice to big winners, or so I’ve heard.
There’s a group of big winners, offering help, isn’t there? Sudden millionairs anonymous? :wink:
I’d still like to see some facts.

I won $5 on pull-tabs a few weeks ago, and blew it all on the tip. That’s the extent of my gambling. Of course I have my entire Super Lotto winnings already planned out; I just need to decide to purchase a ticket. I just don’t. For me personally it wouldn’t be money that I’d miss – I just don’t do it. Maybe I’m too embarrassed to ask if I can buy lottery tickets with a credit card (anyone know?). Someone wins, and there’s the possibility it could be me. I guess I’m really just stupid for not playing. And don’t try to convince me that I’m not! It’s just money that I’d blow on something else anyway (not the kids’ college funds, retirement funds, mortgage payment, or anything – truly disposable income).

It would be very easy to spend more than a million dollars in a day.

You just have to be creative

“Hello Aircraft Carrier manufacturer? I was wondering…”

Or you could call Karl Rove and tell him that you had 57 billion and was wondering how much he would need to make you the President.

It’s not legal in New Mexico.

Being creative and aircraft carriers are tossing, not spending.
Spending is cars, trips, homes, and the like.
You guys are being desperate. Don’t be silly. Bill will take it all back.
A Porshe Carerra GT comes in at just under half a million. That’s what we’re talking about. Another quarter million for a suitable garage on the grounds of the mansion.

Someone that could make that kind of money probably isn’t psychologically capable of spending it, but the more money I had, the greater the toys would be. A million a day? Chump change. How much to buy Knowth? How much does a personal orbital craft cost? How much to try to fix the sanitation problems in parts of Africa and India? World hunger? Fund a Mars expedition?
A half-mill for a Porsche is nothing to someone with that kind of money - a $8.7 million 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe or a paltry $4.5 million 1935 Duesenberg SJ on the other hand, complete with climate controlled storage and a crew to keep them in shape.

Fella can’t spend $57 billion, he ain’t trying very hard.