I don’t want to start a “Gambling Good! / Gambling Bad!,” debate, but I would like to ask about state lotteries.
I’ve heard from many sources that most of the people who win the lottery say that it ruined their lives. I’ve always assumed that the people who reported this had an axe to grind (anti-lottery activists, etc.), but now I’m not so sure.
How can sudden wealth ruin someone’s life? I’ve been poor before, and I can tell you confidently that it sucks dirt. So what gives?
I have some theories:
The Termite Theory: When X person wins the lottery, all of these long-lost relatives come out of the woodwork, demanding a piece of the pie, and thus families fall apart.
The War of the Roses Theory: Married couples differ over how to spend/invest the money and the marriage falls apart.
The Molly Brown Theory: A person finds sudden wealth and thinks they’ll be accepted by the Upper Crust, but then get the cold shoulder and take it personally.
The Prodigal Son Theory: They squander the money on yachts, caviar, and the general Good Life and wind up just as broke as they were to begin with.
I’d like to hear some other theories. Also, any Dopers who have come into sudden wealth? How did you handle it? Did it ruin your life?