I just read this article about a person named Jack Whittaker who apparently won around $315 million dollars in a US lottery called the â€œPowerballâ€ which he opted to take a lump sum winning of $133 million after taxes. According to the report I read, this is the largest single winning lottery jackpot in US history.
What the story talked about was how Jack Whittaker was accused in assaulting a woman in a casino and that they reached an undisclosed settlement which he is required to pay. Unfortunately, he apparently doesnâ€™t have any money left to pay for it with the main reason being that a team of crooks had cashed in checks from his account on September the 12th and as a result he has no money left. On top of that, they listed some of the more serious things that has happened to him since his lottery winnings such as he has been sued by casinos for providing checks that bounced, he was forced to go to rehab for drinking and driving charges and in a more extreme incident he was sued in a case of an 18 year old boy who died in his home.
Now the thing I always think about in situations like these are was it truly a case of just someone having extremely bad luck or was a lot of this controllable due to various choices that were made before? Iâ€™ve actually seen this happen to many people in a less extreme case of course. I guess the main culprit is that when you receive so much money to the point where you donâ€™t have to worry about it, you tend to not take the necessary precautions that you normally would when it comes to finance and the way you live. In cases like these, I think one needs to experience failure at least once in their lifetime when they are placed in a financially fortunate situation as this will provide one with a more mature and responsible outlook in managing their lifestyle with a lot of money.
This doesnâ€™t mean either that you need to get say a million dollars and then purposely do some irresponsible things to put yourself in the gutter. In my opinion, all you really need is the real feel of having that amount of control in your financial situation and then because of your actions you lose it all. This can be accomplished even by some of the more simple ways such playing a game like Monopoly. There are probably some people confused by that I bet. For example, there was a time as a kid when I played Monopoly with my friends and it would seem like I had it all and didnâ€™t have to worry about anything. I just threw the dice without much care and while I would land in a spot that would force me to pay a certain amount, it didnâ€™t bother me as I had so much money and didnâ€™t care too much in strategically buying certain properties. Afterwards, the penalties just kept coming it seemed and the other players were building houses and hotels. Eventually, I lost all my money.
For me, that taught me a lesson not to be so careless/wreckless with money as having a lot of money today doesnâ€™t automatically give you a lot of money tomorrow. Even in that case, would you say it was just a coincidence that all the bad luck just seemed to have happened then? A lot of people often say they learn from failure as it makes them stronger and when it comes to financial management I would say that it is no different.