“One of the winners of the 1-billion peso prize of lotto has claimed the prize!” I read the news during the weekend.
Can you imagine that amount of instant money? From almost nothing, now he has half a billion? According to the news, the winner borrowed some money to claim his check in Manila. Whew! That’s real rags to riches story. But since it happened “overnight,” handling such amount of money is a different story. I can’t imagine the stress!
There are reports of previous winners who went from rags to riches and then back to rags.
They were saying that winning the lottery was a curse. That money can make a person greedy. That money is the source of evil.
Take the following snippets from the news…
Jack Whittaker won $315 million. Ten years later, his daughter and granddaughter had both died of drug overdoses. His wife divorced him. While in a strip club, he was drugged and robbed of $545,000 in cash. (The New York Times)
Lara and Roger Griffiths won $2.76 million. They bought a million-dollar home and a Porsche. Their 14-year marriage ended, a freak fire gutted their home, and every penny of their fortune was gone. (Business Insider)
William Post III won $16.2 million. Within three months, he was $500,000 in debt. A former girlfriend successfully sued him for a share of his winnings. He was arrested for shooting his debt collector. His brother hired a contract murderer to kill him and his sixth wife. He died penniless. (Washington Post)
On the other side, there are also those who were making good use of their winning…
Colin and Christine Weir, Britain’s biggest lottery winners donate £30,000 for an operation to help three-year-old girl walk after reading mother’s heartfelt plea. (Daily Mail UK)
Allen and Violet Large, A Canadian couple who won $11.2million (£7 million) on the lottery have given it all away to friends, charities, and hospitals. (Daily Mail UK)
Jim and Carolyn McCullar, from a small town in Washington state, won half of a $380 million prize in the Mega Millions lottery. They gave the legacy to their 6 children and 23 grandchildren. (NBC News)
So, what can we learn from those opposing stories?
Money magnifies the desires of the heart. If you are greedy without money, you will still be greedy or even be greedier with a lot of money.
Money is like a two-edged sword. If you handle it the right way, it will serve you well. Or else it will hurt you.
Money is a mindset. Whatever you do with your money starts in the mind.
I often hear people saying, “I wish I had more money to solve my problems.” That’s why many people bet in the lottery. Having a lot of money is a dream come true to solve all problems.
But does it really solve all problems?
I don’t have a personal experience with having a lot of money, but I don’t think it will solve all problems. Based on the experiences of previous lotto winners, sometimes extra money can cause extra problems, especially if you don’t know how to deal with it.
In fact, if you don’t know how to keep it, you will lose it. And the money goes out faster than it goes the pocket. If you don’t know how to wisely use it, it will use you. If you don’t know how to master it, you will become its slave.
My hope is that the current lotto winners will learn how to keep, how to use wisely and how to master the money that they have won.
I also hope that those who dream of millions (or billions) will first look inside the desires of their hearts, learn how to handle money and understand the real value of money before the bet into lotto.