The Dark Side Of Winning The Lottery: Person Shares Examples Of How Winning Big Can Ruin Your Life

Winning the lottery is both a blessing and a curse. Mostly the latter. If you don’t know how to handle the immense pressure that comes from suddenly getting tons and tons of cash, it can very much ruin your life… as it has countless lottery winners before you.

There is an epic (and we don’t use that word lightly here) series of comments that never lose their relevance, shared by redditor u/BlakeClass on an old Reddit thread. Pretty much everyone who had ever bought a lottery ticket ought to read it. And internet users from pretty much everywhere refer to it whenever the discussion turns to people wishing they could win millions.

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The redditor revealed exactly the type of negative impact this has had on previous winners, and outlined a plan of action to protect you and your newfound treasure hoard, and to help you secure generational wealth. It is basically a detailed how-to guide on what to do, what to avoid doing, and how to keep your sanity. You’ll find their legendary comments below, dear Pandas. Scroll down and have a read—this is one post that you definitely don’t want to miss.

We got in touch with Ariane Sherine, the author of ‘The How of Happy: What will REALLY help you lead a more joyful life?’, for her insights about the link between wealth and happiness. Scroll down to read Bored Panda’s interview with her!

Many people daydream about winning the lottery, but it isn’t the blessing that you might think it is. If you don’t know what to do, it might ruin you

Image credits: Emiliano Vittoriosi (not the actual photo)

One internet user created a fantastic step-by-step guide on what to do and what pitfalls to avoid if Lady Luck ever smiles upon you

Lottery winners tend to run into a very wide range of problems. It’s vital to be aware of what’s likely to happen

You not only have to be mindful of your own behavior, you have to start keeping an eye out for your family and friends

The internet user pointed to lottery winner Jack Whittaker’s life as an example of just how off the rails things might go

Image credits: unknown source

Strangers quickly began harassing Whittaker, hoping to lay their hands on at least part of his wealth

Even his charity and generosity weren’t above scrutiny

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Image credits: ABC News

The immense pressure spread and had huge negative effects on the winner’s loved ones

Meanwhile, the lottery winner was hounded for offenses, whether real or imagined. Even law enforcement wasn’t above pettiness

Even Whittaker’s wife left him, in the end. But the fact is, his horrible experiences are the rule, rather than the exception

Image credits: allthatsinteresting

Here’s what happened to some other major lottery winners

The very first thing that you should do when you win the lottery is to retain an attorney. Immediately!

Image source: Mikhail Nilov (not the actual photo)

Next, opt for the lump sum payment, rather than getting a small sum annually. Here’s why

When it comes to sharing your wealth with your nearest and dearest, you have to make a decision on how much to support them. Then stick by it

Investment managers are, ironically, not the best investment. The creator of the guide explained why

Image source: 401(K) 2012 (not the actual photo)

Next, take a look at how to create a financial safety net. Choose stable investments and avoid gambling at all costs

Here’s where you might want to dump another large part of your winnings, so you have a steady income stream in the future

Finally, you’re left with a ‘modest’ sum that you should feel confident about ‘playing’ around with, once you’ve ensured your continued financial stability

Image credits: BlakeClass

Bored Panda was interested to find out more about the link between wealth and happiness. Writer Ariane, the author of ‘The How of Happy,’ was kind enough to illuminate some things for us. She noted that wealth is important, but it’s only one of many factors that contribute to true happiness and life satisfaction.

“Money makes life a lot easier, but the key is to remember what’s really important: the things that money can’t buy, such as love, kindness, honesty, loyalty, etc.,” she shared.

What’s more, the happiness expert suggested that lottery winners ought to “stick with the people who have always been loyal to you before winning the money, rather than people who are attracted to you for your newfound wealth.”

Ariane noted that wealth and happiness do correlate. However, it’s not necessarily a linear progression.

“After you’re on about $100,000 a year, more money doesn’t make you significantly happier,” the author of ‘The How of Happy’ pointed out.

Meanwhile, when it comes to figuring out if your relationship with someone is genuine or based on (their) greed, it’s usually enough to take take a peek at their actions.

“If someone is regularly asking you for money then I think it’s pretty clear what motivates them. My closest friend never asks me for money and always makes a point of refunding me if I give him too much. That’s the kind of person you want in your life,” Ariane warned.

It’s any content creator’s dream to create something so brilliant that it’s still relevant years and years later. Now, 9 years later, we can firmly say that redditor u/BlakeClas has succeeded in creating something that is an inseparable part of internet culture. Odds are that you’ve read their posts about being unlucky enough to win the lottery sometime in the past, completely by accident. It keeps popping up here and there, where huge sums of money are the tantalizing topic of conversation.

Retaining an attorney, taking the lump sum offered, keeping things under wraps as long as possible, investing your money, and deciding exactly how much cash you’re willing to give your family and friends: this lies at the core of the redditor’s advice. As much as we’d all love to share our joy about winning the gosh darn lottery (!!!) with our nearest and dearest, that would probably be a massive mistake, all things considered. You never truly know a person until you see how they react to mind-melting wealth.

So while you’re busy jumping up and down with joy, your distant relatives and acquaintances are already calculating how much they might be able to weasel out of you by telling you a sob story or buttering you up. Expect to be the center of attention. Expect to be pressured to buy gifts and pay for holidays, trips, and expensive nights out. It can be overwhelming and you might soon find yourself surrounded on all sides by people who only tolerate you because you’ve got the resources they want. That’s no way to live. That’s why it’s vital to keep your winnings secret for as long as possible, while you lay the groundwork for your investments, safety nets, and (hopefully) generational wealth. People love to gossip. People enjoy telling secrets.

Very recently, financial expert Sam Dogen, the founder of Financial Samurai and the author of ‘Buy This, Not That,’ explained to Bored Panda that there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle once word gets out that you’re wealthy. So if you were planning on practicing stealth wealth (i.e. living a middle-class lifestyle and staying under the radar with your riches), sadly, you’re all out of luck at that point.

“Everybody will do their own mental calculations of how much you can spend, how nice of a car or house you can buy, and what type of fancy vacations you can take. Your acquaintances and non-closest friends will start to resent you if you don’t treat them to nice meals and pay for things,” Sam told us during an interview, earlier.

“If your partner shares your secret of winning the lottery when you explicitly asked not to, you can no longer trust them with other big secrets. Given a healthy relationship is based on trust, a lot of work will be required to heal the betrayal. It may be best to start over and find a new partner, someone who doesn’t know your wealth status. The truly wealthy learn how to convince people they are middle class in order to blend in,” the founder of Financial Samurai said.

The financial expert noted that one way to inform your family and friends that you won’t be fulfilling their demands right this very minute is to “simply say your money is earmarked towards specific charitable institutions you care about.” After you’ve given to these causes, according to your plan, “then you can consider friend and relative requests.”

Lending money to friends and family often creates weird dynamics. Instead of lending money, it’s better to just give money to friends and family without expectations. If you’ve won the lottery, you might as well make as many lottery winners as possible with your closest relationships,” the expert suggested.

Though wealth won’t buy you true happiness outright (there are other factors that contribute to this, from an active social life to having good health and working with purpose), it’s still an essential part of the equation. Broadly speaking, wealthier countries tend to have higher happiness scores.

Meanwhile, new research suggests that people’s emotional well-being continues to rise the wealthier they get. Having a financial cushion gives you a sense of stability when things get tough. However, the people who equated money with success were less happy than others, CNBC reports. The bottom line is that money is important; but it’s far from the most vital aspect. At least as far as happiness is concerned!

The post The Dark Side Of Winning The Lottery: Person Shares Examples Of How Winning Big Can Ruin Your Life first appeared on Bored Panda.


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