Do You Really Want To Win The $425 Million Powerball Jackpot?
Here we go again. Lotto fever is here. The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing is expected to reach $425 million! The frenzy to buy tickets for the biggest Powerball jackpot ever is in full swing. Even though the odds of winning it are 175 million to one (I heard you have a better chance of winning an Oscar), that doesn’t stop millions from dreaming.
You won? Now do this
We’re all winners in our mind before the drawing, so here are the first things experts say you should do once you’ve won all that money (source: ABC News):
- Turn the ticket over and find out how long you have to claim the money.
- Get a safe deposit box and put the ticket inside where it can’t be lost or stolen.
- Get a new cell phone number and put the home phone on voice mail.
- Hire professionals who specialize in financial windfalls.
$16 million of trouble
Think all that money won’t change your life? It will, and not always for the better. I’ll never forget William “Bud” Post. I met Post nearly 20 years ago in front of his rundown mansion in Oil City, Pennsylvania. Five years before that Post won $16 million in the Pennsylvania lottery. But he faced nothing but trouble after that, including a hit man hired by his brother to kill him so he could inherit some money. It didn’t take long before the money was squandered and, one time, Post was thrown in jail for firing a gun at a bill collector.
“Much happier” broke
I googled his name recently and found a 2006 Washington Post story that said Post had died that year of respiratory failure. He ended up relying on Social Security disability checks. The article included this description of the financial problems Post faced:
The paper multimillionaire, strapped for cash, sold off most of his acquisitions. Visitors to his crumbling mansion in Oil City noted plywood-covered windows, missing shower stalls, a swimming pool filled with debris, an old car on blocks in the weedy yard and a malfunctioning security system that chirped six times every 60 seconds.
A disheveled Mr. Post ambled around his 16-room home without his false teeth, because he said they made his head hurt.
“I was much happier when I was broke,” he moaned.
On the whole, studies show jackpot winners are happier for the money, but expect five years to pass before you feel any sense of normalcy again. Think about that, as well as Bud Post, as you dream of winning $425 million.
Update 11-27 3:30 pm: Powerball jackpot is now $500 million!