From Winning to Hiding

A lottery consequence you may not have thought of

Aug 27, 2012 | WRITTEN BY CHRIS RUSSELL

When you win a lottery, your life as you know it changes. And, as many lottery winners know, not always in a good way.

Holly Lahti has joined the group.

Lahti held the winning numbers in January 2011 for the $190 Mega Millions jackpot. Days after it was announced, she had her picture taken ... for a mug shot ... complete with a black eye and some bruises. Her estranged husband Joshua posed for a similar photo.

In the following days, she dropped off the map. That included quitting her job, disconnecting her phone, and asking the media not to contact her. She moved from her hometown of Rathdrum, Idaho, with her husband, and no one knows where they live. The witness protection program couldn't do it any better.

It's understandable that she'd want to keep her privacy, because heaven knows she'd be bombarded with sob stories, open hands and more requests for money than the Wells Fargo mortgage department. But the attention that comes with striking it rich is usually unwelcome, and your life starts to look like something other than yours. You can't just go to the grocery store or out with friends without things getting weird.

On top of that, someone who hasn't worked, sweated and suffered to build wealth over many years most often doesn't know how to handle sudden riches. Since they didn't sweat and suffer for it, they spend it freely. That's why, as odd as it seems, you'll see headlines of lotto winners who file for bankruptcy or otherwise claim to be broke. And family troubles go through the roof.

Be patient with wealth building. Give it time to grow and don't, in any case, think that material possessions will make you happy. Your seventh new car doesn't produce the same thrill as your first. Get into a job you love that will make the days fly by so you won't spend them all wishing you were rich.

Having that approach will change your life–in a good way.

Reader Comments (5)

Slow and steady wins the race...every time.
Member at 9:05 AM, August 28 2012
Amen to the slow and steady. Even though we perfer the quick and ready.
Member at 12:56 PM, August 28 2012
Not only this...but people have been blackmailed, kanapped, and murdered because they have won the lottery.
Member at 9:48 PM, August 28 2012
and it's not just slow and steady but getting back up when you fall down, every time:) That's what I've learned, it's never to late to try again
Member at 12:33 PM, September 06 2012
If I ever won the lottery, I'd donate a good amount to the animal shelter in town and another chunk to my church and then take off to Germany! Yeah, I speak some German. However... THAT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN, because I don't bother to buy lottery tickets! LOL My income is small and tight already, can't afford wasting money on that garbage.
Member at 4:11 PM, September 06 2012

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