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.