Most people want to make the quick buck. We get plastered every day with get-rich-quick schemes, lottery ads and pictures in the media of the "good life." But you have to be willing to build wealth over time, earn it slowly, and work for it. If you do that, you will know how to handle money when it comes. If you don't, it will ruin your life.
One of the most popular examples of rags to riches to dirtier rags is the lottery winner. When Evelyn Adams won two—count 'em, two—New Jersey lotteries in 1985 and 1986, she went home with $5.4 million. Today, that home is a trailer, and the money is gone.
Adams says she never learned the meaning of the word no. Everyone wanted her money, and that combined with playing too many slot machines in Atlantic City means she is now broke. She didn’t know how to handle it.
Not only do most people lose all of their lottery winnings, but some even go into debt! When Suzanne Mullins won a $4.2 million Virginia lottery jackpot in 1993, she took the winnings in annual payments. She borrowed almost $200,000 and promised to pay it back with her yearly checks. Then the rules changed, and she was able to take a lump sum. That's just what she did, but she stopped making the loan payments. Now she has been sued by the lending company, but she has no money.
William "Bud" Post collected $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988. Today, after lawsuits, a hit man who was hired to kill him, jail time for shooting a gun over the head of a bill collector, $1 million in debt a year after winning, and eventually bankruptcy, he lives on Social Security.
It gets worse. Ken Proxmire won $1 million in the Michigan lottery, but he was bankrupt within five years. Willie Hurt of Michigan took home $3.1 million in 1989 and was broke and charged with murder two years later. His lawyer said he blew his money on crack cocaine and a divorce. The same thing happened to Michigan’s Charles Riddle, who won $1 million in 1975.
Gaining wealth is like being in a pool of water. If the water pours in slowly, you have time to get used to it, and you won't be overwhelmed. But if it hits you like a tidal wave, you'll be swept away. Don't fall for that. Quick money can be one of the worst curses of your life.
Source: Bankrate, MSNBC
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