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For Find Out Friday - Does Winning the Lotto Really Ruin Your Life?

I do not play the lottery although I still hope to win it someday. 

Since I do not pay close attention to what the prize money is up to or who wins, I have just learned something fascinating about the process. Apparently you have to reveal your identity in order to claim your new found finances.

To me that doesn’t sound like such a big deal but in writing this blog I reveal much more about myself than just my name. 

I heard on the news the other day that the woman who won five hundred fifty-nine million dollars from the New Hampshire Powerball in January, is fighting to keep her identity a secret. 

Apparently the name of the lottery winner and how much he or she wins is a matter of public record. Especially when they fill out the information on the back of the ticket which is mandatory in order to send it in and receive the payout. This woman did that but then realized she could have opted to put the name of a trust instead. 

Being that she lives in a small town she wants to keep her winnings anonymous so the she may avoid changes to her lifestyle. This would allow her to still run errands, work, etc., as per her normal routine. It would also avoid numerous calls asking to borrow money. 

If she would erase her name and info from the back of her ticket the Lottery Commission says it would invalidate her winnings. This matter has been sent to a judge and is currently being reviewed. For every day her winnings aren’t claimed she is losing approximately fifty-thousand dollars in interest.

As of today there is no update.

While each state has control over its own lottery and rules, New York State has the same policy as New Hampshire. So think before you sign. But if you ask me its worth the “burden”.

Though that might not be the answer for everyone. 

It is commonly thought that winning the lottery is not all its cracked up to be. There are countless stories about those who won the lottery one minute and wound up dead or completely broke the next.

The only two positive stories I know that are associated with lottery winnings come from the entertainment world. 

The first is portrayed in the 1994 movie “It Can Happen to You”. While there are a few differences between the film’s depiction and what happened in real life, it is based on a true story. Nicholas Cage plays a cop who splits his winning lottery ticket with a waitress as her tip. There is some fall out in the movie. As its been said money changes you and not always for the better.

The second instance was an episode of the Golden Girls. When these ladies in Miami hit it big they accidentally misplaced the ticket. As they go in search of it they end up spending the night in a homeless shelter and by the time they find it they realize the shelter needs the money more than they do. 

The very valuable lesson can be seen here:

If its one thing I know for sure, the Golden Girls always lead by example. 

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