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  1. #1 Winning the lottery: Does it guarantee happiness? 
    Winning the lottery: Does it guarantee happiness?

    By Elizabeth Landau, CNN
    January 7, 2011 2:42 p.m. EST

    (CNN) -- She was a mother of three living in a small apartment and working four jobs. And then, as if in a fairy tale, she won her state's lottery last year. But the story doesn't have the happy ending you might expect.

    She didn't do anything overly extravagant after the $1.3 million got slashed in taxes. She bought a house, got a new wardrobe at the Salvation Army, cut work down to just one job and invested the rest.

    And then came the phone calls: promises, marriage proposals, accusations, threats. People who used to volunteer to help her do things wanted money for their trouble. Family members, she says, tried to run her life, and control her money.

    "Sometimes I wish I could change my name and go somewhere and hide," said the woman, who asked not to be identified to prevent further attention.

    It's fun to think about what you would do if you played lottery numbers that brought in millions of dollars. But, disillusioning as it may seem, big winnings can come with big costs, especially because of the greed of others, experts say.

    Jim McCullar of Washington state, who claimed half of the Mega Millions $380 million prize Thursday, said he was initially afraid to come forward because "all we saw were predators and we were afraid to do anything until we got down here with police protection."

    McCullar is "not going to know who to trust and whether he can even stay and live in the same hometown," said Steven Danish, professor of psychology and social and behavioral health at Virginia Commonwealth University.

    Lottery winners sometimes experience high-profile misfortune. West Virginia businessman Andrew "Jack" Whittaker Jr. is a well-known example; he won $112 million after taxes in 2002. Among his personal tragedies since then, his granddaughter and daughter have both died, and he has allegedly been robbed several times.

    Another case is Abraham Shakespeare of Florida, who was slain after winning a $31 million lottery prize. A friend was charged with murder in his death last year and has pleaded not guilty. Shakespeare, Whittaker and other unlucky winners have been featured in documentaries such as E!'s "Curse of the Lottery."

    Winning money in a lottery isn't always a "Lost"-style curse, of course. Lee McDaniel, 67, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, won $5 million in the Georgia Lottery last year. He says he has seen no downsides at all and doesn't have anyone in his life after his money. He remodeled his house, bought a large RV and a Jeep, and invested a good chunk of it at low risk.

    Aside from those material upgrades, one of the greatest parts of winning, in his view, was being able to help his sister in California, who needed a leg amputation. She would have had to live in a nursing home, but McDaniel gave her enough money to build a ramp in her own home. He and his wife also gave money to other relatives, just because they wanted to.

    "I don't feel that I have changed. I am just very secure financially," he said.

    If money could bring happiness

    Research in psychology and economics has found that people do get happier as their income increases, but only up to a certain level where they are comfortable. One of the more recent studies on the subject, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last year, found life satisfaction rises with higher incomes up to a household income of about $75,000, and levels off afterward.

    In general, the research on the happiness of lottery winners is mixed. A 2006 study in the Journal of Health Economics of lottery winners in Britain who won up to $200,000 found an improvement in their mental well-being two years later. But an often-referenced study from 1978, comparing 22 major lottery winners with people who did not win, found no difference in happiness levels between the two groups.

    There's not an extensive amount of study in this area, but experts have a few ideas about how to make that initial thrill of winning last longer and increase overall satisfaction.

    Have a plan

    You've probably fancifully imagined what you might do with lottery earnings, but those who do well have serious plans for where they want to be in five years. Lottery winnings can help them get there, said Danish, the psychology professor.

    Those who don't have clear life goals are more likely to feel overwhelmed and fumble with the money, even more than before winning, he said.
    More at the link.

    CNN
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  2. #2  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    This is something I want to put to the test.
    The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
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  3. #3  
    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    Lottery horror stories are why poor people are the way they are and the wealthy are the way they are. Poor people can't handle money properly.

    his granddaughter and daughter have both died,
    What is the rationale behind this? Were they killed as a result of his winning or did they just die?
    Last edited by NJCardFan; 01-11-2011 at 12:48 PM.
    The Obama Administration: Deny. Deflect. Blame.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member FBIGuy's Avatar
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    It only guarantees that you can afford to make a lot of people as miserable as your are.
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    If you are a unhappy person to start off with, all the money in the world is not going to make you happy. It will buy you things but happiness is not about how many possessions you have. Sharing your good fortune with family and friends may or may not be a blessing in disguise. Just depends on the company you keep.

    People that are happy to start off with are usually giving and caring about others. So, I could see them benefiting from winning the lottery. Their level of happiness would increase. Selfish people not so much.
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    ................What is the rationale behind this? Were they killed as a result of his winning or did they just die?
    (He's asking about the lottery winner who lost both his daughter and grand daughter after winning the lottery)
    I remember that story, and if I have it right there was a drug overdose and a high speed auto accident. And, again, if I'm remembering the right guy, he was already a millionaire before he won the lottery.
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    If I ever won the lottery, I'd take the money and disappear.
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  8. #8  
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    I saw this alot when I was dealing. People made alot of money and wanted everyone around them to have a party also. I was never like that. You wanted any money you were welcomed to climb into a car packed full of weed at the border and drive it to Houston, Ft. Worth, St. Louis. There was never any monetary value whatsoever to just hanging out with me.

    I win the lottery, you would waste you time completely asking me for money. That goes for charities as well.
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  9. #9  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    Lottery horror stories are why poor people are the way they are and the wealthy are the way they are. Poor people can't handle money properly.


    What is the rationale behind this? Were they killed as a result of his winning or did they just die?
    ARe they poor because they can't handle money properly or are they unable to handle money properly because they are poor?
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Tecate's Avatar
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    Money does very weird things to people. I've seen families fight over inheritance money, real estate, etc.

    If I ever came into that kind of money, I doubt that much would change. Modest house, modest car, modest clothing, etc., material things don't mean very much to me. I'd probably buy an assload of gold, platinum, and palladium bars and have them strewn in safe deposit boxes all over central Texas. I'd keep just enough money in the bank to pay the bills, so essentially I would appear "broke" on paper.
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