By Kathy Gilroy -
Now that the media frenzy over the largest lottery jackpot in US history has died down, let's look at it with clear eyes. It's mostly overlooked that purchasers of tickets for the $1.6 billion Powerball lottery had to overcome two sets of odds to emerge victorious.
The first odds were the 1-in-292-million chance of winning the jackpot. The second odds were the dismal chance of successfully leading a happy life after winning such a life-changing amount of money. Even though there were three winners to divide the jackpot, it will be interesting to see how the addition of an annuitized payout of over $500 million to their lives will affect the winners.
Who would even want to be hunted down by the media (such as three winners are now) because they won such a huge amount of money? A poll conducted by OnePoll.com found that 6% of those polled would murder someone for $1 billion.
Would you want to spend the rest of your life wondering which one of each 16 people that you know, or come across, would have answered "Yes" to that question? Lottery winners have been murdered for much smaller amounts of money and often commit suicide.
According to Time.com, 96% of lottery winners take the lump-sum payout. Do they think that winning the lottery turned them into top-notch investors? Many financial advisers also recommend taking the lump sum. That indicates greed on all of their parts. Yet, even most of those who take the annuity payments end up in financial trouble.
Many purchasers of Powerball tickets only did so because of the relentless bombardment of the media, advertising the size of the jackpot. Doesn't that also indicate greed and mania? The odds are not any better for large jackpots than they are for small jackpots.
If you bought a Powerball ticket, how do you feel now about donating your money to the winners, to ruin their and their families' lives? That's really all you did, you know.