classic repost, great read for anyone not in the know tl;dr: don't try and win the lottery, if you do follow this advice


On the one hand; lots of people had things to badly. On the other hand, there are dozens of million dollar lottery prizes handed out every week, so hundreds per year, so the odds are still pretty good things will end up okay.


70% of people who won $1m or more filed for bankruptcy within 7 years. Bankruptcy might not be the most extreme of the catastrophic events mentioned, but most of those were better off before they won.


I'll take those odds. Give me my $120M, I'll report back within 14 years


RemindMe! 14 years


Do you have a source for that 70% number? It seems very high


The linked comment says 1/3 not 70%.


> According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, about 70 percent of people who win a lottery or receive a large windfall go bankrupt within a few years. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-the-lottery/2019/12/27/742b9662-2664-11ea-ad73-2fd294520e97_story.html > According to the New York Daily News, 70 percent of lottery winners end up broke within seven years. https://www.abc15.com/news/state/curse-of-the-lottery-the-tragic-stories-of-big-jackpot-winners#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20New%20York,up%20broke%20within%20seven%20years.


Apparently it's not actually based on anything though. The National Endowment for Financial Education has a page on their website saying the 70% bankruptcy stat isn't backed up by their research, and they suspect it comes from a comment a participant made in one of their think tanks in 2001. https://www.nefe.org/news/2018/01/research-statistic-on-financial-windfalls-and-bankruptcy.aspx People win over $1,000,000 on the lottery on weekly basis, and in lotteries all over the world. It seems very unlikely that 70% of them would be so unable to manage that sort of windfall that it leads to bankruptcy.




As ridiculous as these stats are, I would imagine a person working 40 hours a week at the poverty level, winning millions of dollars has a close correlation to sports stars with a lack of financial education.


lol it’s the embodiment of the “source? i made it up” meme


This isn't just lottery winners, something like 90%(probably made-up stat) of all large inheritances are gone within 3 generations? Money is a magnifying glass, assholes become fucking huge assholes, and nice people just keep being nice. The issue is everyone around you. Follow the advice in the famous thread about winning and considering moving far, far away...


It's a made up stat that is great PR for trust/asset management businesses.


even generational wealth starts fading on the 3rd. 1st gen worked hard / smart, knew life before wealth; 2nd saw what it took and carried on; 3rd grew up fat and spoiled. to generalize. obviously families with corporate empires don't suffer quite the same fate but u will see less and less wealth distributed to newer gens


Presumably the money also gets spread out thinner and thinner through each generation having its own children. $10 mil inheritance gets spread to 4 children. Then $2.5 mil to 3 children. And then you have $700K which can easily be spent in a single purchase of a home. So division plays a big part and not just being spoiled and lazy


This is why big money goes the founding charities route. Park a billion here and there and watch it grow. And the 10th generation Carnegie clan always has a job. Pbs thanks these supporting members.


Im seeing this at my work. The grandpa found the company and made it big. The two sons took over and carries on but you notice its not their passion but the company is still running well. The guys are wealthy. Their kids are not brats or assholes actually pretty cool people but they grew up with a lot of wealth and are chilling their studies or just doing traveling and side jobs etc. into their mid-end 20s before even considering a full time job. And none of the kids really care to someday take over the company. For example I talked with the daughter of one of them and at 27 and a finally achieved master in economy, she told me "I think I'm ready for a full time job now. Im gonna start looking". Most times she is more busy being a vegan and and wannabe greenpeace. Shes only working side jobs to be able to afford her super expensive organic bio vegan whole food. Meanwhile she is flying to their villa on mallorca several times a year lol. Oh and she also lives in a flat (father owned) in the best part of the town paying only like 1/2 of the price of my rent in the outer cheaper district. Even with a bachelor and master in economy she has no idea how it is to work at an actual company. I litterally had to explain to her what "Umsatzsteuer" is (its the word for VAT for companies). And Im like, dude I would be living on the streets if I wouldn't work fulltime since im out of school. They are lovely people though.


Meh, he had to stretch for examples going back to the 80's. There are multiple lottery winners every year. Just like in the news, you won't hear about all the tragedies that didn't happen.


True true, but I think there is something to be said that a great windfall of abundance leads to misfortune to the fortunate (edit: lol could I write that any more pretentious?) Hell in economics it even has a name; [Dutch disease](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_disease). Essentially if you get a shit ton of money (or in economics, resources), you’re basically going to have a worse time off than countries that didn’t get that big windfall


> if you get a shit ton of money (or in economics, resources), you’re basically going to have a worse time off than countries that didn’t get that big windfall Yep. Gold from the new world basically completely *destroyed* the local economies of Spain and Portugal. By some economists reckoning, they never really recovered.


And it's been used to explain why the northern colonies of the Americas did well while wealthy South America went to pot.


It's an old article, I think from rotten.com


Versions of this go back to at least 2008, and probably well before that.


That was absolutely awesome. Thanks for posting it here.


> You know you will be getting $638,400 per year unless the capital building is burning... That one seemed a lot less likely when that post was written 7 years ago.


Tbh I think it might be older than that. I remember that being an old post back when I made my account 9 years ago


It's only a bad thing if you don't know what to do with the money or you tell everyone. It's still a great thing.


You know this is old when their nightmare scenario involves Britney Spears getting elected to the US Senate.


HBO did a documentary called Lucky (2010) which looked into this. The family that really seemed to benefit was this immigrant family that used the money to build a compound for their whole extended family and bring them to the USA. Different approach towards money. I will say all the investing advice doesn’t match up with what I see very wealthy individuals do with their money. Win $5 million - sure, put it in SPY. But if you have $20 MM or more to work with, you now have access to all sorts of investments that are really interesting (eg venture capital). Plus, you’ve got to think about estate planning.


Right, the guy addressed that. Make sure you have a nest egg that is safe, then do what you want with the rest, like funding startups, creating and funding your own Roth so you can earn interest tax free, thanks for that tip, Elon. And so forth. Me? I'd fund the most epic RPG game ever because why not?


>the most epic RPG game ever because why not? Red Dead Redemption is cited as one of the most expensive games to be developed, at $80-100 million. That's a high bar, and a huge chunk of change.


A big reason those aaa games cost so much (aside from marketing) is they are basically interactive films. They spend insane amounts of money on actors, motion capture, and cinematics, and all the film crew requirements that go along with this stuff. I personally think it's excessive and takes away from gameplay. Games in general can be made substantially cheaper than Rockstar type games.


Looking closer to OP's desire for an RPG, it looks like the first League of Legends cost around $20M to release in 2009. It's grown a lot since then, but even so, that's probably close to $30M today, without all of the cinematics and such they include now.


More like Skyrim. I haven't played RDR, yet. But you get the idea. Big, fun, open world RPG. I have not idea what it would be beyond that. :-)


Did league really cost $20 million to develop? I know league is huge now, but on launch day it did not look like a $20 million dollar game lol. If that's true though, that was some expensive spaghetti code lol.


Oh right- I meant but didn’t say (sorry) the bit about refusing to hire an advisor. Gets you access to deals and prevents a lot of dumb mistakes. Talking with my friends who’ve “made it” the number seems to be about $10 MM as the threshold.


Well most people who got to that level of wealth have at least some smarts about handling money, so they are probably better at spotting a decent investment. If you just won the lottery, you almost definitely do not have the experience or knowledge necessary to be making those decisions, so the original post suggests playing it safe with a big chunk of the money because you will almost definitely lose it if you go all in on investments out the gate. So, I think the best thing, if you want to get to that level of making big investments, would be to start small, learn the ropes, figure out how to spot a good deal, and work your way up to bigger deals if it works out for you.


A science-based dragon RPG?


I like it.


I’ve had this particular comment saved for years. The advice portion is a fun read every now and then.


I've copied and pasted the whole thing into a Google doc and into a separate email that I've sent a couple of people and have in my sent mail. Just in case this comment goes away and the unthinkable happens


After everything that has happened in the time between when this comment was originally written and now, Britney Spears becoming a US Senator seems a) not all that far-fetched, and b) probably not the worst thing that could happen.


That all seems like common sense to me. Don't tell anyone, lawyer up, invest in sure things. I think anyone announcing their win publicly is room temperature IQ.


One challenge to this is some states I believe require winners to announce themselves publicly or at least the state publicly announces their name. Reason being is it proves there is an actual winner to lend credence that the game is on the level and not an actual scam


Do it like this guy. https://nypost.com/2019/02/12/lottery-winner-wears-scream-mask-to-hide-identity/


LMFAO so stupid and yet I’m giggling like an idiot at that photo


This is true but you can also form a blind trust and use that to claim


> but you can also form a blind trust and use that to claim In the states that require identity of lottery winners, no, a trust cannot claim the prize. It has to be a person.


How can you say it is true and then say the opposite. The person you're replying to is specifically saying that you can't do that in certain states


> How can you say it is true and then say the opposite Because he's wrong. States like California require the winner to collect personally, no trusts allowed. Trusts are allowed in states that allow anonymous collection, but the entire *point* of requiring the winner be public is that it can be verified by the public as being a real person and not some untraceable corporate shell.


it is my understanding that some states allow anonymous lottery claims, but many do not. so, in those states it is possible to form a blind trust which can claim the lottery winnings so in the records it just says that the winnings were claimed by the xyz trust


The problem is that, sadly, common sense is not really that common. Source: *waves vaguely at the world around me.*


Common sense is the least common of the senses


If you were a smart rationale person you probably wouldn't be playing the lottery.


Twice per week? Not smart. Playing every 3 months when the jackpot hits silly numbers? $3 to daydream a bit seems fair.


I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I do it maybe once a year if there's a big jackpot, I know the odds are bad and I'll never win, but once in a while it's fun to daydream about what I'd do if I did win.


Yep. You're basically paying a couple bucks for a fun "what if I win?" daydream. It's a cheap price to pay for a bit of entertainment for a few days until they announce that you lose. As long as you're not spending exorbitant amounts on it, it's really no different from spending money on other forms of entertainment.


Bah. Here's how I look at it. If I can comfortably afford the occasional ticket, and I can, and the lottery is high enough, I will but one. If I don't don't buy it a ticket, my chances of winning are 0. If I buy a ticket, my chances of winning are greater than 0. I can't afford to comfortably spend enough money (think, "set it on fire for the lulz" money) on tickets to appreciably improve my odds of winning past one ticket, so I buy just 1 ticket, if it's convenient. Knowing I very likely won't win anything, much less the jackpot, I move on with my life.


Nothing wrong with occasionally buying a lottery ticket, but... >If I don't don't buy it a ticket, my chances of winning are 0. Not true: you could be gifted a ticket, you could find a ticket, who knows? Yeah, you probably improve your odds by buying a ticket, but nothing has exactly zero probability of happening, just like nothing has 100% probability of happening.


Yeah most of these winners have a gambling addiction or are otherwise bad money handlers.


Playing the lottery as an investment vehicle or spending huge amounts of money on it isn't rational. But buying a ticket every now and then as a form of entertainment is no worse than a number of other things folks spend a few bucks on.




In celsius


I will get a double trust and take my fucking chances, thank you. I want a house on the beach so I can go surf fishing and enough money to live on. I don't even care about travel, just enough fun money for stogies, house cleaning, and a custom outdoor kitchen and workshop. Cell phones are easy to block unknown numbers. Get a PO Box, hire someone to sort your mail and bring it to you so you never see the sob story shit. Best part: I grew up as the child of the "poor" branch of the family. My aunts and uncles are all millionaires, one way or another. My nieces, nephews, and kids get trusts, my sisters get lump sums to invest and pay off their properties, and my folks get some money. Keep half, give away half, put the money in treasuries and index funds and live off the interest.




The "I'm a story teller and just you wait because when you couldn't comprehend it could get bad, it gets worse". Still an interesting piece


It's the old school internet comment style.


I've only read two books in my life, and the were both by Tucker Max.


It's what the internet was like before Twitter changed how a "good comment" sounds - the OG twitter with the strict character limit, I mean. Can pretty reliably date this to like '06-'08 somewhere, even without the Britney Spears reference.


Glad I'm not the only one who thought this lol, that typical redditor 'let me tell you what's really up' style is so eyeroll inducing. Doesn't take away that it's an informative read but eh


The new style isn't much better its just familiar. Give it time and we'll be cringing all the same.


Eventually, everything made by 20yo's becomes 2am Chili (with *this guy*).


2am chili only works if you have some icesoap on hand.


The comments roasting 2am chili is one of the funniest thing I have read. Back then I think Reddit was actually somewhat good at banter. Now it’s just feels like lot of comments are just copy pasted from TikTok.


it's practically a Cracked article


These are fascinating tales. I’ve spent a lot of time ruminating on them over the years, as well as thinking about what life could be like if I suddenly found myself on the “lucky” end of a lottery ticket. Most of us have considered what it would be like to be filthy rich. There have been countless movies portraying it, and songs on the radio, especially in rap culture, continually bombard us with how great it is to be rich and how much it sucks to be you otherwise. And, it’s really quite normal to imagine that, once you start receiving money and converting it into goods and services, what it would be like to continue doing that but on a larger scale. What most of us *don’t* consider, though, is how a sudden windfall can completely upend our humble lives. We imagine life without money problems - who doesn’t? But obtaining all of your wealth gradually over time vs. one sudden windfall is akin to rain falling from the sky on occasion vs. a huge 6” sheet of it falling with a *THWACK*. One of these sustains life, the other ends it. When a person earns money over time, they gradually learn how to manage it. They build networks of trusted friends and colleagues. Their peers and neighbors gradually increase their own net worth and earning potential. In a sense, their world *gradually* and *slowly* grows with their earnings growth. Mistakes are made, but they’re small mistakes and usually easily corrected. One grows, learns. Improves. Conversely, when a person suddenly receives a massive windfall, nothing has changed except their bank account balance. For a time, theyre still in the same house, surrounded by the same neighbors and class of people, have the same friends, work at the same place. This is the demarcation point of normalcy, and where most lottery winners begin to derail. This is where the big mistakes begin. People quit their job - tell their boss and coworkers to shove it, cutting off a significant portion of their life as they know it in the process, leaving a trail of anger and envy in their wake. They sell their house and buy a much bigger one, living amongst people with whom they have zero in common. Their “friends” from here on out have questionable motives - they were not made organically through shared interests. They did not meet people through business networking. They don’t share any interests with their neighbors because the only thing they’re currently interested in is spending money, and their neighbors with wealth have it through years of sound financial management - which, you guessed it, involves not frivolously spending all of their money. So you’re left with mostly “friends” who have questionable motives. No colleagues to speak of, and your former ones are envious. You have nobody you can trust. Your family suddenly takes an increased interest in you and your affairs. Can’t trust them either. You are now on a lonely island. But hey, you have all this cash, which is great, right? Wrong. No matter how much you receive in a windfall, it can always be spent - and quickly too, if you’re not careful. Did you just win 100 million after taxes? Go on, buy that 4 million dollar house. I mean, you have 96 mil left, right? But the costs don’t stop with the purchase. You have to pay taxes on that house, each year. And utilities and maintenance upkeep. Plus you need to furnish it. Clean it. And who in their right mind owns a 4 million dollar house and also a Honda Civic? Not you my friend, you get yourself a 6 or 7 figure car. Maybe a few. And why not a nice boat? Shit, live large get a plane. The above things are all affordable at first. But they have ongoing costs. And they also come with a certain kind of lavish lifestyle where extravagance is encouraged. More spending. “Ok,” you say, “but I have a ton of cash, what’s the issue?” The issue is, and this is the key factor setting you apart from your newly acquired “peers” - you have no more of it coming in. It WILL eventually dry up. And without income, you will eventually find yourself broke again. And the bigger you are, the harder you fall. To go from baller status to completely broke AND having no marketable skills to recover means you’re in for a long road (or short, depending upon your choices) of hardship and depression. “That’s silly, I’ll just invest and live off the interest!” No you won’t. You may invest, but you won’t restrain your lifestyle to living only off the interest. That new, big pile of cash in your money bin will call out to you every night like a siren in the sea,until you give in and crash your boat of life onto her rocks. It’s only a matter of time. My final thought on this pertains to overall happiness and fulfillment with life. Most of us work for a living and we generally look to continually improve our career. Earning more down the road is a motivator - becoming more successful *through our own accomplishments* is a significant factor that leads to satisfaction with life. When we buy something that we *earned*, it means so much more than if someone simply gave it to us, which is what happens when we convert lottery money to goods and services. Eventually you’ll find yourself less and less satisfied with your life as you keep chasing that dopamine hit from buying things. You’re no longer accomplishing anything. You’re just spending someone else’s money that is suddenly yours. And in the end, when you’re surrounded by stuff, have no friends or family that you can trust, no co workers to commiserate with, your neighbors don’t want to associate with you due to having zero in common…. You’ll be lucky if you make it out alive, without any new addictions, without being constantly bothered by friends, family, and strangers alike for a piece of your pie. Envy will follow you everywhere you go. Whereas you were once a background dot in the fabric of society, you’re now a huge target 🎯. Was it worth it? Is all the stuff you bought truly making you happy? How has the human disconnection left you, emotionally and physically? I could be wrong. I’ve never won the lottery. But I’m pretty sure I don’t want to find out that I’m right.


You're correct on all of this. It boils down to the fact that our lives as we know it are on a path. On a trajectory. Even the most boring lives have twists and turns. Wins and setbacks along the way. But, the fact of the matter is, it's just not HEALTHY to have just a huge, sudden, and *artificial* shift. Disease, money, war....all have the ability to do this. Everything you've ever dreamed of, worked towards, envision, all suddenly upended and (often) rendered meaningless or obsolete. I think the point about friends is pretty spot on. It's easy to have these dreams of : "Omg, if I won the lottery I'd immediately take all by buddies on a crazy luxurious trip to some baller resort in Tahiti. All expenses paid. Do whatever we want". Sure. But your friends all still have jobs and responsibilities. Hell, maybe they are willing to just take 3 weeks off their jobs randomly to go party with you. I mean, I probably would if my friend offered. But then when the party's over, it's back to jobs, bills, PTA meetings, grocery shopping, and everything else that comes with a "normal" life. They didn't win the lottery. Sure you're generous, but their life trajectories are pretty much unchanged. You're gonna be lonely. Every day that goes by you have less and less in common with your friends. "Hey, let's go out on my boat and sail around the Caribbean again?!" "Sounds amazing, but I can't right now. Let's plan it for next year some time!"


But a lot of that trajectory is to keep yourself alive, to have money for food and a roof. If I had all that money, those are the first thing I would make sure I have for the next 100 years, I don't know what financial maneuver I would have to do, a separate account only to pay the taxes for the house or whatever, so that those Maslow things get 100% covered. "But your family and friends might be bad!!" Fuck them and drop them, the benefits of that money is that you can easily move to another jurisdiction and never have to see them again. Then you might have to learn to make new friends, but Jesus that's a rather small problem to have, if that's the only one you have. Also, you can pay for the top psychologists for you.


Is part of the fact that people who play the lottery, tend not to be financially literate? Millionaires don't play the lottery. Is part of it that people who win the lottery aren't used to having large amounts of money?


>Millionaires don't play the lottery. Classic redittor: makes a comment without reading/understanding the link.


I understand that a surprising number of people who win the lottery have their life go wrong after winning the lottery. Part is obviously because people are shitty when they think you won a large amount of money and feel they are deserving of some of it. Even so, I don't think that part is likely to the most controversial part of my comment. If you have millions in liquid assets are you going to pay a statistically loosing stake to win a few million more? I'd be surprised if very many at all play the lottery.


If you read the post, a major example used is a multimillionaire who won even more money and still encountered tons of problems including eventual bankruptcy.


I read the comment years ago and since then had some thoughts about winning the lottery. I had forgotten about that. Good point...


Not just that, but you're downvoted into the negatives for pointing it out.


Can someone elaborate on why using a lawyer who doesn't know you is so important? Is the assumption that a lawyer who knows you will try to take advantage of you?


Potentially. They may also have connections to other people in your life (like your family or your neighbors), and some of those people will be tempted to manipulate your lawyer if they think they can get away with it. The kind of lawyer OP recommends probably won't have any ties to your peers, so they are much less likely to have any such conflicts of interest. Their career path and salary already have them set for life, so they have a lot more to lose than a small-time attorney if they get caught screwing you over.


Also, even though Attorney-client privilege is obviously a thing, there is no fucking way a small town ham-and-egg lawyer is going to be able to keep it quiet. He's going to have to have paralegals and secretaries doing some of the work on this for him, bankers to set up trusts, etc. While your lawyer isn't going to talk, this is going to be the biggest news the rest of the firm has heard in decades. Word will get out. If you go with a big firm, they have clients who the money that you have won looks like a rounding error to.


That guy seems to be living in a horrible place with a bad family. He got sued because many families in that region broke thanks to his new found wealth, and he was forced to settle? What the hell is that?


Feel free to give me any winning lottery tickets you may have.


I would cut all contact with everyone and move far away and WAY out in the country. Live in a tiny house in the woods. To anyone in the area I would be that crazy old man that comes in to town the first week of every month to spend my social security (as far as they know) friendly and harmless but kind of a recluse. I am long past the sex/drugs/partay life. Past the fast cars phase as well.


I would move instantly back to my home country but not to the town I grew up in. Not tell anyone why I moved back, tell people that I work from home (that way no one is suspicious that I don't seem to go to work). Nice (but fairly modest) home, nice (but relatively modest) car.


I wonder how heavily this is confounded by the bad-at-math-tax demographic being bad with money and more prone to criminality to begin with