Lottery Winners Who Are Still Rich
With the number of people that win truly amazing jackpot bonuses in lotteries around the world each year, you would think that there are many more ultra-rich people around today than expected. Unfortunately, however, winning the lottery may only work to make you rich. Staying rich is something else entirely.
In a study by an American organisation named the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), it was found that almost one third (or 33.33%) of lottery players file for bankruptcy. Even scarier is the fact that this usually takes place within just three to five years of winning the jackpot. This sad trend means that winners are under a lot of pressure to protect their money. In this article, we will look at lottery winners who are still rich and have preserved their windfall rather than blowing it all.
Powerball Winners Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt
If the name Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt seem familiar, we are not surprised. These two held one of the three winning tickets to the largest Powerball jackpot in history—a ridiculous $1.58 billion. At the time of their win in January 2016, the couple chose to take a cash lump sum and netted $327.8 million before taxes.
Amazingly, however, even with this massive sum of money, the couple maintained their modest lifestyle. In fact, if you did not know that the two were sitting on millions of dollars, you would never guess that they had a bank account as big as it is.
Since their big Powerball win, the couple has carefully guarded their vast fortune and have kept their lifestyle at more or less the same level as it was before their win. The two still stay in the same $300,000 home that they were living in at the time of their win and still even shop at the same stores that they did pre-win. The only hint that the couple might be multi-millionaires is the new SUV and Tesla parked in their driveway. Aside from these two small luxuries, the couple has made sure that their winnings will not be going anywhere any time soon.
The Scam King: Shane Missler
Some people may call him the scam king, but let us be sure to clarify that Shane Missler was never actually involved in any scam. Sadly, however, this young winner of a $451 million Mega Millions jackpot in January 2018 soon had his name all over the Internet—and for all the wrong reasons. No sooner did Shane announce that he had won than the Internet was flooded by false scams that all used his name and win to try and lure people in.
Thankfully, Shane quickly refuted all these claims and made sure everyone knew that he was not handing out free money. Whether it was the shock of how quickly things could turn sour (thanks to all the scammers out there) or just the fact that Shane has his head screwed on right, Shane quickly became a rare breed: a young lottery winner who spent his wealth responsibly.
After claiming his prize as a cash lump sum and paying all relevant taxes, Shane pocketed around $281 million. Almost immediately, he announced that he was planning on ensuring that he used his money wisely. True to his word, Shane has only splurged on a few luxuries (like the odd car or vacation). He is still active on social media and openly allows people to follow him to see what he is up to.
Young Rancher Neal Wanless
Neal Wanless was almost broke when he spent a mere $5 on a lottery ticket that changed his life forever. His $5 worth of Powerball tickets just happened to contain the winning sequence for the May 27, 2009, draw. At the age of only 23 years old, Neal was the sole winner of the $232.1 million jackpot.
Neal immediately opted to receive his significant windfall as a cash lump sum. After paying the hefty fee for not taking annuity payments and paying all relevant taxes, Neal walked away with $88.5 million—more than enough to fix up his ranch and ensure that he did not have to work so hard selling scrap steel just to make ends meet.
Amazingly, the massive win that the youngster achieved did not go to his head. Rather than selling his ranch and becoming a globe trotter, Neal chose to continue working on his ranch and live the simple life. The only things that Neal has openly spent his fortune on is to help others in his community of Todd County, South Dakota. Aside from this aid, however, it appears that Neal has kept his money under wraps and is working to ensure that it lasts him a long time.
Sarah Cockings and Her Change of Heart
Sarah Cockings was only 21 years old and still studying at university when she won £3 million in April 2005. Her UK Lotto win initially caused her to leave school and splurge on a new home for her parents, a number of holidays, a few cars, and even boob jobs for herself and her two sisters. However, Sarah soon applied the brakes to her spending and realised the importance of protecting her money.
In fact, Sarah made such a full turnaround that she even decided to return back to school to complete her degree in care, education, and counselling. Since finishing school, Sarah has married and had two beautiful children. She is now a stay-at-home mother and enjoys her winnings responsibly while ensuring that her family does not want for anything.
Sarah has openly credited her family with keeping her grounded. She has said that her family are a close group and she knew that the money was to be used for all of them. Whether it was the fact that she realised it is easier to spend money than she initially thought, or she wanted to ensure she always had enough money to take care of her and her family, Sarah’s wise realization will ensure her lottery winnings will keep sustaining her for years to come.
The Family Saviours Frances and Patrick Connolly
Frances and Patrick Connolly were the only winners of a £115 million EuroMillions jackpot in January 2019. While you may immediately think that they would have splurged on new cars, dream vacations, and a home that would make the White House look small, you could not be more wrong. In fact, they are the kinds of winners whose advice everyone should follow.
When asked what they would like to do with the money at the time of their win, the couple calmly replied that the only things that they wanted immediately was to purchase a second-hand car (yes, you read that correctly) and to take a trip to Mauritius. While this may seem like a somewhat insane statement considering all the money she had at her disposal, it soon came to light that Frances’s sister was in the midst of losing her home due to financial difficulties at the time of the win. This sombre reality of the fact that money is fleeting and could lead to ruin may have been just the thing to sober Frances and Patrick at just the right time.
Luckily, since then, Frances and Patrick have managed to save their sister from losing their house and help out a variety of other friends and family who have had financial difficulties. The couple has maintained their relatively modest lifestyle, and we are confident that they have wisely ensured that their money will not run out any time in the near future.
While the statistics that we mentioned at the start of this article may be disheartening and quite shocking, the above stories of lottery winners that have protected their wealth prove one crucial thing—it is not necessary to spend all your winnings in order to enjoy life. While most winners who still have their money did not drastically change their lifestyles, each of them still did splurge slightly on odd luxuries that made them enjoy life somewhat more.
However, more importantly than splurging on fancy cars and trips around the world, each of these players realised the harsh reality that even massive jackpot wins can quickly be depleted. They, therefore, took the wise decision to ensure that their money is protected and that—years later—they still had money to enjoy. And for that and overcoming the lottery curse, we salute them.