It’s hard to feel sorry for a person who wins half a billion dollars in the lottery.
Not only do they have half a billion dollars but they did nearly nothing to get half a billion dollars. They stood in a line, or more likely, held up a line, and took their sweet time contemplating which game to play at the local convenience store, while the person behind them rolled his eyes and tapped his toes impatiently (joke’s on him).
That said, I can’t help but feel at least a little bit sorry for the winner of the recent Powerball lottery in the United States — a New Hampshire woman who won $559.7 million (U.S.) but who has yet to cash in her ticket because she is embroiled in a legal battle. The woman in question, referred to in court documents as Jane Doe, or as I like to call her, Jane Dough, is challenging her state for the right to remain anonymous when she collects her fortune. But Jane Dough doesn’t want to be transparent about her identity, because according to her attorney, she wishes to retain “the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the winner of a half-billion dollars.”
In the mid-2000s a man named Abraham Shakespeare won a $30 million jackpot in Florida. He took home a lump sum of $17 million. In 2009 Shakespeare went missing. He was discovered murdered a year later. His killer, a friend of his named Dee Dee Moore, is believed to have swindled him out of millions before she shot him to death. But don’t worry, not all lottery winners are murdered. Some are just hounded by tabloid media, swindled out of their fortunes by backstabbing friends and family, or rendered destitute and suicidal. Of course people who win the lottery can and do improve their lives. They pay off their mortgages, buy impractical cars, open bars that fail, and give a nice chunk of change to charity. But I think it’s important to note that every horror story above contains a common thread: identity disclosure.
Article credit: Toronto Star
Photo credit: Nam Y. Huh