Friday, March 14, 2008

Of Millions and Moochers...

I do a lot of sweepstakes. It's been a small help while dh was looking for a job, and it's something I can do to contribute while staying at home and homeschooling. There was a discussion on a sweepstakes bulletin board on whether you would tell people if you won a large, $million+ prize.

A lot of people say they would not. They are afraid both of jealous people that would harrass them with nasty emails and PMs, but also of the myriad of strangers that would come up to them and ask them for money.

I know of 3 people who have won $100,000 or more in the lottery. One person won over a million. I wouldn't dream of asking these people for money. In one case, they set up a trust fund with the money, in another case they spent it on things like a house and a car, and in another case, my friend's dad had won the money and she was complaining that he didn't share (I had only met her dad a couple of times).

Why is it that people feel free to beg "new money" lottery winners for cash, but we wouldn't go up to our friend, who worked hard for their money and as a result ended up with a million or two in the bank, for their money? Is it because of the ease in which they received the money? I don't really get this phenomena all that much.

Most people that win millions in the lottery end up bankrupt and broke later on. Is it because they are constantly being harrassed by people that want some? Is it because by winning the money, they haven't changed their attitudes towards money and still haven't learned to live within their means (only their means have just gotten a whole lot bigger)? I'm not sure.

A couple of years ago, the winner of the HGTV dream house (which is worth millions of dollars) decided that he would live in the dream house (HGTV offers to buy it from you if you wish). He had to take a mortgage out on his dream house to pay for the taxes on it. Not only that, but he kept his old house (what was he thinking?). He partied for a while, then life happened and someone in his family got sick. Now his home is (was) being foreclosed on him and he's broke.

They are announcing the HGTV Dream House winner for this year on Sunday. If I win it, don't come asking for money. I would be selling the dream house, after going out to see it and spending the weekend there, and then here is how the money would go:

Build a dream house of my own (a much less expensive version)
Retirement fund
Emergency fund
Get out of debt
Buy a hybrid car for dh
College funds
If any is left over, give some away to pre-chosen charities

So don't come asking for money ;-). The money has already been spent on paper. Dh does not plan to hang around the house and play video games all day, so we will have an income coming in, but that income will be used to do fun things like provide homeschool scholarships, fun trips, and perhaps we'll be generous with Christmas presents and helping relatives. On our own terms.

The winnings are spent on paper. Fun to dream, even though they'll probably pick someone else. If we did win, I wonder if, after all of our winnings were spent, if people would come up to dh and say "can I have some of your paycheck? I know you're rich and all." You don't do that with your rich friends, why would you do that with people that have good fortune and win it?


Toystory said...

If by some stroke of lightening, I found a multi-million dollar lottery ticket, I would name everyone I could think of as co-owner of the ticket and share it with as many people as I could. Why... because it all belongs to the Lord anyway ~~ and He has already generously given me everything I "NEED" and there is nothing in this world I "want".... seriously.

PowerSweepstaking said...

when I won one of the annual sweepstake pepsi tricked out cars, (you can actually see it in my profile pic, doors up), I sold it to a gent from Belgium who was really interested in it for use on the autobahn. With the proceeds, paid off all credit card debt saved back the taxes due, and bought the wife and I a Jaguar(my dream car). It's not a pimp my ride type car won through pepsi, just a pimp ride, paid for and no credit card debt left! Read more about it here

Brooke Lorren said...

Grats on your win!