With Mega Millions Reaching $1 Billion, Past Lottery Winners Show Money Can Bring Sorrow and Pain – The Washington Post


Who will win the $1 billion jackpot?

It’s one of the biggest questions in America after a winning ticket in all six numbers didn’t sell for a Tuesday night fee of $830 million, driving up Friday’s next jackpot to an estimated $1.025 billion, the third-highest total in the game’s history. . Friday’s jackpot is $602.5 million, according to Mega Millions, after 29 consecutive draws and gone without a winner matching all six numbers since April 15. Website for over two hours on a Tuesday night.

“We look forward to the growing jackpot,” Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald, current Mega Millions manager, said on Wednesday. new version. “Seeing the jackpot over a period of months and reaching the billion dollar mark is truly amazing. We encourage customers to keep balance and enjoy the ride.”

MacDonald added, “Someone is going to win.”

But as players rush to get their Mega Millions tickets and dream big – the odds of matching nearly all six numbers 1 in 303 million Another common question is again front and center for those already making unrealistic plans for their hypothetical billion-dollar victory: What would you do if you won the lottery?

The history of past lottery winners shows a wide range of what players do with their winnings. Many of them paid off debts, bought homes and invested their money, while others put the money into building a water park, gambling in Atlantic City, or setting up professional women’s wrestling organizations. Some have adapted to life as a millionaire. Others say that the joy and excitement that came from sudden, unexpected wealth quickly turned into poor choices and grief—and ruined their lives.

“When you realize right away that you won, you are filled with excitement. You are like, ‘Oh, my God, this is amazing, my life is going to change,’” said Robert Pagliarini, president of California-based Pacifica Wealth Advisors, who has worked with lottery winners. Immediately anxious and frightened—”Oh my God, what am I doing? How am I going to deal with this? My life might change and maybe not in a good way.”

Friday’s jackpot is just shy of last year Grand Prize of $1.05 billionwith one ticket shared by four members of Detroit Suburban Lottery Club. If a winning ticket is not selected on Friday, the Mega Millions prize will approach Record a prize of $1.5 billion that a South Carolina player won in 2018. The player, who also chose to remain anonymous, picked a total of more than $877 million, according to the South Carolina Education Lottery Commission.

Millions of gamers are expected to purchase two $2 tickets for Mega Millions this week, which is played in 45 states as well as Washington and the US Virgin Islands. There were more than 6.7 million winning tickets at all levels for Tuesday’s draw, according to Mega Millions, including nine tickets with winnings ranging from $1 million to $3 million each.

Mark Glickman, senior lecturer in statistics at Harvard University, said that with increased interest in the billion-dollar jackpot and soaring prices for tickets sold, one or more people are likely to get a winning ticket after Friday’s drawing. .

“The big difference is when the jackpots get bigger and bigger, more people will play, so there is a greater chance of winning,” Glickman said. But that doesn’t mean anyone will stand a better chance. Once the pot hits that range, there are enough people playing that someone is likely to pick the right number.”

When players pick the right lottery numbers, Pagliarini said, they are all paying off their debts or looking to buy homes for themselves or loved ones. He pointed to one of his clients as he feasted on a new home in Malibu overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Some celebrated their fortunes with investments, unconventional purchases or donations. In 2011, John Coty and his wife Linda used some of his $28.7 million share of the $319 million Mega Millions winning ticket he had purchased with his colleagues to put it toward building a water park in Green Island, New York, in their honor. Parents, according to Albanian Federation Times. Louise White won the Rhode Island Powerball jackpot of more than $336 million after she bought a rainbow sorbet in 2012 and started a fund for her family named after the candy, “The Rainbow Sherbet Trust.” News letters mentioned.

Just this month, Crystal Dunn earned her smallest winnings of over $146,000 from the online game Kentucky Lottery and And he gave some of it to strangers In the form of $100 gift cards from the grocery store.

She won the lottery. Then she shared her windfall profits with strangers.

For every uplifting story of an unexpected lottery victory, Pagliarini said, there are others that highlight the importance of having a financial advisor and lawyer willing to help if someone wins the big.

“There are a lot of stories about these lottery winners who end up with less money than when they started,” he said. “The big question and fear is, ‘Am I going to blow everything up? “And they could still blow everything up.”

After Evelyn Adams improbably won the New Jersey Lottery title in both 1985 and 1986, winning more than $5.4 million in total, her winnings were all spent by 2012 due to Atlantic City gambling and investment errors, according to the Forbes. South Carolina’s Jonathan Vargas, who was only 19 when he won a $35.3 million Powerball award in 2008, put his winnings on Wrestlicious, a women’s professional wrestling campaign he founded. The show, which featured a sparsely dressed cast who also sketched the comedy, lasted only one season and cost Vargas nearly $500,000, according to CBS News.

He said in 2016. “If I had to do it all over again, I would recommend people to sit on it for a year. They really decide what they want to do with it.”

While the lottery luck stories have been well documented over the years, so have the endings of those tales diverse.

He won a Powerball jackpot of $314 million. ruined his life.

Not long after William “Budd” Post won the $16.2 million Pennsylvania Lottery jackpot in 1988, his brother was arrested for hiring a man who fought to kill him for an inheritance. Post was later successfully sued by an ex-girlfriend for a share of the winnings, and was $1 million in debt by the time he died in 2006.

“Everyone dreams of making money, but no one realizes the nightmares that come from woodworking, or the problems,” He said in 1993.

In the case of Ronnie Music Jr. The $3 million he won from the Georgia Lottery in 2015 was put to Buying and distributing crystal meth. He pleaded guilty in 2016 to investing in a drug gang and was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

While the $1 billion jackpot isn’t likely this week, and the history attached to some of the winners who have won, it doesn’t stop people from asking “what if?” Pagliarini plans to go to the store to get two tickets for him and his daughter, while Harvard professor Glickman continues to use his strategy of picking Mega Millions numbers completely at random.

If he were to win, Glickman said he’d like to buy a vacation home in La Jolla, California, where he just got back from vacation. But Glickman is honest about admitting his history of playing the game, which means that he, like millions of others, will have to put off those lottery dreams a little longer.

“When I played last week, I had one ticket that I think cashed in $10 – that’s the most I’ve ever won,” he said. “I go into this knowing full well that luck will not shine upon me.”

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