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Losing At Winning

January 29, 2015

“Tell All McGraw here, reporting for HATV on a past lottery winner yet currently bankrupt homeless family, the Losenburgs. They won the lottery five years ago but now they’re broke. Why? Well, not to put the Losenburgs in the hot seat by themselves, my sources tell me approximately 70% of previous lottery winners have spent, or given away, all their winnings within the first five years; thus, finding themselves on the brink of bankruptcy and in dire need of selling their twelve bedroom mansion, the Lamborghini and, why not, the private island with, of course, a matching yacht. Sounded like the good life while it lasted but the reality is...they didn’t fully comprehend the concept of having wealth.”

“A surprising reality check for most winners, I might add. Yet, can losing at winning the lottery be averted? Well, the answer lies in determining what went wrong with the Losenburgs and other previous winners; hopefully before the next winner(s) of the current enormous lottery jackpot of $261,000,000 with a cash payout of nearly one hundred and eighty million. A lot of dough sliced into a whole lot of wishes coming true.”

“Have you wondered what you’d do with all that money, Fred?”

“Sure! I’d buy a new car!”

“Exactly! After quitting their job it’s number one on most folks list.”

“And then I’d buy a home in the mountains and...”

“Whoa Fred, before you recite the rest of your list let’s examine some interesting insights from previous lottery winners.”

“First of all, it’s fascinating how they realized their perspective on money was skewed. In other words, let’s say you won ten million dollars, Fred. Surely you’d feel very rich. However, let’s then say you were suddenly surrounded by folks who’d won over 100 million dollars. Would you feel poor? Cheated? Or, possibly angry?”

“I dunno? I never thought of it like that.”

“Well, while you’re processing that concept let me suggest that there’s no reason you couldn’t be one of the 30% who doesn’t go broke by making your money work for you; thereby, quite possibly increasing your net worth to over 100+ million by investing in your future. Actually, it’s the opinion of this reporter that investing in the future should be first on the list of any large money winner.”

“Although, the future sure appears bright when you’re handed a check with six zeros on it doesn’t it, Fred?”

“Hmm? Oh, I was still thinking about the 100 million dollar winners.”

“Forget about that Fred because you’ve just bought a new car, or two or three; then one for everyone in your family. I’d estimate a half a mil right off the top. Then a new home or two you’d have to furnish...could add up to several million. Hey, why skimp now, you’ve got the cash. Of course, since you’re a man I suppose a new Harley or speed boat might round out your top five purchases. Let’s conservatively say you’re down about 3 million, Fred.”

“Um, okay.”

“Now, do you like to travel? Never mind, your wife does so let’s do the “around the world in 80 days” scenario just to keep things moving. Wait, before traveling a new wardrobe is in order and she wants to shop in NY or LA. Including plane fare and hotel you drop several hundred thousand...but her clothes say chic! By the way, she bought you a new wardrobe too. Of course, you want to look as awesome as your outfits so there’s new hair and new teeth to consider. Seriously, you’ve got the money, right? Why not, Fred? Go for it.”

“I, I, uh, guess so. But this is all moving too fast.”

“It’s a new game, Fred, and fast is how it’s played.”

“However, you’ve made a good point Fred, so before you jet off to Europe let’s talk family. Depending on how much you love your family (and you should love them some) you dole out money to everyone then set up a college funds for the grandchildren. A million or two ought to do. By the way, you also realize you have more friends than you can count on all your fingers and toes. The sheer number of how many of them are vying for ‘best friend’ status is almost comical. But winning big means sacrificing friends because they’re just trying to manipulate you into giving them money based on a fabricated sob story you soon realize is just a scheme to dwindle your bank account. After all, you bought the it’s goodbye to so-called friends. Even the ones you’ve grown up with.”

“Didn’t see that coming; did you? Can you handle leaving all your friends behind, Fred?”


“Let’s move along folks while Fred’s brain is trying to catch up.”

“Looks like buying a fancy house in a ritzy neighborhood didn’t turn out the way you planned either Fred because your new neighbors shun you for the simple fact that you didn’t ‘earn’ your money. Wow, you now have no old friends and no new friends; but you’ve still got enough dough in the bank to slice and so life goes on...for a while.”

“Okay, fast forward five years. Did you invest in your future? Did you secure an income stream to sustain you in your new wealthy lifestyle with payoffs for the rest of your life? No. Why not? Oh, I see. Too busy spending money to save money because you naively thought it would last forever. And herein lies the problem, Fred. You didn’t understand the concept of having wealth.”

“Wealthy people understand money is simply a means of exchanging one thing for another. However, generating cash continuously is a must or one day you’re counting pennies to buy a burger. Therefore, if you neglected to devise a way to provide yourself with an income for when you blow through your lottery winnings you’re going to wake up one day and realize you actually lost when you thought you’d won, Fred. Fred? Fred? Are you okay?”

“Fred’s not looking too good folks. Someone get him some water, stat! That’s all for now folks, Tell All McGraw here for HATV saying...don’t be a Losenburg invest in your future now. And if you play the lottery to win-win.”
Smile...your future looks bright!



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