Skip to content
Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(WTOV9 Steubenville-Wheeling)   Everyone's favorite example of what not to do if you win the lottery gets his last bit of bad luck   (wtov9.com) divider line
    More: Sad, Powerball, Historic Powerball winner Jack Whittaker, Christmas night, Powerball jackpot, family member, single ticket, largest jackpot, construction companies  
•       •       •

7906 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Jun 2020 at 12:41 AM (6 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



63 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all

 
6 days ago  
Died from embarrassment after seeing himself in the mirror wearing that dork hat.
 
6 days ago  
Rest easy knowing that the living can still make fun of his dumb ass.
 
6 days ago  
It's like rain on your wedding day.
 
6 days ago  
At least he didn't buy a tiger sanctuary.
 
6 days ago  
Rule number one about winning the lottery: Don't tell anyone you won the lottery.
 
6 days ago  
That was a terrible short story.  Shirley there's a longer, Fark-approved version of what really happened to him?
 
6 days ago  

Omnivorous: That was a terrible short story.  Shirley there's a longer, Fark-approved version of what really happened to him?


He died
 
zez
6 days ago  
I sort of remember this, it was a pretty crazy story
 
6 days ago  

Unscratchable_Itch: Rule number one about winning the lottery: Don't tell anyone you won the lottery.


Yup.  It's like throwing chum into the water for every piranha (person who ever knew you), and every other piranha in 5 state area.

$500 dollar scratcher, go ahead and brag. 6+ figure winning, you better change your phone #, all social media contacts, and probably move.
 
6 days ago  

Omnivorous: That was a terrible short story.  Shirley there's a longer, Fark-approved version of what really happened to him?


Not Fark-approved and still doesn't tell what he died of, but at least it's got more of them fancy word-things we all seem to like.

https://wvmetronews.com/2020/06/29/fa​m​ous-powerball-winner-has-died/
 
6 days ago  

Omnivorous: That was a terrible short story.  Shirley there's a longer, Fark-approved version of what really happened to him?


No sorry that's all going into the script
 
6 days ago  

Madman drummers bummers: Omnivorous: That was a terrible short story.  Shirley there's a longer, Fark-approved version of what really happened to him?

Not Fark-approved and still doesn't tell what he died of, but at least it's got more of them fancy word-things we all seem to like.

https://wvmetronews.com/2020/06/29/fam​ous-powerball-winner-has-died/


Gah! And I meant to add:

...and stop calling me Shirley.

/ it was RIGHT THERE.
 
6 days ago  

Omnivorous: That was a terrible short story.  Shirley there's a longer, Fark-approved version of what really happened to him?


maybe there is sarcasm going over my head but here you go:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Wh​i​ttaker_(lottery_winner)
 
6 days ago  
At the time of Whittaker's win, it was required for winners to come forward and accept the money during a press conference.

Jesus, I'd have sent my dog to claim the money for the LLC.

But thanks to you who sent along some context.  You'll know that I've won a lottery by my perpetual absence (thought my dog might still post).
 
6 days ago  
Wiki has a list of all the legal and personal problems this guy had after winning the lottery and its brutal. It seems like he was an arrogant a-hole and Karma decided to make an example of him.
 
6 days ago  

chucknasty: Omnivorous: That was a terrible short story.  Shirley there's a longer, Fark-approved version of what really happened to him?

maybe there is sarcasm going over my head but here you go:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Whi​ttaker_(lottery_winner)


It does sound like he's not exactly the sharpest pencil in the box:

"On August 5, 2003, less than a year after Whittaker won the lottery, thieves broke into his car while it was parked at a strip club in Cross Lanes, West Virginia. The thieves made away with $545,000 in cash that Whittaker carried around in a suitcase. When asked why he would carry that much money around with him, Whittaker responded, "Because I can."
< ... >
"On January 25, 2004, thieves once again broke into his car, this time making off with an estimated $200,000 in cash"
< ... >
On January 11, 2007, a legal complaint against Whittaker alleged he claimed that on September 11, 2006, thieves took all of his money. The thieves, according to the account, went to 12 branches of the City National Bank and cashed 12 checks."
< ... >

"On December 2, 2016, around 7:00 a.m. Whittaker's home in Bland County, Virginia was reported to be on fire. When firefighters arrived, the home was fully engulfed, and the house was deemed a total loss. Whittaker's wife was home when the fire broke out, but she was able to make it out safely and no injuries were reported. Whittaker stated that the home was not insured."
 
6 days ago  
I'd hire a lawyer to create a trust and claim it for said trust. I wouldn't tell anyone a damn thing.  A few people would have their houses paid off anonymously and be given some cash from a mysterious benefactor. But no parties. No announcements. Just me finally building a nice, but modest (no more than 2500 sqf ) house and buying (with a loan as far as everyone knows)  slightly nicer car with the money I've been saving.
 
6 days ago  

Unscratchable_Itch: Rule number one about winning the lottery: Don't tell anyone you won the lottery.


This.

If through some cosmic error I actually came into that kind of money, I'd do my damnedest to hide it. I'd be like all those bad guys on Breaking Bad and would just drive nondescript late model cars. I'd live in an older house in a modest neighborhood, and would probably just work some lazy part time job to keep up appearances with a trust to hide everything.

Extravagant vacations? Sure, but only if they were out of sight.
 
6 days ago  

Unscratchable_Itch: Rule number one about winning the lottery: Don't tell anyone you won the lottery.


Pretty much, you can have dreams of giving your family members money but the truth is if I won I probably wouldn't tell my family or friends at all. Really I would try to keep living more or less like I'm living now only with better quality stuff and nicer longer vacations. I would quit my job however and probably go back to school to get a masters degree because I could and then just try to find an interesting low stress job with plenty of time off.
 
6 days ago  
Homie made it to 73. And won the lottery.

We should all be so misfortune.

😆
 
6 days ago  
I'd rather have $1 million in cash that NOBODY knows about than $10 million that everybody knows about.

If it's $100 million, fark 'em, I don't care who knows. I'll build a castle with a moat. Filled with alligators.
 
6 days ago  
My great aunt's sister won the lottery in the 90s.  Within two years she and her husband were dead.  Once they had the money to afford it, doctors kept insisting she gave surgeries that insurance wouldn't cover.  He went after she did because that's what happens when you're old and your partner dies.  If you win, do the smart thing and go stay in a stretch of villas on Africa and Polynesia where you can live like a king for a few thousand a month.  You'll understand the true value of a dollar upon returning up the US.
 
6 days ago  
bad luck like that can last more than one generation, at least wait until the daffodils bloom and the estate is settled to call it done
 
6 days ago  

Huck And Molly Ziegler: I'd rather have $1 million in cash that NOBODY knows about than $10 million that everybody knows about.

If it's $100 million, fark 'em, I don't care who knows. I'll build a castle with a moat. Filled with alligators.


I'd be happy with 100K. And no longer in this dump .
 
6 days ago  
I'd do what I do now but with better coffee and cleaner clothes.
 
6 days ago  

Porous Horace: I'd do what I do now but with better coffee and cleaner clothes.


This.

And, better porn and dope and booze
 
6 days ago  

Porous Horace: I'd do what I do now but with better coffee and cleaner clothes.


Nope I would change a bit, no coffee and no clothes, except as needed to avoid frostbite or arrest. Visualize the Big Lebowski you know in a robe but instead of buying creamer I would be at a vineyard tasting wine.
 
6 days ago  
I hate how in the US, your identity has to be revealed to the public when you win the lotto. That's like telling all the criminals "Here's a ripe juicy target for you, now fark 'em up!" If I ever win, I'd go wear make-up and put fake deformities before going to their office.
 
6 days ago  

backhand.slap.of.reason: My great aunt's sister won the lottery in the 90s.  Within two years she and her husband were dead.  Once they had the money to afford it, doctors kept insisting she gave surgeries that insurance wouldn't cover.  He went after she did because that's what happens when you're old and your partner dies.  If you win, do the smart thing and go stay in a stretch of villas on Africa and Polynesia where you can live like a king for a few thousand a month.  You'll understand the true value of a dollar upon returning up the US.


Go to thailand, get one of
them trikes, and just putter around from beach to beach selling snacks and beer if possible.

Just fark around, no hurries.

Sadly even with the lottery Corona's put a wrench in that
 
6 days ago  
Nice to hear so many sensible answers to the lotto question on Fark.

I'd have the Real Doll people build me a king sized bed made out of boobies and sail off into the sunset on my mega yacht looking for adventure.
 
6 days ago  

Excelsior: chucknasty: Omnivorous: That was a terrible short story.  Shirley there's a longer, Fark-approved version of what really happened to him?

maybe there is sarcasm going over my head but here you go:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Whi​ttaker_(lottery_winner)

It does sound like he's not exactly the sharpest pencil in the box:

"On August 5, 2003, less than a year after Whittaker won the lottery, thieves broke into his car while it was parked at a strip club in Cross Lanes, West Virginia. The thieves made away with $545,000 in cash that Whittaker carried around in a suitcase. When asked why he would carry that much money around with him, Whittaker responded, "Because I can."
< ... >
"On January 25, 2004, thieves once again broke into his car, this time making off with an estimated $200,000 in cash"
< ... >
On January 11, 2007, a legal complaint against Whittaker alleged he claimed that on September 11, 2006, thieves took all of his money. The thieves, according to the account, went to 12 branches of the City National Bank and cashed 12 checks."
< ... >
"On December 2, 2016, around 7:00 a.m. Whittaker's home in Bland County, Virginia was reported to be on fire. When firefighters arrived, the home was fully engulfed, and the house was deemed a total loss. Whittaker's wife was home when the fire broke out, but she was able to make it out safely and no injuries were reported. Whittaker stated that the home was not insured."


pretty sure winning the lottery is life changing but not in the way people think. seems like a genie wish or monkey paw thing. money can solve a lot of problems but if you aren't very bright it can create a lot of problems instead.
 
6 days ago  

chucknasty: pretty sure winning the lottery is life changing but not in the way people think. seems like a genie wish or monkey paw thing. money can solve a lot of problems but if you aren't very bright it can create a lot of problems instead.


Not disagreeing.

But, it's all kind of odd .
To me blowing it all should be worst case scenario. But, nope. That's the best case scenario. F++king nuts.
 
6 days ago  
"He also donated millions through the Jack Whittaker Foundation."

That is decidedly un-lottery winner behaviour.
 
6 days ago  

mrparks: "He also donated millions through the Jack Whittaker Foundation."

That is decidedly un-lottery winner behaviour.


?
Shell company, much?
 
6 days ago  

waxbeans: mrparks: "He also donated millions through the Jack Whittaker Foundation."

That is decidedly un-lottery winner behaviour.

?
Shell company, much?


Aren't they a by-product of nut farming?
 
6 days ago  

mrparks: waxbeans: mrparks: "He also donated millions through the Jack Whittaker Foundation."

That is decidedly un-lottery winner behaviour.

?
Shell company, much?

Aren't they a by-product of nut farming?


🤔🧐😆😆😆
 
6 days ago  
I should be so lucky to make it to 73 after winning tghat much money.  I'd probably blow most of it on cocaine and viagra and be found dead from exhaustion surrounded by teenage hookers  in nurses uniforms.
 
6 days ago  

John Hopoate: I should be so lucky to make it to 73 after winning tghat much money.  I'd probably blow most of it on cocaine and viagra and be found dead from exhaustion surrounded by teenage hookers  in nurses uniforms.


Exactly.
 
6 days ago  

Huck And Molly Ziegler: I'd rather have $1 million in cash that NOBODY knows about than $10 million that everybody knows about.

If it's $100 million, fark 'em, I don't care who knows. I'll build a castle with a moat. Filled with alligators.


Awful polite of you, crocodiles are more aggressive.
 
6 days ago  

Unscratchable_Itch: Rule number one about winning the lottery: Don't tell anyone you won the lottery.


Rule number zero of the lottery: some states have it as public record.

Or rule 1a. Your pick.

Rule 1 is to spend some money on a lawyer and a public trust.
 
6 days ago  

waxbeans: Huck And Molly Ziegler: I'd rather have $1 million in cash that NOBODY knows about than $10 million that everybody knows about.

If it's $100 million, fark 'em, I don't care who knows. I'll build a castle with a moat. Filled with alligators.

I'd be happy with 100K. And no longer in this dump .


What a dump.
 
5 days ago  
Before he won the lottery, Whittaker owned three construction companies. Following the win, Whittaker was robbed twice, had two family members found dead and had various legal trouble.

Everything about this guy says "mobster" - and that was before he won.
 
5 days ago  

Omnivorous: That was a terrible short story.  Shirley there's a longer, Fark-approved version of what really happened to him?

https://www.ar15.com/forums/general/-​/​5-749519/?page=1Posted: 8/29/2008 1:37:36 AM EDT[Last Edit: 8/29/2008 6:05:22 AM EDT by Austrian]Congratulations!  You just won millions of dollars in the lottery!  That's great.

Now you're farked.

No really.

You are.

You're farked.

I've seen this question (what to do if you win the lottery), a few times on ARFCOM.  Amusingly, it recurs quite often.  I posted a similar article to this one "back when" but I've updated it with some actual stories and slapped it in GD because, well, why not?

Keep in mind: IAALBNY (I Am A Lawyer, But Not Yours).  Consult professional advisers before spending your hard earned lottery cash.

It's long.  There are no cliff notes.  But if you just want to skip the biographical tales of woe of some of the math-tax protagonists, skip on down to the next line in bold.

You see, it's something of an open secret that winners of obnoxiously large jackpots tend to end up badly with alarming regularity.  Not the $1 million dollar winners.  But anyone in the nine-figure range is at high risk.  Eight-figures?  Pretty likely to be screwed.  Seven-figures?  Yep.  Painful.  Perhaps this is a consequence of the sample.  The demographics of lottery players might be exactly the wrong people to win large sums of money.  Or perhaps money is the root of all evil.  Either way, you are going to have to be careful.  Don't believe me?  Consider this:

Large jackpot winners face double digit multiples of probability versus the general population to be the victim of:

Homicide (something like 20x more likely)
Drug overdose
Bankruptcy (how's that for irony?)
Kidnapping

And triple digit multiples of probability versus the general population rate to be:

Convicted of drunk driving
The victim of Homicide (at the hands of a family member) 120x more likely in this case, ain't love grand?
A defendant in a civil lawsuit
A defendant in felony criminal proceedings

Believe it or not, your biggest enemy if you suddenly become possessed of large sums of money is... you.  At least you will have the consolation of meeting your fate by your own hand.  But if you can't manage it on your own, don't worry.  There are any number of willing participants ready to help you start your vicious downward spiral for you. Mind you, many of these will be "friends," "friendly neighbors," or "family." Often, they won't even have evil intentions. But, as I'm sure you know, that makes little difference in the end. Most aren't evil.  Most aren't malicious.  Some are.  None are good for you.

Jack Whittaker, a Johnny Cash attired, West Virginia native, is the poster boy for the dangers of a lump sum award.  In 2002 Mr. Whittaker (55 years old at the time) won what was, also at the time, the largest single award jackpot in U.S. history.  $315 million.  At the time, he planned to live as if nothing had changed, or so he said.  He was remarkably modest and decent before the jackpot, and his ship sure came in, right?  Wrong.

Mr. Whittaker became the subject of a number of personal challenges, escalating into personal tragedies, complicated by a number of legal troubles.

Whittaker wasn't a typical lottery winner either.  His net worth at the time of his winnings was in excess of $15 million, owing to his ownership of a successful contracting firm in West Virginia.  His claim to want to live "as if nothing had changed" actually seemed plausible.  He should have been well equipped for wealth.  He was already quite wealthy, after all.  By all accounts he was somewhat modest, low profile, generous and good natured.  He should have coasted off into the sunset.  Yeah.  Not exactly.

Whittaker took the all-cash option, $170 million, instead of the annuity option, and took possession of $114 million in cash after $56 million in taxes.  After that, things went south.

Whittaker quickly became the subject of a number of financial stalkers, who would lurk at his regular breakfast hideout and accost him with suggestions for how to spend his money.  They were unemployed.  No, an interview tomorrow morning wasn't good enough.  They needed cash NOW.  Perhaps they had a sure-fire business plan.  Their daughter had cancer.  A niece needed dialysis.  Needless to say, Whittaker stopped going to his breakfast haunt.  Eventually, they began ringing his doorbell.  Sometimes in the early morning.  Before long he was paying off-duty deputies to protect his family.  He was accused of being heartless.  Cold.  Stingy.

Letters poured in.  Children with cancer.  Diabetes.  MS.  You name it.  He hired three people to sort the mail.  A detective to filter out the false claims and the con men (and women) was retained.

Brenda, the clerk who had sold Whittaker the ticket, was a victim of collateral damage.  Whittaker had written her a check for $44,000 and bought her house, but she was by no means a millionaire.  Rumors that the state routinely paid the clerk who had sold the ticket 10% of the jackpot winnings hounded her.  She was followed home from work.  Threatened.  Assaulted.

Whittaker's car was twice broken into, by trusted acquaintances who watched him leave large amounts of cash in it.  $500,000 and $200,000 were stolen in two separate instances.  The thieves attempted to spiked Whittaker's drink with prescription drugs in the first instance.  Whittaker was violently allergic to the drug used, and likely would have died given the distance to the nearest emergency room, and the lateness of the hour, but, unfortunately he did not consumed the drink containing the narcotics.  The second incident was the handiwork of his granddaughter's friends, who had been probing the girl for details on Whittaker's cash for weeks.

Even Whittaker's good-faith generosity was questioned.  When he offered $10,000 to improve the city's water park so that it was more handicap accessible, locals complained that he spent more money at the strip club.  (Amusingly this was true).

Whittaker invested quite a bit in his own businesses, tripled the number of people his businesses employed (making him one of the larger employers in the area) and eventually had given away $14 million to charity through a foundation he set up for the purpose.  This is, of course, what you are "supposed" to do.  Set up a foundation.  Be careful about your charity giving.  It made no difference in the end.

To top it all off, Whittaker had been accused of ruining a number of marriages.  His money made other men look inferior, they said, wherever he went in the small West Virginia town he called home.  Resentment grew quickly.  And festered.  Whittaker paid four settlements related to this sort of claim.  Yes, you read that right.  Four.

His family and their immediate circle were quickly the victims of odds-defying numbers of overdoses, emergency room visits and even fatalities.  His granddaughter, the eighteen year old "Brandi" (who Whittaker had been giving a $2100.00 per week allowance) was found dead after having been missing for several weeks.  Her death was, apparently, from a drug overdose, but Whittaker suspected foul play.  Her body had been wrapped in a tarp and hidden behind a rusted-out van.  Her seventeen year old boyfriend had expired three months earlier in Whittaker's vacation house, also from an overdose.  Some of his friends had robbed the house after his overdose, stepping over his body to make their escape and then returning for more before stepping over his body again to leave. His parents sued for wrongful death claiming that Whittaker's loose purse strings contributed to their son's death.  Amazingly, juries are prone to award damages in cases such as these.  Whittaker settled.  Again.

Even before the deaths, the local and state police had taken a special interest in Whittaker after his new-found fame.  He was arrested for minor and less minor offenses many times after his winnings, despite having had a nearly spotless record before the award.  Whittaker's high profile couldn't have helped him much in this regard.

In 18 months Whittaker had been cited for over 250 violations ranging from broken tail lights on every one of his five new cars, to improper display of renewal stickers.  A lawsuit charging various police organizations with harassment went nowhere and Whittaker was hit with court costs instead.

Whittaker's wife filed for divorce, and in the process froze a number of his assets and the accounts of his operating companies.  Caesars in Atlantic City sued him for $1.5 million to cover bounced checks, caused by the asset freeze.

Today Whittaker is badly in debt, and bankruptcy looms large in his future.

But, hey,  that's just one example, right?

Wrong.

Nearly one third of multi-million dollar jackpot winners eventually declare bankruptcy.  Some end up worse.  To give you just a taste of the possibilities, consider the fates of:

Billie Bob Harrell, Jr.: $31 million.  Texas, 1997.  As of 1999: Committed suicide in the wake of incessant requests for money from friends and family.  "Winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me."

William "Bud" Post: $16.2 million. Pennsylvania. 1988. In 1989: Brother hires a contract murderer to kill him and his sixth wife. Landlady sued for portion of the jackpot. Convicted of assault for firing a gun at a debt collector. Declared bankruptcy.  Dead in 2006.

Evelyn Adams: $5.4 million (won TWICE 1985, 1986). As of 2001: Poor and living in a trailer gave away and gambled most of her fortune.

Suzanne Mullins: $4.2 million. Virginia. 1993. As of 2004: No assets left.

Shefik Tallmadge: $6.7 million. Arizona. 1988. As of 2005: Declared bankruptcy.

Thomas Strong: $3 million. Texas. 1993. As of 2006: Died in a shoot-out with police.

Victoria Zell: $11 million. 2001. Minnesota.  As of 2006: Broke.  Serving seven year sentence for vehicular manslaughter.

Karen Cohen: $1 million. Illinois. 1984.  As of 2000: Filed for bankruptcy.  As of 2006: Sentenced to 22 months for lying to federal bankruptcy court.

Jeffrey Dampier: $20 million. Illinois. 1996. As of 2006: Kidnapped and murdered by own sister-in-law.

Ed Gildein: $8.8 million. Texas. 1993.  As of 2003:  Dead.  Wife saddled with his debts.  As of 2005: Wife sued by her own daughter who claimed that she was taking money from a trust fund and squandering cash in Las Vegas.

Willie Hurt: $3.1 million. Michigan. 1989.  As of 1991: Addicted to cocaine.  Divorced.  Broke.  Indicted for murder.

Michael Klingebiel: $2 million.  As of 1998 sued by own mother claiming he failed to share the jackpot with her.

Janite Lee: $18 million. 1993. Missouri.  As of 2001: Filed for bankruptcy with $700 in assets.

Mack Metcalf: $65 million. Kentucky. 2000.  As of 2001: Divorced.  As of 2002: Sued girlfriend for $500,000 claiming he was drunk when he gave it to her.  Sued by wife for child support.  As of 2003: Died of alcoholism.  As of a few months later in 2003: Second wife bought a mansion with the money, collected dozens of stray cats and died of a drug overdose immediately after moving in.

I could go on quite a bit.

So, what the hell DO you do if you are unlucky enough to win the lottery?

This is the absolutely most important thing you can do right away:  NOTHING.

Yes.  Nothing.

DO NOT DECLARE YOURSELF THE WINNER yet.

Do NOT tell anyone. The urge is going to be nearly irresistible. Resist it. Trust me.

1. IMMEDIATELY retain an attorney. Get a partner from a larger, NATIONAL firm. Don't let them pawn off junior partners or associates on you. They might try, all law firms might, but insist instead that your lead be a partner who has been with the firm for awhile. Do NOT use your local attorney. Yes, I mean your long-standing family attorney who did your mother's will. Do not use the guy who fought your dry-cleaner bill. Do not use the guy you have trusted your entire life because of his long and faithful service to your family. In fact, do not use any firm that has any connection to family or friends or community. TRUST me. This is bad. You want someone who has never heard of you, any of your friends, or any member of your family. Go the the closest big city and walk into one of the national firms asking for one of the "Trust and Estates" partners you have previously looked up on http://www.martindale.com from one of the largest 50 firms in the United States which has an office near you. You can look up attornies by practice area and firm on Martindale. The top 50 firms by size are:

Baker & McKenzie
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary
Jones Day
White & Case
Latham & Watkins
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Sidley Austin Brown & Wood
Greenberg Traurig
Mayer Brown, Rowe & Maw
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Holland & Knight
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Kirkland & Ellis
Morrison & Foerster
McDermott, Will & Emery
Shearman & Sterling
Hogan & Hartson
Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham
Reed Smith
Oâ€twemoji.maxcdn.comMelveny & Myers
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker
Foley & Lardner
Fulbright & Jaworski
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
Dechert
King & Spalding
Bingham McCutchen
Wilson, Elser Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker
Winston & Strawn
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey
Hunton & Williams
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Bryan Cave
Vinson & Elkins
Ropes & Gray
Proskauer Rose
Heller Ehrman
Alston & Bird
McGuireWoods
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Baker Botts
Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal
Debevoise & Plimpton
Nixon Peabody
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae

2. Decide to take the lump sum. Most lotteries pay a really pathetic rate for the annuity. It usually hovers around 4.5% annual return or less, depending. It doesn't take much to do better than this, and if you have the money already in cash, rather than leaving it in the hands of the state, you can pull from the capital whenever you like. If you take the annuity you won't have access to that cash.  That could be good.  It could be bad.  It's probably bad unless you have a very addictive personality.  If you need an allowance managed by the state, it is because you didn't listen to point #1 above.

Why not let the state just handle it for you and give you your allowance?

Many state lotteries pay you your "allowence" (the annuity option) by buying U.S. treasury instruments and running the interest payments through their bureaucracy before sending it to you along with a hunk of the principal every month.  You will not be beating inflation by much, if at all. There is no reason you couldn't do this yourself, if a low single-digit return is acceptable to you.

You aren't going to get even remotely the amount of the actual jackpot.  Take our old friend Mr. Whittaker.  Using Whittaker is a good model both because of the reminder of his ignominious decline, and the fact that his winning ticket was one of the larger ones on record.  If his situation looks less than stellar to you, you might have a better perspective on how "large" your winnings aren't.  Whittaker's "jackpot" was $315 million.  He selected the lump-sum cash up-front option, which knocked off $145 million (or 46% of the total) leaving him with $170 million.  That was then subject to withholding for taxes of $56 million (33%) leaving him with $114 million.

In general, you should expect to get about half of the original jackpot if you elect a lump sum (maybe better, it depends). After that, you should expect to lose around 33% of your already pruned figure to state and federal taxes.  (Your mileage may vary, particularly if you live in a state with aggressive taxation schemes).

3. Decide right now, how much you plan to give to family and friends. This really shouldn't be more than 20% or so. Figure it out right now. Pick your number. Tell your lawyer. That's it. Don't change it. 20% of $114 million is $22.8 million. That leaves you with $91.2 million.  DO NOT CONSULT WITH FAMILY when deciding how much to give to family.  You are going to get advice that is badly tainted by conflict of interest, and if other family members find out that Aunt Flo was consulted and they weren't you will never hear the end of it. Neither will Aunt Flo.  This might later form the basis for an allegation that Aunt Flo unduly influenced you and a lawsuit might magically appear on this basis.  No, I'm not kidding.  I know of one circumstance (related to a business windfall, not a lottery) where the plaintiffs WON this case.

Do NOT give anyone cash. Ever. Period. Just don't. Do not buy them houses. Do not buy them cars. Tell your attorney that you want to provide for your family, and that you want to set up a series of trusts for them that will total 20% of your after tax winnings. Tell him you want the trust empowered to fund higher education, some help (not a total) purchase of their first home, some provision for weddings and the like, whatever. Do NOT put yourself in the position of handing out cash. Once you do, if you stop, you will be accused of being a heartless bastard (or biatch). Trust me. It won't go well.

It will be easy to lose perspective.  It is now the duty of your friends, family, relatives, hangers-on and their inner circle to skew your perspective, and they take this job quite seriously. Setting up a trust, a managed fund for your family that is in the double digit millions is AMAZINGLY generous. You need never have trouble sleeping because you didn't lend Uncle Jerry $20,000 in small denomination unmarked bills to start his chain of deep-fried peanut butter pancake restaurants. ("Deep'n 'nutter Restaurants") Your attorney will have a number of good ideas how to parse this wealth out without turning your siblings/spouse/children/grandchildren​/cousins/waitresses into the latest Paris Hilton.

4. You will be encouraged to hire an investment manager. Considerable pressure will be applied.  Don't.

Investment managers charge fees, usually a percentage of assets. Consider this: If they charge 1% (which is low, I doubt you could find this deal, actually) they have to beat the market by 1% every year just to break even with a general market index fund. It is not worth it, and you don't need the extra return or the extra risk. Go for the index fund instead if you must invest in stocks. This is a hard rule to follow.  They will come recommended by friends.  They will come recommended by family.  They will be your second cousin on your mother's side.  Investment managers will sound smart. They will have lots of cool acronyms. They will have nice PowerPoint presentations. They might (MIGHT) pay for your shrimp cocktail lunch at TGI Friday's while reminding you how poor their side of the family is.  They live for this stuff.

You should smile, thank them for their time, and then tell them you will get back to them next week. Don't sign ANYTHING. Don't write it on a cocktail napkin (lottery lawsuit cases have been won and lost over drunkenly scrawled cocktail napkin addition and subtraction figures with lots of zeros on them).  Never call them back. Trust me. You will thank me later.  This tactic, smiling, thanking people for their time, and promising to get back to people, is going to have to become familiar.  You will have to learn to say no gently, without saying the word "no."  It sounds underhanded.  Sneaky.  It is.  And its part of your new survival strategy.  I mean the word "survival" quite literally.

Get all this figured out BEFORE you claim your winnings. They aren't going anywhere. Just relax.

5. If you elect to be more global about your paranoia, use between 20.00% and 33.00% of what you have not decided to commit to a family fund IMMEDIATELY to purchase a combination of longer term U.S. treasuries (5 or 10 year are a good idea) and perhaps even another G7 treasury instrument. This is your safety net. You will be protected... from yourself.

You are going to be really tempted to starting being a big investor. You are going to be convinced that you can double your money in Vegas with your awesome Roulette system/by funding your friend's amazing idea to sell Lemming dung/buying land for oil drilling/by shorting the North Pole Ice market (global warming, you know). This all sounds tempting because "Even if I lose it all I still have $XX million left!  Anyone could live on that comfortably for the rest of their life."  Yeah, except for 33% of everyone who won the lottery.

You're not going to double your money, so cool it. Let me say that again. You're not going to double your money, so cool it.  Right now, you'll get around 3.5% on the 10 year U.S. treasury. With $18.2 million (20% of $91.2 mil after your absurdly generous family gift) invested in those you will pull down $638,400 per year. If everything else blows up, you still have that, and you will be in the top 1% of income in the United States. So how about you not fark with it. Eh? And that's income that is damn safe. If we get to the point where the United States defaults on those instruments, we are in far worse shape than worrying about money.

If you are really paranoid, you might consider picking another G7 or otherwise mainstream country other than the U.S. according to where you want to live if the United States dissolves into anarchy or Britney Spears is elected to the United States Senate. Put some fraction in something like Swiss Government Bonds at 3%. If the Swiss stop paying on their government debt, well, then you know money really means nothing anywhere on the globe anymore.  I'd study small field sustainable agriculture if you think this is a possibility.  You might have to start feedng yourself.

6. That leaves, say, 80% of $91.2 million or $72.9 million. Here is where things start to get less clear. Personally, I think you should dump half of this, or $36.4 million, into a boring S&P 500 index fund. Find something with low fees. You are going to be constantly tempted to retain "sophisticated" advisers who charge "nominal fees." Don't. Period. Even if you lose every other dime, you have $638,400 per year you didn't have before that will keep coming in until the United States falls into chaos. fark advisers and their fees. Instead, drop your $36.4 million in the market in a low fee vehicle. Unless we have an unprecedented downturn the likes of which the United States has never seen, should return around 7.00% or so over the next 10 years. You should expect to touch not even a dime of this money for 10 or 15 or even 20 years. In 20 years $36.4 million could easily become $115 million.

7. So you have put a safety net in place. You have provided for your family beyond your wildest dreams. And you still have $36.4 million in "cash." You know you will be getting $638,400 per year unless the capital building is burning, you don't ever need to give anyone you care about cash, since they are provided for generously and responsibly (and can't blow it in Vegas) and you have a HUGE nest egg that is growing at market rates. (Given the recent dip, you'll be buying in at great prices for the market). What now? Whatever you want. Go ahead and burn through $36.4 million in hookers and blow if you want. You've got more security than 99% of the country. A lot of it is in trusts so even if you are sued your family will live well, and progress across generations. If your lawyer is worth his salt (I bet he is) then you will be insulated from most lawsuits anyhow. Buy a nice house or two, make sure they aren't stupid investments though. Go ahead and be an angel investor and fund some startups, but REFUSE to do it for anyone you know. (Friends and money, oil and water - Michael Corleone) Play. Have fun. You earned it by putting together the shoe sizes of your whole family on one ticket and winning the jackpot.
 
5 days ago  
Came here for the ar15 writeup, leaving still broke.
 
5 days ago  

TheyHaveTheInternetOnComputersNow: You see, it's something of an open secret that winners of obnoxiously large jackpots tend to end up badly with alarming regularity.  Not the $1 million dollar winners.  But anyone in the nine-figure range is at high risk.  Eight-figures?  Pretty likely to be screwed.  Seven-figures?  Yep.  Painful.  Perhaps this is a consequence of the sample.  The demographics of lottery players might be exactly the wrong people to win large sums of money.  Or perhaps money is the root of all evil.  Either way, you are going to have to be careful.  Don't believe me?


This is very interesting.

So everyone should support high wages. Seems like it would self correcting. Keeping people poor actually helps them keep being a pain. Give them money and, what ever happens, happens.
 
5 days ago  
Well if this isn't the most aligned 2020 event, I don't know what is.

/RIP Jack in the Box
 
5 days ago  
I know a guy who has won high 7/low 8 figure lotteries twice.

Sure, he says the money is nice, but the stuff he's been through because of it.

His brother-in-law on his (now ex-) wife's side burned his house down, and expected the money to rebuild it.

With a couple of his family members dying of drug overdoses thrown in, I kinda don't want to play the lottery...
 
5 days ago  
Leave it to the depressed, drug addled fools if Fark to turn winning the lottery into a bad thing.
 
5 days ago  

Mad Canadian: I know a guy who has won high 7/low 8 figure lotteries twice.

Sure, he says the money is nice, but the stuff he's been through because of it.

His brother-in-law on his (now ex-) wife's side burned his house down, and expected the money to rebuild it.

With a couple of his family members dying of drug overdoses thrown in, I kinda don't want to play the lottery...


Meh.
People die.
 
5 days ago  

Omnivorous: At the time of Whittaker's win, it was required for winners to come forward and accept the money during a press conference.

Jesus, I'd have sent my dog to claim the money for the LLC.

But thanks to you who sent along some context.  You'll know that I've won a lottery by my perpetual absence (thought my dog might still post).


I have a fiendishly clever plan if it ever comes to that: one of my best friends is a theater chick, so we will have a little get together before that ceremony. Possible clothes padding and a good wig/beard combo would happen.
 
Displayed 50 of 63 comments


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all


View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking




On Twitter




In Other Media
X
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.