Who remembers the hit song “If I Had A Million Dollars” by the Barenaked Ladies? When that song was released back in 1988, a million bucks was a lot of dough. One line says “If I had a million dollars, I’d buy you a house.”
Yep, not these days. You’d be lucky to get a 5th wheel for that now.
I seriously think the only way my children will ever be able to buy a house is if I win the lottery. Or if I die soon so they can have MY house. I do play the B.C. Lottery every now and then just for fun, but my pension will only stretch so far.
A lot of us dream of winning the lottery, like local Scott Gurney did recently. We think about what we’d buy, where we’d travel, who else we’d share it with. But I think reality might not quite live up to the dream. (Although I wouldn’t be adverse to testing that theory…just to be sure.)
I did win $90 once. And my husband won $900. But when you add up what we must have spent on tickets up to that point…well, I think the lottery corporation came out ahead.
I knew someone many years ago who won the lottery at the tender age of 19. $100,000 was a lot of money back then and he was pretty excited. Needless to say, he learned a lot from that experience.
All kinds of new “friends” came out of the word work. He was buying everyone dinner and drinks all the time, blowing all kinds of money on whatever came to mind. And he eventually ended up bankrupt.
Nineteen is too young an age to really understand what money is or does. It’s one thing to grow up financially privileged, another to suddenly become the richest kid on the block.
But age doesn’t even matter.
The fact is that a LOT of people who win the lottery end up in dire straits. In the U.S., for instance, one third of people who win lotteries end up bankrupt after 3 to 5 years. And many lottery winners struggle with depression and suicide, or end up divorced.
We just don’t know how to deal with a big stack of cash.
I’m convinced that coming into a lot of money all of a sudden does something to the brain. Not just yours, but everyone else you know too. Some of the people around you become needy or greedy. You have to learn to say “no”, and that’s not easy.
Not only that, but when you win the lottery, your face gets splashed all over the place, complete with the giant cheque and the confetti. Everyone finds out who you are, so there’s no way you can just take your winnings and quietly slip away somewhere.
So, out come the scammers. There have already been a number of fake Facebook accounts set up pretending to be Scott Gurney, trying to swindle people out of their money one way or another. It’s disgusting.
I do wish him well and hope that, for the most part, he’s able to enjoy his winnings.
I’ve decided that I don’t really need to win the lottery. It seems like a lot more trouble than it’s worth, and I’m doing just fine, thank you very much.
What’s money anyway? There are some things you really can’t put a price on, like family, good health, great friends. A sunny day. What more could a person possibly need?
I’m already a winner!