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It may seem extreme to say you could pay with your life if you won the lottery, but it has happened before. Winning large sums of money can come at a cost, and not a financial one. Many states publicize the name and location of their lottery winnings, thereby taking away any anonymity to gambling. People are known to become greedy and envious at the sight of another’s good fortune and are capable of malicious acts to acquire that amount of wealth.
Is winning the lottery really worth it?
In the state of New Hampshire, a woman won the Powerball jackpot of over $559 million. She later decided she wanted to stay anonymous, but by making that choice she was forced to refuse the big payout. New Hampshire law requires that you publicly disclose private information about yourself if you win, such as your name, location, and amount of your winnings. The woman eventually took the issue to court, claiming she misunderstood the protocols when she divulged her name.
If you won the lottery, wouldn’t you still desire to be able to go grocery shopping, see a movie in the theatre, or walk around public events without someone targeting you as now being in possession of millions of dollars? It could potentially pose a threat to your safety.
In the past, lottery winners have experienced family members, friends, and even strangers pressuring them to share their multi-millions. If you give in to these demands, the expectation for hand-outs will never end. If you don’t succumb to the pressure, you may be viewed as selfish and ungenerous. Aside from the annoyance of being asked to share the wealth by your inner circle, you could face more severe consequences to being a lottery winner.
In 2006, Florida resident Abraham Shakespeare went missing shortly after he won $17 million from his local lottery. He had entrusted a close friend with the payout in order to prevent others in his life from wanting to take advantage of him. However, this friend, Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore, stole a large amount of the cash to make purchases for herself.
Then in November of 2009, Abraham’s family reported him missing. Investigators received a tip that Moore may have had something to do with the case. When they searched the backyard of Dee Dee Moore’s home, Abraham Shakespeare’s body was discovered buried under a concrete slab. Moore was eventually charged with first-degree murder in 2010.
“I’d have been better off broke,” Abraham had said to his brother before his death.
Another example of the dangers of financial luck is the story of Jeff Dampier, a $20 million winner from Chicago who was abducted by his sister-in-law and her boyfriend. In 2005, Dampier was shot in the back of his head for his jackpot winnings and abandoned his body in a van. His murderers were eventually caught and sentenced to life in prison.
Incidents such as these bring up the question: Is the loss of your life or privacy worth any amount of money?
There are eleven states in the U.S. that do not require you to disclose your personal, identifying information to the public and you are also not required to be seen by the media: Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, and Texas. You are afforded complete anonymity in these states if you happen to be lucky enough to win millions within their borders. While gaining such a large amount of wealth would no doubt bring huge changes to your life, it might not be in the ways you have always imagined.
Check the lottery rules for your state. You could be eligible to claim the money anonymously in the form of a trust.
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