An eighty four year old woman in the USA has won 278.2 million [after tax] in the state lottery. I suppose her remaining years will now be more comfortable than she would have previously expected them to be. On the other hand, what can she possibly do with that amount of money, besides passing it on to her family, or leaving it to a cats’ home? I gather she was somewhat reclusive, from the remarks of her [now] former neighbours, which will be a help to her now that she is probably going to have to spend the rest of her days in relative seclusion, if she is to avoid scroungers, sob stories and con artists.
But will it make her happy? It is easy to take the much clichéd, moral high ground here; ‘Money Can’t Buy Me Love’ etc, but stories of the lives of lottery winners are not all tales of heart-warming, happy-ever-after strolls into the sunset.
“Robertson has four sons, two from his first marriage and two from another relationship, while Laidlaw has three children. But his win has led to rows with the elder sons about how the money should be shared. Now, Robertson declares, “they are not getting a penny”.”
“Gardiner was greeted with hundreds of letters begging for money and for his hand in marriage.”
“He bought a cul-de-sac of houses for his friends. He also tried to help people out by offering work but these people began to take advantage and take liberties.”
“Keith checked himself in to the Priory rehabilitation clinic in Birmingham as his alcohol use began to get out of hand. It was at the rehabilitation clinic where Keith became acquainted with James Prince. Between August 2006 and July 2008, Prince persuaded Keith to invest his final £700,000 in a number of fake business ventures that were never real. Keith lost all of his money.”
Poverty, of course is a miserable state of affairs. But a modest improvement in circumstances can do wonders to lift the spirits-especially when combined with a sense of achievement. One feature amongst the woeful tales of lottery winners was how many of them still shopped in ‘pound shops’ or resumed their daily toil after experiencing the boredom of inactivity. For sheer, unadulterated euphoria there is little to compare to the joy of acquiring a bargain, or to make a small profit from selling on an auction site, or to win a small sum in a story competition. All of these successes require some effort-hence the pleasure quotient.
Children, I read, are to have money management shoehorned into their curriculum in the near future, possibly at primary-even infant- level. This in itself won’t be a bad thing, if time allows and it relates to mathematics, but one alarming idea I heard during a radio discussion was that 5 year olds would be taught that having money equates to happiness.
I get regular ‘likes’ from bloggers who want to teach me how to make money from blogging, and I’m sure they mean well, but the greatest pleasure to be had from writing it is to see how many people have shown an interest in it-and which parts of the world they inhabit.
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