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Winning the lotto

/ 05:26 AM September 15, 2018

As I was inside the elevator, somebody else’s domestic helper in the condominium where I stay entered and started asking me if I had seen an ultra lotto ticket that she said she might have accidentally dropped inside the elevator.

When I arrived at the office, my employees were talking about the ultra lotto and how they would spend the money if they won.

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I got into the frenzy by having one of my boys buy two tickets for me, the first time I did so. Who knows, I told myself, I could win the P650 million jackpot.

The draw was scheduled for Friday night (I wrote this piece Friday afternoon).

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Why did I join the madness when I don’t usually gamble? For the sheer excitement of the probability of winning!

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But do you know that many studies have shown that one-third of the lotto winners became broke within five years after winning the jackpot?

A Time magazine article said that 70 percent of the lotto winners lost the windfall of cash “within a few years.”

Jack Whittaker, who won $350 million in a lottery in West Virginia in 2002, said later he wished he had torn up the lucky ticket.

Whittaker, a construction company president, lost a daughter and granddaughter to drug overdoses which he blamed on the Powerball win.

Sandra Hayes split a $224-million jackpot in 2006 in the Missouri lottery with a dozen coworkers. She said in 2012 that she had to “endure the greed and the need that people have trying to release your money to them.”

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“That caused a lot of emotional pain. There are people who you’ve loved deep down, and they’re turning into vampires trying to suck the life out of me,” Hayes said.

“My life was hijacked by the lottery,” said Donna Mikkin who won $34.5 million in the New York state lottery.

Mikkin said the lottery windfall led to “emotional bankruptcy.” The above-average income earner said that she was a “happy person” before the win but became “manic” after.

Here at home, I was introduced to a guy named Leo, a Filipino who resided in the United States for many years, who won P30 million in the local lotto in 1991.

Leo became a big spender, giving away P1,000 even to strangers who greeted him in the streets.

In 1993, two years after the big win, Leo was flat broke, according to mutual friends.

A man from Antipolo, Rizal, who won the lottery was killed by a relative who was not given a balato, which is money given away as goodwill by a winning gambler.

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So, what would I do with the windfall if ever I won, avoiding the heavy emotional luggage that would surely come later?

I have now figured it out: 50 percent would go to my foundation and 40 percent to my needy friends and relatives.

I would keep the 10 percent for my upkeep.

In her book, “The Giving Way to Happiness,” Jenny Santi, a Filipino who constantly travels between Europe and the United States, says that people who volunteer for charity, donate money, set up family foundations are less stressed and more fulfilled than those who do not.

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So saying, I hope I don’t win. Hehe!

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