RIP Philo

Curse of the Lottery

Some show I watched over the weekend.

It featured about 10+ people who received lottery winnings and proceeded into a downward spiral of their toiletbowl lives.

Money doesn't buy happiness, and it seemed for some of these folks it actually just brought misery.

I would still like to cash a $200 million check though.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
March 12th, 2007 2:00pm
Handing a shit-ton of money to out of control rednecks with addictive personalities causes their lives to enter an extravagant cash-fueled spiral.

Who'd have thought?
Permalink Send private email muppet 
March 12th, 2007 2:04pm
I didn't see the program. But it's not surprising given:

1. Lottery tickets are disproportionately bought by people in bad circumstances

2. Any sudden fundamental change in life style, even one that is on paper an improvement, is likely to fuck up your life whether or not it is fucked up before.
March 12th, 2007 2:04pm
You may enjoy Dan Gilbert.  A year later the paraplegics and the lottery winners report the same levels of unhappiness......
Permalink zed 
March 12th, 2007 2:06pm
I don't know, it would seem going through $200 Mio. of meth in the back of your trailer would fuck people up pretty bad. OTOH, with minimal selfdiscipline you could live the rest of your life very comfortably with way less than half that amount just placed in your checking account.
Permalink Send private email a2800276 
March 12th, 2007 2:06pm
Money just amplifies your personality...
Permalink bob's your uncle 
March 12th, 2007 2:06pm
^^ That was said almost verbatim on the show.

They had one guy have his mansion foreclosed on over ~$5,000 worth of groundskeeping like fees.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
March 12th, 2007 2:08pm
The CW is that major life changes don't, on average, change a person's temperament. Not a single event at least. Not lottery winnings, nor debilitating car accidents. After 6 months you habituate the new fortune/misfortune and return to the way you were. You really need a string of consistent events to depress or uplift a person.

If we assume that the people who play the lottery are on average more unhappy than those who don't, it makes sense that they're still unhappy 6 months later, no matter what.

At least we can assume lottery players are less financially astute, on average, than other people.

There's also the 'egotism fallacy' - "because I won once, I am special and am destined to win again."
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
March 12th, 2007 2:10pm
No doubt fallacy, but it's a bit reinforced when they show two separate people that had won multiple times.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
March 12th, 2007 2:12pm
Read a book called The Lottery by Jonathan Tulloch. Describes the phenomenon rather well.

Some people do retire to lead fulfilling lives doing the stuff they want. Others don't. Essentially it comes down to the fact that to successfully operate a large fortune, you need to be somewhat of an asshole (not letting people take advantage of you). People who work for their fortunes are necessarily assholes (or they wouldn't be successful), people who win lotteries often aren't.

Money amplifies your own temperament and brings out the worst in the people around you.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
March 12th, 2007 2:19pm
The double lottery winners are special though.
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
March 12th, 2007 2:20pm
i doubt that a large percentage of winners experience such misery.

"lottery winners who waste blow it all down the drain" just makes a catchy story.

i'm sure most consult a financial expert of some kind.
Permalink Kenny 
March 12th, 2007 3:53pm
Well, there have definitely been more winners than they featured.
Permalink JoC 
March 12th, 2007 4:04pm
The solution is obviously to tax all lottery winnings. If lotto winners can't spend it responsibly, society has an obligation to help the poor children.
Permalink Send private email Duff 
March 12th, 2007 5:06pm
Just have a cap on winnings.

The most that you can win per game, is set to your prior total assets (so you can double your assets at most).  That way, people never win more than they can handle. 

A redneck going from 1 trailer to 2, will be in hog heaven.  No need to give him so much money that he goes crazy.
March 13th, 2007 12:30am
^^ Not a completely bad idea, because it would discourage people with nothing from playing.

"The solution is obviously to tax all lottery winnings."

You must not be an American. We do tax all lottery winnings.
Permalink JoC 
March 13th, 2007 10:01am

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