Friday, 24 July 2009

What Are The Odds?

One thing that affected my childhood more than anything and still affects me (I’m still a child, you see) is the divorce of my parents. I don’t think myself or anyone outside the family circle really saw it coming. There were incidents, I guess, where my mum and dad didn’t see eye to eye and lots of them involved gambling.

My dad never had a gambling addiction or anything serious; he saw the occasionally fiver or lottery ticket as some slight amusement that my mum didn’t approve of. I recall one evening, where my dad had come in from work, waving a lottery ticket around, asking for someone to give him a number. Naturally, I ran to him and said 15, and I sat on his knee as he circled the number on the paper. My mum came in at this point, and her jaw dropped. I swiftly ushered out of the room before I heard commotion in the living room. Another time, my dad thought it fit to gamble the mortgage on the manager’s special at our local Ladbrokes. Fortunately for his sake and my mother’s sanity, he won, and quite a substantial amount too.

The point I’m getting at is that, no matter how lucky we think we are when we win the lottery, many of the winners have come out later and said that it has changed their lives for the worse, and labelled the lottery as a ‘curse’.

So I’ve gathered the best of the worst, (what an oxymoron) of the lottery winner stories, inspired by this news story. Enjoy.

‘’Winning the lottery isn't always what it's cracked up to be," says Evelyn Adams, who won the New Jersey lottery not just once, but twice (1985, 1986), to the tune of $5.4 million. Today the money is all gone and Adams lives in a trailer. ‘’ Everybody wanted my money. Everybody had their hand out. I never learned one simple word in the English language -- 'No.' I wish I had the chance to do it all over again. I'd be much smarter about it now," says Adams, who also lost money at the slot machines in Atlantic City.

Evelyn Adams, who won the $5.4 million dollar New Jersey lottery not just once, but twice in 1985 and again in 1986 gambled most of it away, and is broke today. 1993 Missouri lottery winner Janite Lee won $18 million, but was overly generous by giving the money away to a variety of causes leading to her filing bankruptcy just eight years after her stroke of good fortune hit.

Lucky isn't a lady, it's a downright bitch, don't you think?

Currently Listening to: Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder

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