Curse of the Lotto

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Curse of the Lotto

Photo courtesy of Google Images

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Photo courtesy of Google Images

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Rolling in a pile of money is one of the most common fantasies people have when imaging winning the lottery.  However, in reality, divorce, drug addiction and death are three of the most common side effects associated with winning the lottery.  Due to the connection between these terrors and the lottery, the phrase “winning the lottery” is better known as the “curse of the lotto.”  One repercussion of winning the lottery is that it can harm intimate family relationships.  Furthermore, reaping the rewards of the lottery can disturb one’s social life.  In addition, having a large sum of money can brand an unwanted target onto the winner’s back.

In many cases, lottery winners tend to destroy relationships between their families and themselves.  One example of someone who hurt her family is Denise Rossi, the 1997 California Lottery winner.  When Rossi won $1.3 million in the California Lottery, she kept her winnings a secret and filed for divorce within the following two weeks.  In 1999 her ex-husband gained knowledge of her actions and sued Rossi for every penny.  Not only did Rossi lose all she won but she also demolished her marriage.

“The dream you have about winning may be better than the actuality of winning,” said Steve Danish, a professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, to CNN.  “There have been families that have just been torn apart by this process.”

Another result of winning the lottery may be a difference in one’s social life.  One man, Willie Seeley, one of the 16 winners of the August 2013 Powerball Jackpot, was excited by his luck on the day he found out about his winnings, but ever since then, Seeley has regretted having bought the ticket.

“There are days I wish we were back to just getting paid every two weeks,” said Seeley to NBC News.  “You have to change your whole way of life, but we didn’t want to change the way we lived.  We liked the way we lived.”

Beggars are constantly bombarding Seeley.  According to interviews, his phone has not stopped ringing since the public became aware of his fortune.  Whether from his family, friends or television executives with the desire to give him his own reality television show, Seeley has not had the privilege of privacy since the curse of the lotto began to plague him.

Along with these problems, possessing a large sum of money can also put a person’s life in danger.  One of the victims of the lottery was Jeffrey Dampier, $20 million winner of an Illinois lottery.  Dampier was a generous lottery winner who found happiness in sharing his great wealth with his family.  Although he constantly provided his family members with exuberant gifts including houses and cars, Dampier’s sister-in-law Victoria Jackson was not satisfied with what she received.  Letting greed control her, Jackson and her boyfriend murdered Dampier in the hopes of inheriting his fortune.  Due to his winning of the lottery, Dampier was brutally slain in the name of a green monster called envy.

With this many side effects, winning the lottery is becoming less fortunate and more dangerous each day.  Though many may blame the people who win the lottery for these problems, the mixture of ignorance, societal pressures, and selfishness in today’s population has led to the tarnished name of what was once a sought-after prize.

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