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September 14, 2007

Money Can’t Truly Buy You Happiness … Ask $314 Million Powerball Winner Jack Whittaker

Posted in: Bizarre,Celebrity

It is true that money can not buy you happiness, although as some would say … it could Powerballhelp just a little. Such is the case for Jack Whittaker who won The Powerball and a prize of $314.9 million. Although, it is not the money that makes one drive under the influence, gambling and philandering. Those traits are inherent and would have occurred any how. Winning such a prize could have been used for good. The cash payout was so obscene for this single winner that no one could have spent it all on themselves. A word of advice to Jack Whittaker, a long with great power, comes great responsibility.

Whittaker was a self-made millionaire long before he became a lottery winner, having built a pipeline business worth $17 million. Then he hit the Powerball in December 2002. It was then the largest-single jackpot ever.

The prize was worth $314.9 million. Whittaker opted for the lump-sum payout of $170 million – $93 million after taxes.

However, his Powerball dream turned into a nightmare.  Whittaker was already a multi-millionaire and the owner of a pipline business prior to hitting the lottery.  I can remember back when this was announced that it was rather odd that a millionaire would be playing the lottery.

The jackpot that was the stuff of dreams turned into a nightmare: His wife left him and his drug-addicted granddaughter – his protégé and heir – died. He endured constant requests for money.

Almost five years later, Whittaker is left with things money can’t cure: His daughter’s cancer, a long list of indiscretions documented in newspapers and court records, and an inability to trust others.

It is true that money alone cannot buy one happiness; however, it is also true that many of life’s events that occurred to Jack Whittaker would have happened regardless of him winning the lottery or not. The fact that he won the lottery and the choices that he made following it are no different than any one of life’s lessons. It is easy to blame winning a lottery on the negative things that happen in life. One would say that many who have won are not heard from as they try to follow their path in as much a way as they did prior to the millions.

Like is about the choices one makes a long the way and personal responsibility. If any one thinks that they becomes a celebrity just because they got lucky in having 6 numbers on a piece of paper, they are doomed from the start.

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