Money Used Wisely
We have all pictured it…Summer holidays, new houses, fancy cars… the stuff dreams are made of! We play the lottery weekly with the belief that one day, those distant dreams will become our reality. Winning the lottery undoubtedly enriches lives, but just what kind of influence does it have on the decisions people make?
United Kingdom’s Thea Bristow was the winner of an incredible £15 million pounds. Being the sole breadwinner in her family due to her husband’s back injury, Thea never imagined that she would ever be able to rest a day in her life again. Thea played the lottery on a regular basis and had won a few pounds back here and there, but it took Thea some time to grasp the reality of how her life would change when she discovered that she had all 6 numbers correct. After discovering that she had in fact won, Thea had to work hard to convince her husband, Paul, that they had not won thousands but millions! His disbelief also soon turned to sheer joy.
Thea and Paul discussed the possibilities that their big win opened up, and decided that following the humble route was best. The following day, Thea returned to work as usual at a small factory that made souvenirs and the couple then made their first purchase - a Kenwood Chef, which Paul felt would enhance their lives as it would make it easier for them to make pastry. The couple invested in a new computer which would help them with their involvement in the Torquay Football Club and other outreach endeavours.
The football club had been going bankrupt, but the result of Paul and Thea’s financial investment enabled the club to continue operating. Thea also took driving lessons and bought herself a Ford Kia convertible. Thea and Paul were part of the Scouts and, in an effort to give back, they planned a trip to Canada with 56 scouts, 30 parents and helpers and generously footed the bill of £500 000 for the trip. Tragically, Paul passes away from Diabetes just 6 years after the big win, and Thea and her son therefore took over directorship of the Torquay Football Club in order to ensure its continued success.
Across the world in Getra, Nabraska, David and Erica Harrig’s lives changed when they won $61.45 million in December 2013. David chose his 5 numbers based on his birthday – a fun combination that forever changed his life. It took David and Erica a few days to come to terms with the fact that they had won, and enlisted Erica’s colleague to check the Powerball results to confirm that it was true. David and Erica instantly went from spending their days worrying about how to put food on the table to being concerned about how to spend their winnings in such a way that they would leave a legacy for their children.
The couple sought the council of several lawyers and financial advisors to ensure that they did not misuse their winnings. After working for 16 years at their respective companies, David and Erica made the decision to retire and invest their time giving back to the community. In addition, David bought himself a red Corvette and Erica renovated their home to include a front porch and a swimming pool. When David’s mom heard about the lottery win, she asked for a record player. David and Erica worked hard to ensure that their family’s basic needs were met and that their lives were more comfortable, but investments and wisdom have ensured that the couple do not need to work another day in their lives.
Money is a powerful tool in the right hands, and invested, saved or even spent in the right way can lead to immense wealth. Playing the lottery and winning is one thing, but using those winnings to enhance your life and the life of others is generously another. Which will you choose when your big day arrives?
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