13 Things Lottery Winners Won’t Tell You

Past lottery winners weigh in on losing friends, becoming spectacles, and increasing the odds of striking it rich.

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Easy come, easy go.

istock/SIphotography

Whether we win $500 million or $1 million, about 70 percent of us lose or spend all our money in five years or less.

Take a second chance.

istock/davidf

Always play the second-chance drawings. Some games require you to mail in your losing ticket. Others tell you to go online and 
register the ticket’s serial number. People either don’t know about the drawings or don’t take the time to enter, so your odds of winning are always better.

We don't quit while we're ahead.

istock/urbancow

Do we still play the lottery? Absolutely. And we’re sure we’re going to win again.

You will be exploited—possibly by your friends.

istocl/PavelIvanov

I had one friend who told me this sob story about how behind she was on her local taxes, how they were going to take her house because she couldn’t pay. After she left, I got on my computer, looked up her tax records, and saw that she wasn’t behind. When I printed out that page and sent it to her, well, that was the end of our friendship.

A lot can seem like a little.

istock/Photobuay

If you win $6 million and find yourself in a room full of lottery winners who won $100 million or more, all of a sudden, you feel like the poor one. It’s all relative.

We answer for our impulse purchases.

istock/Trevor Smith

After we won the lottery, we bought an eight-bedroom, seven-bath, 10,000-square-foot mansion because we could, and it sounded amazing. Well, now we’re selling the eight-bedroom, seven-bath 
mansion because it’s impractical for a family of four.

We are still looked down upon by the truly wealthy.

istock/Dexailo

After we won and moved into an exclusive neighborhood, we planned a huge Fourth of July party and invited all our neighbors. None of them came—they thought we didn’t earn our money.

We're sick of money questions.

istock/MarsBars

It drives me nuts when people ask where I keep the money, how I spend it, and if I still have it. No one would dream of asking a CEO those questions.

Your friends will change with your lifestyle.

istock/olaser

Everyone who wins thinks they’re going to have the same friends and do the same things. But if you have $100 million and you want to fly to Hong Kong for the weekend, you need to either find someone who can afford to go with you or be willing to subsidize someone. And subsidizing people gets old.

You may be forced into the spotlight.

istock/OJO_Images

If you think you’re going to win and remain anonymous, you’d 
better check your state laws. Many states require that you do a news conference and hold up a big check.

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