This woman went to work as a nurse, expecting a day like any other. But when her whole life changed in an instant, she was lucky her co-workers had her back.
Mavis Wanczyk found a winning lottery ticket in her purse, not just to any lottery, but to the largest single winnings in American history–a $758 million dollar Powerball jackpot. Her co-worker immediately made Mavis sign it, according to CBS Boston.
For 32 years Mavis dedicated her life to other people. With a career in nursing, she spent each day caring for the sick and vulnerable in her community.
Mavis’ newfound blessings have given her a whole new life. She can leave behind her nursing job at the hospital and pursue whatever future she desires.
Unfortunately, though, Mavis is under the impression that after this win, people “will just leave me alone.” Many lottery winners actually become harassed routinely for the rest of their life.
Consider the story of one man, who, according to The Daily Mail, sued his son over harassment after winning a comparatively small sum of 3.1 million pounds.
According to Time, many past winners of the Powerball lottery call it a “curse.” In this culture where families are weak and members turn on one another–even under normal circumstances–selfish relatives plague lottery winners.
Unrelated scam artists come out of the woodwork to chase down lottery winners, as they undoubtedly will with Mavis. Some family members of lottery winners have even been killed by blackmailers over the money.
It’s advisable to remain anonymous while collecting a lottery prize, however, some state laws disallow it. Lottery winners should consult with a lawyer ahead of time and pursue measures to remain anonymous, as well as to plan for all of the other issues associated with the win.
Mark Cuban has shared his advice on Business Insider to any future winners of the Powerball lottery. First, hire a tax attorney. He suggests that if a winner is close to a family member or friend in need, the winner can set some money aside for them before even speaking to them. A lottery winner can be charitable without allowing people to harass them.
He argues that no one needs one million dollars, and that wealth doesn’t make someone a clever investor. Lottery money shouldn’t be poured into anything if a return is expected. Instead, put it in a bank and live comfortably.
Cuban also suggests that lottery winners should take the annuity, not the lump sum, so that they can’t frivolously spend all of the money at once. While it seems impossible, many winners have before. In fact, Smart Lottery Winner says 70 percent of people lose the money after a few years.
Whether it’s toys, a business venture, or charity, a lottery winner should exercise caution when spending. Even though a large sum of money appears difficult to deplete, a budget is important and helpful for staying on track.
Cuban’s final piece of advice will ring true to Christians, “Be nice. No one likes a mean billionaire.” While a lottery winner must learn to say no, they can do so with kindness.