Continuing on with the theme of life being about so much more than money, there was a story in 'The Gisborne Herald' recently about a kiwi living in Australia who is 'battling' for his share of a $17 million lottery win. Along with two friends, he'd purchased a lottery ticket in July 2008 by pooling their money at an impromptu party which won this huge sum of money. What a life changing experience that could be - divide it equally and live in comfort without having to worry about money again. But oh no, greed took over and rather than improving their lives beyond measure it has changed them irrevocably. They've been in dispute ever since about who's entitled to what, and have spent $2 million so far in legal fees alone. They had been friends for over 20 years and now no longer speak to each other. Most of the money has been frozen awaiting a trial date on April 19.
The article records other lottery 'disasters':
- An American who won $2 million and was subsequently sued by his former girlfriend for a share of his winnings, his brother was arrested for hiring a hit man to kill him so he could inherit a share of his winnings and another sibling talked him into investing into a disastrous business that failed. Within twelve months he was $1 million in debt and forced to declare himself bankrupt;
- Another American won US$314.9 million in 2002 and was robbed numerous times, became a very heavy drinker, divorced his wife, and some time later his beloved granddaughter was found dead from a drugs overdose that had been funded by the $2100 weekly allowance he'd given her;
- Another lottery winner (it doesn't say how much he collected) invested his winnings into a profitable business and bought generous gifts for his family and took them on holidays. Seven years after the win he was found in the back of his van shot dead - having been murdered by his sister-in-law and her boyfriend who'd kidnapped and murdered him for the money.
Money definitely makes the world go round, but it's also 'the root of all evil' as they say.