Sodeto! Ever hear of it?

I continued my reading today and came across this article.  It has 6 parts and so is rather long, but, I think, worth the read.  I will do some summarizing, but wanted you to be able to get the full effect first, if you wanted to.

http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201305/spanish-lottery-winners-sodeto?currentPage=1

Sodeto is a small, about 250 people, village in Spain.  El Gordo is the Spanish lottery.  These two distinct entities came together once for a grand vision or nightmare, depending on who you were and how you looked at it.

El Gordo is a huge deal in Spain and this time was no exception – it had the biggest jackpot in history:  over 720,000,000 Euros.  That, my friends, is about $943,000,000 American dollars or almost 1 billion dollars.  It is played differently from ours here in the States.  If I understand it correctly, it is drawn around Christmas, once per year.  Here is the link to all the details from Wiki, but I will, again, summarize just a bit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Christmas_Lottery

In a nutshell (though it would be a big nutshell), there are two spheres with wooden balls (each about the weight of 3 paper clips or 3 grams).  The main sphere has 100,000 balls in it.  One sphere is picked from this and that is the main winner for that year.  The above-mentioned amount seems small when I read the article for the entire El Gordo, which is several billion dollars, and it is won, obviously, by many people.  There are 100,000 numbers sold for about $260 American each.  These numbers are broken down into 10 parts and sold for about $26 each.  Within that, groups and businesses and such will sell tenths of these numbers for about $2.60 with a little added so their group makes some money.

In 2011, Sodeto, thanks to one of their civic groups, won the El Gordo, to the tune of around $100,000E ($131,000) a ticket (almost) with over 1,100 sold to them at $5 a pop.  This brought them from the brink of poverty and hopelessness to being rich almost beyond their imaginings.  Because with around 250 people and many of those families and with over 1,100 tickets sold – some people had purchased several tickets to help their town’s group.

This is where the article kinda begins.  It, then, tells the story of the backgrounds of many people and what happened after El Gordo “saved” them.  I use italics because some ended up saying that they would rather it had never happened.  Why?  Well, that’s why I am writing this!

You see, fellow, relatively poor people, when an entire town becomes rich at once, it changes, just as a person winning the American Powerball can change.  And, it is, often, not for the best.

Statistics have shown in America that most winners of the big one are, usually, broke within five years.  No, I don’t have an article for that – Well, lookee there! Thanks to Google, I do:

http://news.yahoo.com/missouri-powerball-winners-live-modestly-back-hometown-205813233.html

This poor town was hit by all types of people trying to get them to spend money.  There were engulfed by these types.  Many people did only a little for themselves and tried to, basically, stay the same as before.  They made life a bit easier on themselves, but didn’t over-indulge.

One man, talked about in the first article, did not buy a ticket.  His story is interesting also and he doesn’t appear bitter about it either.

So, my point?  Easy enough.  Large winnings, sudden windfalls, need to be planned for just as sudden downfalls do.  Either can bankrupt you or ruin you, it appears.

I have planned and planned my lottery winnings and have come up with a decent one.  First, I figured out how much I would like to have (after taxes) to live on a year.  Next, I planned on about 60 years of money for that.  Third, I added a reasonable lump sum to get me going (pay off house, etc…).  Then, I have an on-going list of people (family/friends) who I would want to help with some money.  That list was 21 at its peak, last time I checked it out fully.  My idea is to put the money in several places in several different things, not worry about interest, just make certain that losing principle is almost nil.  Then, I would just live on that 1/60 amount I mentioned above.  If the win were big, I could either up all those amounts, increase the number of people on my list, or both.  If it were small, the reverse would be true.  I would have a minimum amount that I would need to keep, so, if the amount were that or less, well, just me then.  Sorry.

How would you take care of things if you won several million dollars!

Are there truly people you would help out?

Namaste,

Scott

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