An 18-year-old teen in Orlando, Florida purchased a scratch-off ticket from a local supermarket and walked out with $26,000 a year for life.
A press release from the Florida Lottery reported that Daniela Leon Ruz played the new $500 A WEEK FOR LIFE scratch-off game, where cards cost $1 a piece, and ended up a winner. The teen purchased the card at a local Publix supermarket. She chose to receive yearly payments of $26,000 rather than a lump sum of $410,000. The odds of winning the top prize in this particular game are about 1 in 5 million.
Despite this winner’s apparent luck, lottery winners can have a difficult life. A previous report in The Epoch Times details how a man who won $315 million in Powerball could not live in peace. People in his hometown harassed him and tried to rob him, and his granddaughter was murdered seemingly by people who knew he had money.
Family life is also affected. A woman in 1996 divorced her husband after she won $1.3 million in the California lottery. She later had to give him the winnings after it was discovered she never told him she won.
Other big winners lost all their money gambling or on bad investments. The change in lifestyle is too abrupt for many to handle, and a string of bad luck could leave a one-time lottery winner penniless.
And it’s not limited to big winners either. A 2011 MIT study found that that those who had won “large” amounts in the lottery ($50,000 to $150,000) were just as likely to go bankrupt after a 5-year span as those who had won a “small” amount (less than $10,000).
According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, roughly 70 percent of Americans who see a sudden spike in wealth lose it within a few years.