Guest Article from Laurel Spencer:
With the promise of lavish wealth and complete monetary freedom, it is no wonder why countless Americans choose to take a gamble at the powerball. While this ethereal hope glimmers in so many hearts, powerball winner Jack Whitaker is thinking twice about the fortune he acquired some 6 years ago.
After winning a $315 million powerball in 2002, Whitaker’s previously happy and carefree life has gone steadily down hill. According to the Columbia Tribune’s article from the Associated Press, divorce has driven away Whitaker’s wife and lifetime sweetheart of 8th grade, and he has suffered the loss of his granddaughter, friends, dignity, and reputation. Whitaker explains in the article:
I don’t have any friends. Every friend that I’ve had, practically, has wanted to borrow money or something, and … once they borrow money from you, you can’t be friends anymore.
Since he won the lottery, Whitaker has been sued repeatedly and has been involved in a total of 460 legal actions; burglary to his house and car have also become a prevalent issue. Additionally, Whitaker’s gambling and drinking problems have become wide spread and have smeared his reputation, causing his wife to file papers for divorce. During this time the Associated Press reports he also suffered the loss of his beloved 17-year-old granddaughter due to a drug overdose.
Although the promise of acquiring a fortune devoid of work of any kind is a tempting offer, one must take pause to wonder if the price tag associated with such winnings is really worth it. Surely no one would stay to wonder if playing a “harmless game” could uproot someone’s life or rob them of their joy, but the consequences of such actions are, in many cases, undeniable and are indeed a matter worthy of consideration.