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KFDM 6 :: News - Top Stories - Big winners share lessons, risks of Powerball wins
Wednesday, November 28 2012, 03:34 PM CST
Big winners share lessons, risks of Powerball wins

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - So you just won the $550 million Powerball jackpot, the second highest in lottery history. Now what?


Perhaps it's time for a tropical vacation or a new car. There are bills to pay, loans to settle, debts to square.


Past winners of mega-lottery drawings and financial planners have some more sound advice: Stick to a budget, invest wisely, learn to say no and be prepared to lose friends while riding an emotional roller-coaster of joy, anxiety, guilt and distrust.


"I had to adapt to this new life, "said Sandra Hayes, 52, a former child services social worker who split a $224 million Powerball jackpot with a dozen co-workers in 2006, collecting a lump sum she said was in excess of $6 million after taxes. "I had to endure the greed and the need that people have, trying to get you to release your money to them. That caused a lot of emotional pain. These are people who you've loved deep down, and they're turning into vampires trying to suck the life out of me."


The single mother kept her job with the state of Missouri for another month and immediately used her winnings to pay off an estimated $100,000 in student loans and a $70,000 mortgage. She spent a week in Hawaii and bought a new Lexus, but six years later still shops at discount stores and lives on a fixed income - albeit, at a higher monthly allowance than when she brought home paychecks of less than $500 a week.


"I know a lot of people who won the lottery and are broke today," she said. "If you're not disciplined, you will go broke. I don't care how much money you have."


Lottery agencies are keen to show off beaming prize-winners hugging oversize checks at celebratory news conferences, but the tales of big lottery winners who wind up in financial ruin, despair or both are increasingly common.


There's the two-time New Jersey lottery winner who squandered her $5.4 million fortune. A West Virginia man who won $315 million a decade ago on Christmas later said the windfall was to blame for his granddaughter's fatal drug overdose, his divorce, hundreds of lawsuits and an absence of true friends.


The National Endowment for Financial Education cautions those who receive a financial windfall - whether from lottery winnings, divorce settlements, cashed-out stock options or family inheritances - to plan for their psychological needs as well as their financial strategies. The Denver-based nonprofit estimates that as many as 70 percent of people who land sudden windfalls lose that money within several years.


"Being able to manage your emotions before you do anything sudden is one of the biggest things," said endowment spokesman Paul Golden. "If you've never had the comfort of financial security before, if you were really eking out a living from paycheck to paycheck, if you've never managed money before, it can be really confusing. There's this false belief that no matter what you do, you're never going to worry about money again."


David Gehle, who spent 20 years at a Nebraska meatpacking plant before he and seven ConAgra Foods co-workers won a $365 million Powerball jackpot in 2006, used some of his winnings to visit Australia, New Guinea and Vietnam. He left ConAgra three weeks after he won, and now spends his time woodworking and playing racquetball, tennis and golf.


But most of his winnings are invested, and the 59-year-old still lives in his native Lincoln. He waited for several years before buying a $450,000 home in a tidy neighborhood on the southern edge of town.


"My roots are in Nebraska, and I'm not all that much different now than I was before," Gehle said. "I'm pretty normal. I never was the kind of guy who went for big, expensive cars or anything like that. I just want something that runs."


In the first year after he won, Michael Terpstra would awaken many nights in a panic. Had he slept in? Was he late to work the night shift?


"At times I'd wake up and this would all seem like a dream," the 54-year-old said. "I'd have to walk around the house and tell myself, I did win. I'm not working anymore, and I do live here. I didn't get drunk, break into someone's house and go to sleep. This is where I'm supposed to be."


His new home is a roomy, two-story house in south Lincoln with a big-screen television and paintings of Jesus on the walls. He no longer uses alarm clocks and spends his days taking his 92-pound black lab, Rocco, on walks.


He was terrified when he first won, convinced that he would lose all of the money and have to return to work. So he lives carefully off the interest from conservative investments, with help from accountants and lawyers. He bought the new house and a truck, but struggles to name any extravagant purchases.


"I can't buy a super yacht. I can't buy a Gulfstream," he said. "Then again, I don't think I'd use either one, so why would I buy one?"


That said, some mega-winners still can't resist the lure of big jackpots, at least not the two-buck chances. On Tuesday, former ConAgra worker Dung Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant, walked into the same Lincoln U-Stop where he purchased the winning ticket six years ago and bought 22 more from the very employee who sold him the first prize-winner, said cashier Janice Mitzner.


"We joked about it," she said. "I told him, 'Wouldn't it be something if you won again?'"


Hayes is also hoping to strike rich again - she bought 10 tickets at a Dirt Cheap liquor store on her way home Tuesday while speaking with an Associated Press reporter. Unlike many big winners, she has kept a visible public profile instead of going underground, appearing on a 2007 reality TV show ("Million Dollar Christmas"), writing an online Life After the Lottery blog and self-publishing a short book, "How Winning the Lottery Changed My Life."


"We have this drawing tomorrow, and if somebody wins, God bless them," she said. "They're going to need those blessings."


___


ALAN SCHER ZAGIER


Associated Press


 


Alan Scher Zagier can be reached at http://twitter.com/azagier


___


Associated Press writers Grant Schulte in Lincoln, Neb., and Josh Funk in Omaha contributed to this report.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Big winners share lessons, risks of Powerball wins

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Tattoo shop owner fighting fine arts cuts in BISD

Volunteers sworn in to be voice for abused, neglected children

New Groves police and municipal building opens

LIVE: Feature film shot in Southeast Texas about show

Crime Stoppers: June 10, 2014

Lightning sparks fire

Testimony underway in capital murder trial

Coast Guard rescues 12-year-old boy drifting from shore off Bolivar Peninsula

Jefferson County man pleads guilty to federal income tax violations

Gunman tries to rob Walgreens in Port Arthur

Sheriff's Office: Shooting at Oregon high school; suspect confirmed dead

Pictures: Lightning sparks oil storage tank fire

Lightning sparks oil storage tank fire; one firefighter suffers minor burns

BISD board delays vote on job cuts

Bond project starting in Silsbee ISD

Teachers' group issues statement about BISD

Salvation Army offering summer activities

Port Neches changes water park to accomodate visitors

Man run over by tractor in Hardin County

Someone fires shots into PA home; misses occupants

BISD students planning to protest on Monday

Elderly Hardin County couple escapes fire, loses home

Names released in fatal Orange County shooting

BISD worries take back seat for many during graduations

Students, others protest BISD proposed cuts at graduation

Teen crashes into an emergency medical center in Lumberton

Man in Orange County fatally shot after argument

Crash on Neches River Bridge sends two people to hospital

TEA deputy commissioner weighed arguments in BISD record review

KFDM obtains list of positions facing possible reduction in BISD

RAW VIDEO: Excerpt 4 from BISD record review

RAW VIDEO: Excerpt 3 from BISD record review

RAW VIDEO: Excerpt 2 from BISD record review

RAW VIDEO: Excerpt 1 from BISD record review

WWII veteran remembers D-Day

Port Neches drowning victim identified

Arrest made in connection with house fire

Click on Watch Newscasts LIVE to watch BISD Record Review

Local construction safety seminar

Record review finished

BISD superintendent to propose more cost-saving measures

RAW VIDEO: Surveillance footage of Wells Fargo bank robber

Dr. Timothy Chargois says he will not identify special education staff involved in the reduction in force

Transgender teacher out of a job again

Property owners protest new appraised values

Mother indicted for injury to a child; cell phone video captured incident involving 8-month-old girl

FBI: Dogs seized after evidence of dog-fighting found at Beaumont home

Former Central HS student turned teacher arrested

Anayat House held ribbon cutting to open new house

Hardin County Rotary Club presents students with books for the summer

Local play about miners trapped in the dark opens Friday, June 5

Neglected animals seized in Liberty County; eating own feces to survive

BISD Superintendent explains decision to pursue Reduction in Force

Harris County deputy shoots suspect behind Family Dollar

Suspected robbers with toddlers in SUV accused of leading police on chase

Beaumont teachers protest job cuts

Human smuggling in SETX

BISD Communications director Jessie Haynes' paid leave amount

BISD's ripple effect on the Beaumont housing market

Ehrhart School breaks ground on new building

Police still searching for Wells Fargo bank robber

Girlfriend recounts final words with boyfriend before he drowned

Two guilty of racketeering in Chinese restaurant referral conspiracy

100 Years of Broadway

Update: I-10 East reopens following wreck at Jefferson/Chambers County line

Traffic Alert

Parents address concerns with special ed program

Justin Hinton reports live on Wells Fargo Bank robbery

Beaumont teachers ask Education Commissioner to block RIF

Reaction to NRA's criticism of TX open carry group

Port Arthur ISD hiring more than 50 teachers

Area districts looking to hire despite looming BISD cuts

Accused robber of the elderly may face additional charges by week's end

Woman's ex-boyfriend charged with Kountze murder

Nederland restaurant burglary focus of Crime Stoppers report

Beaumont PD releases pictures of bank robber

Female inmate killed when prison van crashes en route to Beaumont

Former Newton County youth pastor pleads guilty to child porn

KFDM obtains copy of letter in which BISD announces June 30 as expected final RIF notification date

Person of interest in custody in connection with fatal shooting

Words of warning after Groves robbery

Crystal Boyett released from jail on bond

Aggravated robbery suspect accused of targeting elderly arrested

Judge sentences man to life for killing aunt

Commissioners get update on airport development

One in custody following fatal shooting in Kountze

One in custody following fatal shooting in Kountze

Fatal shooting in Kountze

Driver passes out, wakes up, leads officers on 90 mph chase

Woman robbed, assaulted in store parking lot

Hurricane Season starts June 1

BISD record review scheduled for Friday

Vidor, Beaumont and Port Arthur traffic accidents

Suspicious Port Arthur house fire

Preventing skin cancer

Boat racers flock to Orange for Shoot-Out on the Sabine

Wooden Racquet Classic in Beaumont

KFDM's special investigation into qualifications of BISD teachers

Educators group says it's "appalled" by 300 potential job cuts in BISD

KFDM obtains Dr. Chargois' letter sent Friday to principals, supervisors

Metal thefts rampant in Port Arthur

HFISD elementary grateful for community support

Beaumont-area organ donors remembered

President accepts resignation of VA Secretary

Life Blood Centers prepare during Hurricane Preparedness Week

Deputies searching for son of Katy-area couple found dead

Judge sets $1 million bond for murder suspect

Keyarika Diggles arrested for third time this month

Update: Power restored in Bridge City after pickup hits utility pole

Local teachers union: list already compiled of teachers to be cut even before school board voted

BISD releases preliminary STAAR results; scores drop in most grades and subject areas

LIVE REPORT: Teachers protest looming cuts

New details on BISD communications director Jessie Haynes' probation terms; What you didn't know

Air quality improving in Port Arthur

$68 million I-10 project could impact businesses

Philpott Motors in Nederland donated thousands of dollars Thursday to Southeast Texas non-profit organizations

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office honored those who help educate about dangers of drinking and driving

PAISD students encouraged by public servants

BISD Superintendent: We welcome special grand jury investigation

Murder charge filed against man accused of fatal shooting in Jasper

TEA releases statewide STAAR results

$68 million project begins Thursday to improve I-10 in Orange County

BISD board trustee's son charged with attemped capital murder of a peace officer

Layoffs loom for BISD employees, Board votes Thursday

Teen speaks out about writing hit list

Police questioning three suspects in Jasper shooting that leaves teen dead

Jurors find man guilty of sexually assaulting, kidnapping, and robbing a woman

Twin County Youth Baseball League board member charged with simple assault

Jefferson County property owners have less than a week to contest property appraisals

Pursuit leads to 350 lbs of marijuana

Warrant executed on Byron Earl Bush, charged with attempted capital murder of a peace officer

BISD communications director Jessie Haynes returned to work Wednesday

Robbers take alcohol from Beaumont club

Off duty PAPD officer helps capture suspect, accused of taking items from Wal-mart

Special Olympics competition in Port Arthur

Animal Services captures alligator near a Beaumont restaurant

Chase at more than 100 mph leads to 350 pounds of marijuana

Lightning strike sparks massive fire that displaces dozens

Flash Flood Watch continues in much of Southeast Texas

Storms cause more minor flooding in parts of Southeast Texas

See local and state election results

Jefferson County election results

Orange County election results

Hardin County election results

Tyler County election results

Election results 100 percent reporting

Thief caught on camera stealing donations from Salvation Army

Candidates and voters brave the rain

Fire department working to determine cause of structure fire

Chargois asks for support from teachers' associations in effort to reduce expenses by cutting jobs

Special grand jury empaneled; sources say focus is on BISD

Flash Flood Watch for several counties in Southeast Texas

TCEQ removes Port Arthur from Air Pollutant Watch List

Voters cast ballots in runoff elections

Seaweed invades Bolivar Peninsula beaches

BISD outlines reasons for declaring financial exigency; board agenda released for vote Thursday on cutting 300 jobs as part of $25 million reduction

Election on the horizon

Parents keep children home from school on Memorial Day

Southeast Texans celebrate Memorial Day and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice

Game warden critically injured on Lake Sam Rayburn

Names released of man and woman killed in boat collision

BISD teachers fear for their jobs after superintendent announces eliminating 300 positions

Juror in Jessie Haynes' trial says race wasn't a factor in verdict

BISD superintendent wants to eliminate 300 positions to help save $25 million

Authorities identify body found in burned vehicle in Newton County

Babies learning to survive in water

Man gets automatic life sentence after Orange County jury convicts him of capital murder

BISD superintendent seeks to eliminate hundreds of positions

UPDATE: Suspect injured in officer involved shooting listed in stable condition

Update on BISD appeal of TEA takeover

Police asking for information about reported robbery

Jasper County S.O. investigates church burglaries

Man gets automatic life sentence after Orange County jury convicts him of capital murder

Update on BISD appeal of TEA takeover

Community reacts to Jessie Haynes guilty verdict

Hurricane season prediction

Hurricane season preparations

Breakthrough Hepatitis C treatment

DA's Office issues statement about verdict in Haynes trial

Local veterans react to VA hospital scandal

6-foot snake rescued from car

Child of man killed with wife outside Tyler County church could go to live w/paternal grandmother

Dangers of childhood obesity in Jefferson County

Religious banner case may head to Texas Supreme Court

Board votes to not renew Ruby Gunner's contract

Update: Closing arguments Thursday morning in Jessie Haynes trial

Ride of Silence to remember cyclists injured or killed on roadways

Local farmer wants to improve SETX bee population

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Business News

Federal appeals court deals blow to health law

WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's a big decision concerning the big business of health care.

Consumer News

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. ...

Entertainment News

"SONS OF ANARCHY" GUEST STARS FOR FINAL SEASON

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Malcolm-Jamal Warner won't be anything like a Cosby kid in his next role.

Get This

FRANKIE'S BIKINIS

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Nineteen-year-old Francesca Aiello (ah-YEHL'-oh) is making waves with her bikinis.

Science/Tech News

IN THE NEWS: U.S. EMBASSY APOLOGIZES FOR STAFFER TWEET

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) -- Whoops!


 

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