Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bling Fu Panda

We've spoken here before on some of the dangers of being a lottery winner: primarily, a loss of perspective and an inability to handle the money. However, before you can handle the money, you first have to get the money from the lottery people. The lottery people are going to want you to do a photo-op where you're holding a gigantic check and shaking hands with lottery officials.

Unfortunately, that's one of the single worst things you can do if you're hoping to live comfortably afterwards. Every time a what-to-do-if-you-win-the-lottery article comes out, you're told up and down to keep the news as private as you possibly can, lest you be inundated afterwards with relatives you never knew you had, business start-ups that Just Need A Small Investment, and every parent within driving range who has a child who needs cancer treatment. You're told every time that when you add up all the amounts people are asking for, it's going to come out to more than you won, and even when the money runs out, they're still not going to stop showing up because, after all, you won the lottery. You're set for life, right?

The statistic that one out of every three lottery winners go broke or bankrupt within five years just does not compute.

And then, of course, there are the people just looking to straight-up steal the money. They see a name, they see a face, they know who to pursue, or alternatively, whose family to threaten. The name, you can't do all that much about unless the place you live allows you to accept the money anonymously. The face, though, is another matter. Lottery winners in China over the years have come up with an idea: to protect themselves, they show up to the photo-up in disguise.

So if you were about to ask, 'What sequence of events led a man to decide that accepting a lottery prize in a giant panda costume was a good idea?', there's your answer.

No comments: