The Accidental Powerball Winners

An Extremely Fortunate Mistake

Photo from Picasa

Photo from Picasa

A husband and wife from Kentucky are the winners of the largest jackpot ever awarded in the state, according to an Associated Press (See: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100107/ap_on_re_us/us_powerball_winner)> article. Ironically though, Rob Anderson claims that the winning ticket was one that he never even meant to purchase. While visiting a local gas station on December 24, he asked the clerk for three $1 tickets that he intended to use as stocking stuffers for three different people. Instead the clerk mistakenly printed one $3 ticket with randomly chosen numbers.

Definitely a Good Choice

The clerk gave Anderson the option of purchasing the unintended ticket or just buying the others that he meant to get. With a bit of spare change in his pocket he decided to take the extra ticket along with the other three. This turned out to be an amazingly fortunate decision, especially for someone who claims to normally be quite thrifty and only spend what he needs to.

A Feeling of Disbelief

With all of the chaos that the holidays bring, the couple set the ticket aside and did not think about it again until Boxing Day. When they did get around to looking the numbers one of the sets matched exactly, including the Powerball. After playing the lotto together for 12 years with no success, they were unable to wrap their heads around the idea that they had won, and especially the idea that they had won such a large amount. The total winnings amount to just over $128 million.

No Major Decisions Yet

For the time being the couple has not made any definite plans about their windfall. They are still mulling over the option to take a reduced amount as a lump sum payment. A trip to Hawaii, a new car and a return to school are some ideas that have come to mind, but so far they have not even decided if they will continue to work. Both are factory workers at a plant that makes car parts. Anderson says that they will maintain their frugal tendencies despite their new fortune.

Can they Maintain It?

While the Anderson’s and many before them claim that they will spend wisely and retain their economical ways, the truth is that most will not. There is no debating that $128 million is a very large sum of money and one that most of us will never see, but it can still be squandered away in an amazingly short amount of time. An article on the Good Morning America site explains that 70 percent of the suddenly rich fritter away their money within a few years.

How is that Possible?

It is a combination of being too generous and having no preparation for managing such a fortune that is the downfall of many unexpected millionaires. Once word gets around that someone has come into a large amount of money everyone wants a handout; some people have trouble turning anyone down. Others have the notion that they have so much that it will never end. They have no idea how to properly manage it, so they end up wiping it all out with reckless spending. Let’s hope the Anderson’s are able to beat the odds.

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