According to an article in the Aug. 29, 1996, issue of the Houston Chronicle, in 1980, William "Bud" Post won the Pennsylvania lottery jackpot of $16.2 million. On Sept. 26, 1996, he auctioned off the remaining $4.9 million of his winnings to get out of debt and kiss his bad luck goodbye. Post told bankruptcy judge Judith Fitzgerald, "I want to get rid of the lottery. Believe me, Your Honor, it's really been a pain."
Since the day Post hit it big, his brother has been convicted of trying to kill him so he could gain access to the money. His sixth wife moved out, his former landlord Ann Carpie won a lawsuit for one-third of his winnings, he lost his bar and used-car businesses, and the gas at his mansion was turned off (he said he feels lucky to still have electricity and a phone).
To cover his debts, the court agreed to auction off the $4.9 million worth of payments he was to receive over the next 17 years. Prosperity Partners bought the 17-year payout for $2.65 million, and Post left the courtroom saying, "I'm happier today than the day I won the lottery."
Time and time again, we've heard that wealth can't buy happiness. We've also heard that fortune doesn't change a person, it unmasks them and frequently brings out of the woodwork those "pseudo friends" that none of us needs. Time after time, we read how people who have acquired sudden wealth fall victim to the vultures who come, trying to get in on the "something for nothing" aspect of life.
Money acquired without effort on our part seldom gives us the long-range enjoyment we anticipate. However, we can feel good when wealth acquired as a result of our own efforts improves our sense of confidence and self-worth. Consequently, we can enjoy what we have earned. Think about it. Instant wealth and instant happiness seldom come in the same package. See you at the top!
Remember — failure is an event, not a person. You can fail without being a failure. There's a lot of difference between a child who fails a test vs. one who fails in life.
To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: Anna B