DrJays.com Debate: Are lottery jackpots too big?
Last week, 23 year-old Neal Wanless won $232 million – one of the biggest undivided jackpot amounts in U.S. history.
The young man is single and lives with his parents on a ranch in of the poorest areas in the country.
The government ended up with $145.3 million of the jackpot in taxes anyway, but $88.5 million is still a huge amount of money for one person. Although Wanless insists that he will not “squander” his winnings, are U.S. lottery jackpot amounts out of control?
One person is being handed all that money, and it is up to them how to spend it. I’m sure we’ve all heard horror stories about people who have won big and had their lives fall apart as a result.
Take Jack Whittaker, who won $315 million on Christmas Day in 2002. He ended up blaming the money for causing his granddaughter’s fatal drug overdose, his divorce and hundreds of lawsuits filed against him.
Then there’s those who blow the money through gambling, buying drugs etc. These people could have used their winnings to help charitable organizations or set up trust funds for their children instead.
Evelyn Marie Adams won the New Jersey lottery twice in the 80s – she lost her entire $5.4 million in winnings through frivolous spending.
Perhaps there should be some positive changes made to the system, so that lotteries can help better multiple lives?
Do you think that instead of one person winning a ridiculously large jackpot, it might make more sense to divide it between multiple people each time?
The amounts would still be life changing for the winners, and it wouldn’t be such an overwhelming amount that they wouldn’t know what to do with.
Please share your thoughts on this, and let us know how you would spend your money if you won big like Mr. Wanless!