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Hitting the Jackpot? The Pitfalls of Winning the Lottery

Almost everyone wants to win the lottery. Right? Despite all of the ostensible benefits of hitting the jackpot, winning the lottery is can be more of a curse than a blessing. Winning such a large sum of money can put a target on one’s back, leading to constant harassment from strangers and unreliable financial investors.

Luckily for us, Ohio is one of six states that allow its lottery winners to remain anonymous. But if you win the lottery in one of the 44 other states, you must disclose your name in order to collect your winnings.

One tragic example of the pitfalls of winning the lottery involves a man named Abraham Shakespeare. The Florida janitor appeared before cameras with his 17-million dollar check. He had spent the majority of his winnings before Dorice Dee Dee Moore found him in 2008, hearing about him on the news. Eventually, she became Shakespeare’s financial advisor and had full control over his money. Shakespeare disappeared shortly thereafter and was found murdered nine months later. Moore was convicted of murder and is currently serving a life sentence.

This is particularly relevant following last week’s world-record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot. The three states that contained lottery winners all required its winners to reveal their identities. One of those winners, John and Lisa Robinson of Munford, Tennessee, revealed their identities in a surprisingly public way. The couple went on the Today Show to announce that they were one of the three big time winners.

Ideally, this couple can go back to their small town and enjoy their winnings unharmed and unbothered. But alas, following their appearance on national TV, that will likely not be the case.


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