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How to not ruin your life if you win the $1.6 billion lotto jackpot

“You gotta be in it to win it,” is the saying that is always tied to the announcements of upcoming lottery prizes.

The latest Mega Millions lottery has reached the mind-blowing record of $1.6 billion. But if you miss out on entering that, you could always settle and take your chances to win the upcoming Powerball lottery of $620 million.

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Before your pupils dilate, turn cartoon-like, transform into dollar signs and you start dreaming up of all the things you would buy if you had that kind of cash, do a quick google search on past lottery winners. You’ll find that their experiences are far from glamorous.

Rather, their stories serve as stark cautionary tales, with winners later ultimately filing for bankruptcy, being taken advantage and receiving misguided advice by financial planners and of course, developing an overall lack of trust in people.

Take note from Evan Sparks, a business journalist and vice-president for publications for the American Bankers Association, whose recent Twitter thread discussed the implications that come with winning the lottery.

The Times article that Sparks cites in his post is composed of a series of personal accounts from previous lottery winners who discuss their experiences after winning the lottery and the bleak consequences that have their winnings.

Many referenced a dramatic change to their familial relationships and friendships, while others discussed the struggles in dealing with feelings of anxiety that had developed as a result of the way they were newly treated and perceived by others.

Sparks’s thread gained a lot of responses and attention. Sparks himself couldn’t have anticipated that his tongue-in-cheek step-by-step guide would cause such a stir.

Nonetheless, his message is important given that we live and operate in a culture where the number in our bank account is the ultimate metric of our own happiness.

In short, money doesn’t buy happiness y’all.