What Not To Do When You Win The $500 Million Powerball Tonight

Heed these lessons from past winners—because, duh, you’re going to win, RIGHT?

Heed these lessons from past winners—because, duh, you’re going to win, RIGHT?

Don’t Get Kidnapped

In 1960, Australian Bazil Thorne won a lottery worth £100,000 (which at the time was equivalent to 47 beaver pelts) and his mug was plastered all over Sydney newspapers. A month later, Thorne’s son was taken on his way to school in the first publicized kidnaping for ransom in Australia’s history (which, when you think about, is pretty amazing for a country created by burglars). Tragically, the boy was murdered before any ransom could be paid or the perpetrator caught, and the Thorne case is one of the primary reasons why lottery winners can now choose to remain private in Australia (which, when you think about it, also makes a lot of sense for a country created by burglars). Once you win tonight (because you totally will, don’t listen to math/reason), know this: You can stay anonymous in most American states that aren’t Florida (because of course it would be Florida). But being anonymous won’t help you if a sibling wants your cash – Jeffrey Dampier, after winning $20 million in a 1996 Illinois state lottery, was kidnapped and killed by his own sister. So, basically, you’re screwed. On the plus side, though, money origami whenever you want, because you are pa-a-aid.

Don’t Go Bankrupt

Because according to a Florida (you can’t escape it!) study, roughly 90 percent of your fellow (you’re gonna win, bro—trust us!) big-time lotto winners lose it all. That’s even worse than notoriously spend-crazy football players. They only lose everything 60 percent of the time (phew). So make sure the second call you make after winning is to a financial planner. First call: Drugs and party balloon dealer.

Don’t Get Sued and Have Your Family Die

Jack Whittaker won the biggest Powerball ever in 2002, a $314 million payday that’s brought him nothing but trouble (“Mo money, mo problems” – Ben Bernanke). Since his win, Whittaker’s granddaughter and daughter died of drug overdoses, plus he’s been sued by a Vegas casino and gotten robbed in a strip club. Once you win (you can do it, just believe), other than staying out of strip clubs (lol) there’s not a lot you can do to avoid Whittaker’s fate…other than not hooking your fam up with any cash. But that would be so Not Raven.

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