Most of us dream of it every day, or at least at one time or another: what would we do if we hit the jackpot and won the lottery. 1 or 6 or 9 million, we dream of what we’d do: most of us would want to buy a house for ourselves and our family, maybe go travel, and then go shopping – and save the rest. It’s the curse and hope of the working men to believe in luck. The odds of winning the lottery are generally smaller than the odds of being hit by lightning. But sometimes, people do get hit by lightning.
And sometimes, people win the lottery. It seems like a dream come true, maybe, but research shows that often times the newly received money puts a strain on the relationships and connection in people’s lives; they are suddenly expected to give to some or keep from others, who they share the money and what they spend it on is constantly on the media, and without the right balance or counseling, sometimes they don’t know where to funnel the money. The Lottery Curse, as it’s known, is a researched phenomenon: lottery winners who were suddenly changing their behavior, becoming estranged from their families, becoming obsessed with greed to the point of losing loved ones – or attacking them.
Of course, there are cases of successful and wonderful alterations of lives – but they are actually pretty rare. And according to research, they come at lower sums. The lottery curse affected Jodie and Edwin from Alberta when they – well, if you ask Edwin, he – won the Alberta lottery pool, his behavior changed. Not only did he not tell her about the win, but he claimed the money was his own, and he could do whatever he wanted with it – and he did. After splitting the money with his friends (as they all chipped in to buy the ticket), Edwin had about $1.6 million, which he began frivolously spending on items like a holiday trailer and new cars without Jodie knowing at all. When Jodie expressed her desire to buy a home, Edwin agreed, but only transferred money into her account for just that cause, and when he saw money he thought was missing – became furious at Jodie. She says their marriage have gone downhill since. Jodie went on famous talk show Dr. Phil to try and expose and bridge the problem. Could the marriage be saved – or has the damage been done already?
Edwin Verkerk won a $50 million cash money prize which was divided between 14 workers and friends who chipped in to buy the ticket on an oil rig, and another winner. In the early hours of the morning, when Edwin was supposed to come home, he didn’t; when Jodie finally managed to get a hold of him, she was exasperated, asking him repeatedly where he had been, and why he was not answering her calls.