What will you do if you win Wednesday night’s Powerball draw for $176 million ($89 million lump sum, minus taxes)?
Over the 10 years I’ve been interviewing big lottery winners, I’ve talked to quite a few very YOUNG winners. And I’ve always wondered (since I play too) ….if I had won a million dollar lottery while I was at college, would I have finished my degree or started living it up?
A reporter in England for the Guardian newspaper asked that question to some UK National Lottery winners and I thought their responses were interesting. Not surprising, but interesting.
If money were no object, how would you choose to spend your time? It’s the question student Sarah Cockings had to answer after she scooped $5.5 million (more than 3 million pounds) winning the National Lottery.
At the time she was studying at Northumbria University to become a social worker. Two days after winning the lottery, Cockings, began work experience at a children’s home.
But when she told a manager at the home about her big win, he told her to “grab your bag and get yourself home.” And that’s exactly what she did.
Cockings began doing modeling and media work after her windfall, but it took up so much time that she decided to quit her degree.
“I’m going to start a dog grooming course at a college at the end of September,” said Cockings, who has two dogs of her own. Her long-term goal is to open her own grooming parlour.
With her winnings, Cockings also bought herself a five bedroom home, her parents a four-bedroom house and splashed out on luxury holidays to exotic destinations including Fiji.
Karam Ezzideen, 23, won $100,000 in the lottery while studying for a master’s in film and video at the University of Glamorgan. Before winning on the lottery in February, Ezzideen, had a film idea he was itching to make and so shortly after his win he quit the course to focus on making it. “It has the potential to be a feature-length film,” Ezzideen said.
Both winners stated the obvious: that winning the lottery took away their financial stresses.
Hopefully, they are also wise enough to have a financial plan that will serve them well and make their money work for them.
Despite her big win, Cockings still plays the lottery. So what advice does she have for other students who play the lottery?
“To win you’ve got to be positive and expect to win. I was always hopeful of winning and then I did.”
“You’ve got to say to yourself, Yeah these numbers are the big ones.”
It’s called the power of positive thinking.
IN THE MONEY:
Tuesday night’s Mega Millions jackpot is $15 million.
Wednesday night’s Powerball draw offers the biggest jackpot currently being offered in the world, $176 million. If you choose the lump sum, you’ll take home $89 million, minus taxes.