Tino runs a successful website featuring lottery winners from around the world.
Why did you start http://www.biglotterywinners.com?
About ten years ago, I bought a lottery ticket. I got lucky and matched 5-out-of-6 numbers. I won $1500. I should have been happy about that, but I wasn’t. I missed winning $5 million by just one number. I got over it, but it got me dreaming… What would my life be like if I won the lottery? I got addicted to the dream. I never won the lottery since my close call, but I’ve been fascinated with other lottery winners ever since. What’s the next best thing to winning the lottery? Living vicariously through others that already have. So now I write about other lottery winners on my blog.
I’ve heard the following statement given by many motivational speakers: “After a few years, people who win the lottery end up being more unhappy than before they won the lottery.” In your research do, you find any true in this? Please explain.
Let me tell you a story about a lottery winner named Robert Moffat. Prior to winning the lottery, Robert lived a simple life. A simple life, but he was happy. Then in 1996, he won £800,000 (About $1,270,000 USD). Life was no longer simple. He was rich. And he spent like a rich man. He spent like crazy. After a few years of spending like crazy, his wife left him. Robert then married a woman 24 years his junior. She ended up leaving him to, not to mention that she left with a court-ordered divorce settlement. After a few years of spending, Robert was left penniless and broke. He also couldn’t get a job. Presently, he’s living on government assistance. He said that he wished he never won the lottery. Was he happier prior to winning the lottery? You betcha!
Stories like this would make it seem that people, in general, are less happy after winning the lottery. I disagree, though. The media loves to report stories like this because these types of stories sell. They don’t often report about the lottery winner that lived happily ever after, even though I would say that living happily ever after is more common.
What would you personally do if you won $20,000,000?
I want to travel the world. The very first thing I would do is fly to Germany, rent a VW Scirocco, and go on a European road trip. I’d rent a VW Scirocco because it’s a beautiful car and one that they do not sell in North America. You always want to have things that you can’t really have, right? Aside from that, I don’t need fancy cars or big houses or anything like that. I just want the freedom to see the world.
What has been the most creative thing you have seen done with lottery winnings?
There’s a guy named Joe Johnson that won £10 million (About $15.5 million USD) in 1998. After he won the lottery, he had no problem finding women to date. But it seemed that all they wanted was a piece of his money. So he decided to play it poor. There’s was a particular girl named Lisa that he wanted to ask out. So he went undercover as a poor man and asked her out. She had no idea that Joe was a rich lottery winner. They dated. Joe would pick her up in an old car. He would wear cheap clothing. They would go to cheap restaurants. This went on for ten months. Then he proposed. She accepted. That’s when Joe knew that she loved him for him and not his money. After she accepted his marriage proposal, Joe told Lisa about his lottery winnings. Must have been the shock of a lifetime.
What are the first things I should do if I win the lottery?
Camp out at the lottery prize claim office so that you get in the second they open their doors. LOL. Really, though, a lot of people will tell you that you should first consult a lawyer and accountant, get direction from them, and then claim the prize. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I don’t think it’s a must. Most people know how to deal with money. If you don’t, then you should surely talk to a lawyer and account prior to claiming your prize. Otherwise, don’t lose any time… Go get your money and start living the life of your dreams!
We have all heard the odds of winning the lottery are astronomical. What are the odds if someone plays the same numbers twice a week for 30 years?
There’s a mathematical formula to calculate that, but I unfortunately don’t know it. However, along those lines, I could give you a tip. Let’s say for example that you had $10 to spend on the lottery in a given month. Your odds of winning would be better to spend the entire $10 on one draw rather than spreading it out over all of the draws in the month. Doing that will help your chances, not much, but slightly. So if we’re talking about 30 years, you’re probably better off betting all of your yearly lottery budget on one draw each year. Don’t go overboard, though, because the lottery is a gamble and doing that doesn’t mean that you will win the jackpot.
Is it better to take a lump sum or payout over time? Why?
I’d go with the lump sum. There’s a few reasons. You could invest that lump sum and make more than you would have if you took the payout over the usual 20 years or so. Barring that, you might not be around to see the last payout check either. Take your money up front and enjoy!
Did you know that in Canada and the UK, all lotteries are lump sum payments, tax-free? Yep, so if a lottery jackpot is advertised as, say, $50 million, you actually get that $50 million up front, tax-free. It would be great if they could do that in the U.S.
What is your strategy for winning the lottery?
There’s no strategy. The lottery is completely and totally all about luck. There are a lot of people that sell lottery systems online. Those are all bogus. No lottery system can predict a random event. The lottery’s as close to a pure random event as you can get. By the way, about the people that sell lottery systems online… If they know how to win the lottery, why are they trying to earn a living by selling crap online? Hmmm.
What are things you like to do outside of building your website and why?
It’s funny, because the things I like to do are the exact same things I would do if I won the lottery – Namely, going on road trips. But if I won the lottery, there would be a big difference in those road trips. For example, instead of road trips in my crappy Mazda, they would be road trips in my beautiful Audi S5 (Unless it’s a European road trip, of course… Then it would be in a VW Scirocco). And, instead of staying at the crappy Super 8 Motel, I’d be staying at nice hotels. The Ritz-Carlton sounds better than Super 8, doesn’t it?
Any last words you would like to tell our readers?
You always dream about what your life would be like after winning the lottery, right? We all do. But think about the actual moment when you first discover that you won the lottery? Do you think that there’s a better feeling than that? Go ahead; try to think of one, I bet you can’t. Ok, maybe there’s one better feeling – The birth of your child. But besides that, I bet you can’t think of anything.