Here’s What the Powerball Jackpot Will Buy

Last night, at least three incredibly lucky people’s lives were changed forever. In the span of just a few minutes, they went from ordinary people to multi-millionaires (somewhere in the range of $300 million per person if they accept the cash prize, or more if they choose the annuity). While many of us dreamed of how we would spend such riches, the reality is that there was an equal amount of news about the stress and turmoil that comes to lottery winners.

The Powerball jackpot is about more than money; with it comes happiness, pride, and attention. It also brings a heavy burden to those lucky enough to win.

The Powerball jackpot will buy fleeting joy, but not enduring happiness.

I can only imagine the undeniable joy that each winner must have felt upon realizing their success. Just think what it would feel like to never have to worry about working or money again. At the same time, we know winners of past lotteries have struggled with their mental health, addiction issues, and even untimely death. Winning the lottery does not mean all your problems go away, and it does not equate to winning a jackpot of happiness.

The Powerball jackpot will buy a veneer of importance, but not a core of self esteem.

These three winners have suddenly become some of the most important people in the U.S. — they catapulted from the 99% squarely into the 1%, and many people will try to come along for the ride. Only with strong self esteem can each winner hope to both claim their prize and not erode the core of who they are and what they stand for.

The Powerball jackpot will buy the world’s attention, but not earn its respect.

For the past several days here in the U.S., everyone has been talking about the Powerball jackpot — the winners are now thrust into the limelight for inspection and scrutiny (along with a fair amount of ill-disguised jealousy wrapped in statements of congratulations). Just as the winners were likely ordinary people, they are also likely unprepared for the global attention they are about to experience. Navigating the treacherous waters of press interviews and public obsession does not guarantee respect and privacy for the winners, and this adds to the mental burden of winning.

The winner’s material bounty comes with a price that only the spiritually fit and emotionally balanced will be able to successfully pay.

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