Everybody needs money to survive. It’s a fact we may not like, but information technology’south still a fact. Another inescapable truth is that about of united states could apply more money for the things we demand every bit well as the things nosotros just desire. That probably makes the hope of winning the lottery audio like a dream come true, but the reality is much more complicated than that.
Consider this cautionary tale of a woman in desperate need who won an unbelievable corporeality of coin. The choices and mistakes she made after winning ultimately resulted in losing it all. Her story reminds us all to never forget that coin doesn’t buy happiness.
Meet Marie Holmes
When she was 26, Marie Holmes was living a difficult life in North Carolina. She was a hard-working, single mother of four with two low-paying jobs. On acme of this, one of her children had just been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Because of her child’due south special needs, Marie was forced to quit both of her jobs to treat him full time. Patently, the $188 million lottery windfall seemed similar a Godsend when Marie won, but unfortunately, she made a serial of poor decisions that resulted in her losing it all.
Marie fabricated some promising comments about what she planned to do with the lottery money — $127 meg after she chose to go it in a lump sum. “First I’m going to pay my tithes, because I wouldn’t take none of it if it weren’t for God.”
“Afterwards that, I’k going to ready up accounts for my kids…I’yard going to buy a firm for me and my kids, then make certain my family is all good.” Marie besides told WGN-Tv, “I don’t accept to worry about the word ‘struggle’ no more and neither do [my children].”
The Waiting Game
Although virtually lottery winnings are non life changing, lottery jackpots are huge, and there are rules for claiming those winnings. If a person wins less than $599, the institution that sold them the ticket pays them their winnings. However, at that place is a lengthy procedure involved in claiming big lottery winnings.
The ticket has to be verified past a scanning automobile. Next, at that place is a waiting period for the money to exist awarded, and the winner must fill out some identification paperwork. Last, the winner must make up one’s mind if they want all the money in a lump sum or have it dispersed in installments for 30 years (on boilerplate).
One of the more difficult choices when a person wins millions of dollars in a lottery is whether to get the coin in a lump sum or in installments. The dilemma occurs because there is a big penalization for getting all the coin faster in a lump sum.
Marie had the choice of collecting the entire $188 one thousand thousand over 30 years or forfeiting $61 meg and collecting the remaining $127 million much sooner. Fiscal experts usually recommend taking the lump sum and investing the money. That allows y’all the opportunity to make money on your winnings instead of the state. Marie chose the lump sum.
Uncle Sam’s Cut
Many people don’t know how much taxes people have to pay out of lottery winnings in the U.S., so we’ll break it downwards for you. Although the entire tax amount wasn’t reported in Marie Holmes’ case, she definitely paid millions to the government.
In the U.S., lottery winnings are considered income by the IRS, on both the state and federal levels. Therefore, Northward Carolina would have taken five.8% of Marie’s $127 1000000, and the Federal Regime would have taken anywhere from 25% to 39.six%, depending on revenue enhancement bracket and other factors. Most people pay the highest rate.
Setting an Instance
When Marie won the lottery, she had plans that all sounded very honorable. She said she would donate first to her church and so move out of her mobile home and purchase a new house for her children. She also planned to set college funds for them.
Marie told NBC, “All the struggle that I ever went through, it was all for [my children]. I want them to understand that money doesn’t alter you lot, simply it tin help you lot.” The public fell in love with Marie later hearing most her history of poverty and hard knocks earlier she became wealthy.
Could She Handle It?
The reputation that Marie had in her hometown and elsewhere was that of a difficult-working, single mother who, co-ordinate to her family and friends, “understood the value of a dollar.” At 1 indicate, she had ii jobs — Walmart and McDonald’due south — to support her iv children. Therefore, nobody expected her to brand poor decisions about where the money would go.
Of course, no one took into account that Marie was inexperienced and uninformed nigh how to handle big amounts of coin. When she started deciding how to spend the lottery coin, the public viewed her as immature and irresponsible.
Financial Advisor, Please?
When people who aren’t wealthy win a lot of money, it’s highly recommended that they seek professional help about how to manage the money, including what Not to do with it. The average American has absolutely no feel handling large amounts of coin.
Financial advisors warn that even titanic amounts of money can disappear rapidly if it isn’t invested wisely. In the example of Marie Holmes, it seemed similar her heart was in the right place and she was doing what she thought was correct, just some expert communication definitely would have helped her out.
The Bad Judgment Begins
The showtime matter dubbed a poor judgment telephone call by the public was the $15,000 Rolex that Marie bought her beau, Lamar “Hot Sauce” McDow. The sentry was more than jewelry than a timepiece and was reportedly “dripping with diamonds.”
That same boyfriend ultimately cost Marie much more. The Port City Daily reported Lamar was a gang member and a drug dealer subsequently he was arrested and charged with “conspiracy to traffic in opium or heroin” in April 2016. He continued to get arrested throughout their human relationship, and Marie spent millions on his bail and defense force.
The Saga Continues
Before being sent to jail on drug charges in 2014, Lamar McDow lived with Marie Holmes and her children in her trailer. When he was released from jail after serving his sentence, he lived in the $350,000 abode that she had purchased afterwards winning the lottery.
According to the Daily Mail, of the original amount of $188 million, Marie was left with about $88 million subsequently deciding to accept her winnings in a lump sum and paying taxes. This is notwithstanding a very large amount of money, but a loss of $100 million is obviously very pregnant.
Leeches Coming Out of the Woodwork
Predictably, lots of people immediately started asking Marie and her beau for money after they heard she won the lottery. The people included friends, family members and numerous others, all requesting various amounts of coin for all kinds of reasons. Unfortunately, this feel is common for lottery winners.
Marie and Lamar were constantly harassed for money handouts, and it became very stressful for them. Marie was quoted equally proverb, “When money comes, in that location are more than problems,” co-ordinate to reports.
Racial Intolerance in Their New Habitation
Another problem that plagued Marie and her family unit in their new life in their new dwelling house was harassment from neighbors due to racial prejudice. The neighborhood that Marie moved into with her family was an intolerant, primarily white community, and much to the family’s chagrin, the residents were not interested in changing.
According to Lamar, “One neighbor set upwards a camera to record everything nosotros were doing. If I was driving downwardly the road and going at the speed limit, they would wave at me for going also fast. They did non desire us there. They were prejudiced.” Lamar reported these agonizing events to the Daily Post.
The Church Donation
Marie stayed true to her word, which was reported in a printing release every bit “The first matter she promised was to tithe — requite a tenth of her winnings to charity.” Marie donated a total of $700,000 to her hometown church, Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church, located in Shallotte, NC.
The church reportedly used the money for much-needed renovations. Marie told the printing the church was an of import part of her life and her faith and that she had been attending that particular church building since she was a child.
Unfortunately, a different pastor fabricated contact with Marie and her family with an evil ulterior motive. Pastor Kevin Matthews claimed that “God led him to them,” and although they certainly regretted it later, Marie and her family believed him and allowed him into their lives and their home.
Shortly later coming together Marie, Pastor Matthews asked her for $1.5 million so he could build a retreat. According to him, Marie verbally agreed to fund the project, although there is no evidence to support that. He then went ahead and began construction on the retreat using his own money. Marie did not contribute.
Citing a verbal agreement in which Marie allegedly promised to donate $one.5 meg for his retreat, Pastor Kevin Matthews announced publicly that he was suing Marie Holmes for $10 million. The amount of coin named in the suit was inexplainable, considering the amount he was allegedly promised was much less.
The public believed Pastor Matthews was being ungrateful and greedy. His behavior seemed unbecoming of a Christian leader to almost people of organized religion. The justification for his lawsuit was that he had a verbal understanding with Marie for a money donation and compensation for “emotional distress.”
As shortly as the media caught wind of the lawsuit, they uncovered that Matthews did not appear to be affiliated with whatever church building. This led to a severe, angry public backfire. People shamed Matthews for being a fraud and trying to scam a nice lady out of her rightful winnings.
One YouTuber, “Donald the Repentless,” was so mad about this that he put out videos entitled, “F*** You Pastor Kevin Matthews.” Public stance was clear that this so-called “pastor” was nothing just a coin-grubbing scam artist preying on a overnice lady to get his easily on a lot of undeserved money.
To Top Information technology Off: Infidelity
In more than bad news for Marie and her children, the media reported that her ex-convict boyfriend was being unfaithful. Unfortunately, it was too reported that she herself paid Lamar’s mistresses hush money to go away instead of getting rid of him.
In more reputation damaging news, a video surfaced on Facebook of a woman who claimed that in addition to Lamar cheating on Marie, he was also stealing money from her to pay prostitutes for “sexual favors.” Unfortunately, the video went viral, as juicy gossip often does.
Instead of withering under the scrutiny of the media and the public, Marie decided to take drastic measures to meliorate her circumstances. She gathered her strength and took matters into her own easily by turning to a well-known life motorcoach to get some communication about how to improve her life.
Marie contacted Iyanla Vanzant, who has her own show advising people about their relationships on the Oprah Network. Vanzant is a renowned writer and motivational speaker with a huge following due to her reputation for changing people’s lives for the amend.
The Truth Revealed
In another surprising twist, when Marie went on the
Iyanla: Fix My Life
talk show, her mother, Fontella, came out and revealed that the numbers she chose for the winning lottery ticket were actually hers and that they had a very special pregnant.
“I kept dreaming about your brother that we lost. His altogether, he was the third child, he’d have been 25 that year. Those were the numbers.” When Marie asked her female parent why she didn’t merits the money for herself, Fontella replied, “I just wanted you to better yourself for the babies.”
The Scoop on Lamar McDow
Lamar “Hot Sauce” McDow was fortunate enough to stay in Marie’s good graces long enough to fight jail three times, to the tune of millions in bail and legal fees. The first time Marie bailed him out, it cost her $3 1000000 in bond money.
Earlier a yr had passed, Lamar was arrested again, and Marie bailed him out again for $6 million. The third time Marie bailed out Lamar, it was $12 million. You lot would call back she would take been repulsed by his criminal behavior, but she just kept spending the money, resulting in widespread criticism.
Misery Loves Company
Marie was warned by many people that if she connected her relationship with Lamar, she could terminate up with criminal charges herself. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. One nighttime, Lamar violated his parole curfew. When the police came, they discovered marijuana in the house.
Tragically, Marie was arrested for possession in front of her children. Marijuana remains illegal in Due north Carolina, but there is a significant racial bias about who is criminalized for it, according to the ACLU. The same number of white people as blackness people use marijuana, but blacks are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested.
The Boyfriend Defense
Lamar eventually got angry at the people criticizing Marie for spending her money bailing him out of jail, and he lashed out. To the Daily Mail, he asserted, “We are a couple, and I am the father of her youngest kid. This is what people practise for each other.”
Lamar went on to say, “She has the money, and she can do what she wants with it. If I had that money, then I would do the same for her. People are just jealous because of how much she won, and people desire to see me locked in jail.”
The Wolf Pit
During the taping of the Iyanla show, the bad headlines just kept rolling in. Marie’due south family and even sometime friends started accusing her of really stealing the lottery ticket from her mother, despite Fontella freely albeit on goggle box that she had given the ticket to Marie.
To add together to the stress and drama, Lamar went to jail at this time on a seven-year sentence for charges related to possessing and selling heroin. True to form, Marie persisted in pushing forward and moving on with her life, demonstrating her strength and resilience.
A Goal Met
Despite poor taste in partners, Marie did make some expert decisions about what to do with some of her money. She concluded up giving $9.seven million to various charities. Part of that money went to the make-new Marie Holmes Foundation, which was established to provide for children in need.
Marie’south foundation provides necessities for underprivileged children. Information technology too holds community events, which are how some children get their school supplies and their Christmas presents. The foundation helps struggling young mothers like Marie was earlier she won the lottery.
Do Christians Gamble?
Marie was raised a devout Catholic, and she leans heavily on her Christian organized religion. Some people criticized her for playing the lottery at all, because it tends to be frowned upon past the church. People have mixed opinions when it comes to Christians gambling.
One pastor said this to the Christian Post: “You can’t be confronting the lottery, merely your youth department is doing a RAFFLE! Same thing, pastor. SAME Affair!” The stigma remains about gambling being an irresponsible coin-waster. Others debate that in that location is cipher specific said well-nigh gambling in the Bible, and then it’due south okay when it’due south not abused.
The Root of All Evil
Other religious people, such every bit one pastor cited in the Christian Mail, pointed out that the Bible says that coin is where evil originated. He scolded Marie for ownership the lottery ticket and went on to say, “First, nosotros must baby-sit against our love of coin.”
Information technology should exist noted that when the Bible does mention “casting lots,” it’south not usually talking about fabric gain, but nigh God. In an instance of this, Proverbs 16:33 states, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every conclusion is from the Lord.”
Some Friendly Advice
We recommend that others read the unfortunate story of Marie Holmes in case they find themselves in her shoes. It’s not at all piece of cake to become from rags to riches, and similar versions of her story have happened to others.
It’south important to understand taxation laws for the long term, the rules of the lottery and investment options if you ever find yourself in the position of receiving a large windfall of money. Be sure to hire a proficient professional financial expert to help you decide how to manage your money to avert reckless decisions.
A Cautionary Tale
If you e’er happen to find yourself in the unlikely position of winning the lottery some things to watch out for include authorities laws, lottery rules, state and federal taxes and your previous unpaid debts. These things can assistance you summate your expendable income.
It may be unwise in the initial excitement to hope lots of charitable giving, like Marie did, without beginning doing the math to see what your accept-abode amount actually is. Multiple millions of dollars may seem like an enormous amount, but as Marie discovered, information technology’s easy to burn through information technology quickly if you are uninformed.
Some call up that Marie had a run of terrible luck after she won the lottery, while others retrieve she brought her woes upon herself with poor decision-making. A few recall the truth lies somewhere in the middle of those two black-and-white judgments.
Aside from spending millions on her boyfriend — who eventually concluded up in federal prison house anyway — Marie too made another questionable decisions after winning the lotto, such equally buying her boyfriend a business of his own and buying her mother a business firm. She also had harassment charges filed against her for allegedly calling a woman repeatedly to threaten her.
The Lesser Line
The ending of this story is by and large grim, although Marie Holmes did practise some positive things with a lasting impact before the last of her money was gone. She didn’t seem to realize that she would be under a microscope with the media and the public.
Hither are a couple more tips, only in case you e’er striking it big: Don’t trust anyone request for money, even if they seem to have a very respectable social condition (like the pastor who sued Marie Holmes). Think the proficient that coin can do, but don’t forget the bad. No matter what, don’t make bold promises immediately after winning.