Skip to comments.Instant Millions Can't Halt Winners' Grim Slide
Posted on 12/05/2005 8:45:52 AM PST by kiriath_jearim
Instant Millions Can't Halt Winners' Grim Slide
By JAMES DAO Published: December 5, 2005
CORBIN, Ky., Nov. 30 - For Mack W. Metcalf and his estranged second wife, Virginia G. Merida, sharing a $34 million lottery jackpot in 2000 meant escaping poverty at breakneck speed.
Years of blue-collar struggle and ramshackle apartment life gave way almost overnight to limitless leisure, big houses and lavish toys. Mr. Metcalf bought a Mount Vernon-like estate in southern Kentucky, stocking it with horses and vintage cars. Ms. Merida bought a Mercedes-Benz and a modernistic mansion overlooking the Ohio River, surrounding herself with stray cats.
But trouble came almost as fast. And though there have been many stories of lottery winners turning to drugs or alcohol, and of lottery fortunes turning to dust, the tale of Mr. Metcalf and Ms. Merida stands out as a striking example of good luck - the kind most people only dream about - rapidly turning fatally bad.
Mr. Metcalf's first wife sued him for $31,000 in unpaid child support, a former girlfriend wheedled $500,000 out of him while he was drunk, and alcoholism increasingly paralyzed him. Ms. Merida's boyfriend died of a drug overdose in her hilltop house, a brother began harassing her, she said, and neighbors came to believe her once welcoming home had turned into a drug den.
Though they were divorced by 2001, it was as if their lives as rich people had taken on an eerie symmetry. So did their deaths.
In 2003, just three years after cashing in his winning ticket, Mr. Metcalf died of complications relating to alcoholism at the age of 45. Then on the day before Thanksgiving, Ms. Merida's partly decomposed body was found in her bed.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
a former girlfriend wheedled $500,000 out of him while he was drunk
That must be a hell of a girl! Plus, now shes wealthy.
What a lovely Christmas story.
But let's blame that.
Corzine's got more.
If you want to know what God thinks of money, look at who he gives it to...
Evidence that poverty has a moral dimension as well as an economic one. You can give a poor person a lot of money, but that doesn't make them a rich person. Conversely, some of the richest people on earth haven't a dime.
The "winnings" were merely fuel on the fire.
These stories are all too commonplace.
Money follows value. The inverse is also true.
The obvious answer from the NYT is to stay poor. For example, look at the people that died on the Titanic. If they had stayed in Europe and not wanted to travel to America for a better life, they wouldn't have drowned, would they? Maintain low expectations, don't strive to better yourself, just stay at home.
If you follow that argument to its logical conclusion, then God himself, to whom all the earth and everything in it belongs, must be a terrible fellow indeed.
Money buys neither happiness nor class.
I doubt it. A slut like that'll go through a half mill in about 2-3 years.
Poverty is a mental condition as much as it is a financial condition.
Yeah, look at the Kennedys. White trash with money.
I wouldn't want to win the lottery. Honestly. I've seen too many stories about how winning it instantly turns friends and some family into resentful gold-diggers, removes one's incentive to work, and generally erodes one's character.
I've got a job I enjoy doing, and I like knowing that I have to work each day to provide for myself and my family.
Winning the lottery only acted to afford them the means to destroy themselves in a much more efficient manner. In what would have been a life long pursuit of death through drugs, poor decisions, alchohol, etc, the $34M gave them the ability to buy the tools of their destruction so easily and quickly, that what would have been a 25 to 30 year affair was cut to just 4 years. Sad.
I'd love to prove myself the exception.
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