There is one lucky winner for the this weeks Powerball who will walk away with $425 million or a lump sum payment of $242 million. The good news is the person who holds the winning ticket is now an instant millionaire. The bad news now the person must try to figure out how to handle their new found fortune.
There are many stories of people who have won the lottery and their lives were changed, but not always for the better.
Jenn Doll in an article on Yahoo.com states people like William "Bud" Post III who in 1998, "won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery, only to later wish it had never happened. That's because his brother hired a hit man to try to kill him and his sixth wife (and was arrested for doing so)." She goes on to say Post, "declared bankruptcy and, in 2006, at the age of, 66, "died of respiratory failure... at a Pittsburgh area hospital,"
Then there is Jack Whittaker of West Virginia was an already wealthy businessman when he won what was at the time the largest jackpot ever by a single ticket, garnering him $314.9 million on December 25, 2002. Whittaker had money stolen from him, people tried to poison him and as Doll goes on to say in her article,"Whittaker was sued by Caesars Atlantic City casino for bouncing $1.5 million worth in checks to cover gambling losses."
These are just two of the many people who have won the lottery and found themselves worse off. Some have committed suicide, one Florida man was murdered and a lot blew the money and after a few years find themselves broke, in debt and even filing bankruptcy.
As Cyndi Lauper once sang, "Money Changes Everything," and it does. Why? The reason is simple as Paul explains in 1 Timothy 6:9, "But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction."
People think money is the answer to all of life's ills, but for many money leads them into temptations and even more problems. They squander their new found fortune on stuff like jet skis and cars, but that fortune as Paul says, is a "snare," a trap which catches unsuspecting or unprepared people and leads them into,"ruin and destruction."
Because as Paul goes on to say in 1 Timothy 6:10 it is not the money which is bad, it is the way the money is used, "For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil," Paul also warns Christians who may get caught up in lottery fever, "some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."