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The lottery curse: How the unfathomable good fortune of winning $50M can go terribly wrong

The lottery curse: How the unfathomable good fortune of winning $50M can go terribly wrong

What would you do in case you gained $50-million in the lottery?

Would you play it protected, observe the official steerage, not transfer instantly, give a bit of to your pals and charity, make investments and save, change the locks, de-list your cellphone quantity, make social media non-public, and inform the lottery individuals you gained’t be paraded earlier than the entire world as a million-dollar mark?

Or would you be part of the ranks of these whose experiences with unfathomable luck have left the cultural impression, wealthy in schadenfreude, {that a} massive lottery win is a veiled curse?

Examples abound in the Canadian expertise, and never all are tragic ethical outrages like the 2003 manslaughter of Ibi Roncaioli of Toronto, by her doctor husband Joseph, who gave her anesthetic injections, years after her $5-million lottery win had been squandered and misplaced.

Some are humorous, like the two hapless weed sellers from St. Catharines, Ont., who went to trial to find out whether or not one of them purchased a $5-million scratch ticket for himself or each of them, whereas the different man waited outdoors the comfort retailer in his mother’s automobile. Faced with this query, the presiding decide noticed: “If the ticket were a child and the parties vying for custody, I would find them both unfit and bring in Family and Children’s Services.”

Some are epic. The Lavigueur household of Montreal gained $7.5-million in 1986 and had been quickly affected by early deaths, a suicide, lawsuits, opportunists, and ultimately a miniseries that dramatized their mansion burning down after it was purchased by an outlaw biker.

Rush’s origin story as a lottery winner superhero in search of vengeance on fraudsters started quickly after his win

Most well-known was Raymond Sobeski of Ontario who gained $30-million in 2004, didn’t inform his spouse, received a divorce, claimed the win, grew to become a villain in the media, received sued by the spouse, sued her lawyer and a newspaper, settled with the spouse earlier than trial, received again collectively along with her, and saved on preventing all the technique to Ontario’s prime court docket.

Randall “Randy” Rush, 53, thinks he did fairly effectively, all issues thought of. And there’s a lot to contemplate, lotto-wise, as a result of Rush did greater than fend off efforts to defraud him after his $50-million Alberta lottery win in 2015.

His expertise as a $50-million goal has given him a brand new objective in life, as he’s set to publish his memoir and fee others, attempting to show himself into a robust champion for victims of monetary scammers.


Randall Rush along with his cheque.

Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency

“There’s no John Walsh out there of white-collar crime,” Rush stated in an interview, referring to the man who created America’s Most Wanted and have become an anti-crime activist after his son Adam’s homicide in 1981.

Rush’s origin story as a lottery winner superhero in search of vengeance on fraudsters started quickly after his win, when Rush received concerned with a person pitching an funding alternative, an organization that might be the subsequent Amazon, the subsequent Facebook, and it simply so occurred that this man was the son of Rush’s associates from church. What are the odds? Here was an opportunity to assist associates and “diversify” his property at the similar time, Rush stated.

He was in a good temper proper after winning. Obviously. He did the press convention, the procuring spree, the luxurious journey. Several individuals approached him for funding, however his plan was to play it cool for some time. He had what he referred to as a “checklist” of what to not do. But he instantly give up his job at a heavy tools rental firm in Edmonton, the place he had been making effectively into six figures.

Within a couple of weeks, Rush was investing on this man’s cell phone app that linked on-line procuring to social media

The “Would you quit your job if you won the lotto?” query is a standard curiosity of human sources consultants, as a measure of perspective. Among precise winners, surveys have famous a traditionally growing majority of lottery winners who maintain working. On the entire, what analysis exists suggests massive lottery winners are not any happier than the basic inhabitants, and sometimes rather a lot much less so.

It typically begins with a narrative like this. Within a couple of weeks, Rush was investing on this man’s cell phone app that linked on-line procuring to social media. Eventually he was in for a complete of $4.6-million. A couple of months later he was suing, first in the United States, then in Canada, claiming he was lied to about the firm being on observe for tens of tens of millions in income.


Randall Rush participates in a press convention at the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission in St. Albert, Alberta, on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015.

Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency

The story performed out in courts in Alberta and Arizona and is now largely resolved in Rush’s favour, leaving nothing however a documentary path of wild particulars about costly vehicles, failed schemes, and a company launch get together on the roof of a graceful lodge, with beats by a lower-tier DJ, and no signal of Justin Timberlake or Taylor Swift, as Rush claims he was led to anticipate.

There is a bit of a Tiger King vibe in the court docket document, with all that small metropolis swagger, flashy vehicles, costly baseball caps, massive nights out in Vegas, males like peacocks,  every taking part in the different till all of it falls aside.

Lottery winners should not your traditional wealthy individuals, not at first anyway. Rush’s new ebook, 13 Billion To One: Winning The $50 Million Lottery Has Its Price, out quickly, is devoted to his cat, Conway Kitty, “Who’s been there from the start and loves me for me.” (Conway Twitty was a rustic music star, and the cat was with Rush, who was getting cat meals, when he checked his numbers in a St. Albert grocery retailer.)

He stated it taught him that fast cash amplifies character, together with an individual’s flaws and weaknesses

In the interview, Rush described studying some exhausting classes. Some of his associates had been worse off as a result of of his donations to their financial institution accounts. One was a gambler, for whom money was like gasoline on the fireplace.

“It was a very hard lesson in what giving is,” he stated.

He stated it taught him that fast cash amplifies character, together with an individual’s flaws and weaknesses. Money “makes you a bigger person of who you are,” he stated.

On this principle, the victims of the lottery curse would most likely have gone off the rails anyway, however with out all that cash and fame, nobody would discover.


Randall Rush seen at a press convention at the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission in St. Albert, Alberta, on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015.

Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency

H. Roy Kaplan, a sociologist at the University of South Florida, and a number one authority in the area, has discovered that lottery wins make introverts extra anxious and suspicious of others. So did $50-million make Rush extra like himself? Is he happier now?

“Absolutely” he stated. Asked about his associates, he mentions his bankers.

Rush acknowledges he went by means of an “angry phase,” however denies that his new efforts to turn into an anti-scammer media star are motivated by vengeance.

But Rantanna Media, as he has named his publishing firm (mixing his title with Carlos Santana’s), seems to be rather a lot like a wealthy man’s idle revenge. More than a mere vainness venture, it seems to be like a ardour venture. His first ebook about his former enterprise companion known as Bloodsuckers. He is seeking to develop into books about abuse in evangelical Christianity, which he describes as the same breach of belief.

“This is business,” he stated. “This is completing a project.”

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