Everybody needs money to survive. Information technology’south a fact we may not similar, but it’south notwithstanding a fact. Some other inescapable truth is that most of united states could use more money for the things nosotros need every bit well every bit the things we merely want. That probably makes the hope of winning the lottery sound similar a dream come up true, merely the reality is much more complicated than that.
Consider this cautionary tale of a adult female in desperate need who won an unbelievable amount of money. The choices and mistakes she made after winning ultimately resulted in losing information technology 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 hard life in Northward Carolina. She was a hard-working, single mother of iv with two low-paying jobs. On top of this, ane of her children had only been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Considering of her child’southward special needs, Marie was forced to quit both of her jobs to intendance for him full time. Obviously, the $188 million lottery windfall seemed like a Godsend when Marie won, just unfortunately, she made a serial of poor decisions that resulted in her losing information technology all.
Marie made some promising comments about what she planned to do with the lottery money — $127 one thousand thousand subsequently she chose to get it in a lump sum. “First I’k going to pay my tithes, because I wouldn’t accept none of it if it weren’t for God.”
“After that, I’m going to gear up upwardly accounts for my kids…I’one thousand going to purchase a house for me and my kids, and then make certain my family is all good.” Marie too told WGN-Boob tube, “I don’t have to worry about the discussion ‘struggle’ no more and neither practice [my children].”
The Waiting Game
Although about lottery winnings are not life changing, lottery jackpots are huge, and there are rules for claiming those winnings. If a person wins less than $599, the establishment that sold them the ticket pays them their winnings. However, in that location is a lengthy procedure involved in claiming large lottery winnings.
The ticket has to exist verified by a scanning machine. Next, there is a waiting period for the money to be awarded, and the winner must make full out some identification paperwork. Last, the winner must decide if they desire all the money in a lump sum or accept it dispersed in installments for 30 years (on average).
One of the more difficult choices when a person wins millions of dollars in a lottery is whether to get the money in a lump sum or in installments. The dilemma occurs because there is a big penalization for getting all the money faster in a lump sum.
Marie had the selection of collecting the entire $188 million over 30 years or forfeiting $61 one thousand thousand and collecting the remaining $127 million much sooner. Financial experts commonly recommend taking the lump sum and investing the money. That allows you the opportunity to make money on your winnings instead of the country. Marie chose the lump sum.
Uncle Sam’s Cutting
Many people don’t know how much taxes people take to pay out of lottery winnings in the U.South., so we’ll break it down for you. Although the entire tax amount wasn’t reported in Marie Holmes’ case, she definitely paid millions to the authorities.
In the U.South., lottery winnings are considered income past the IRS, on both the land and federal levels. Therefore, Due north Carolina would have taken 5.8% of Marie’s $127 million, and the Federal Government would have taken anywhere from 25% to 39.6%, depending on tax bracket and other factors. Most people pay the highest charge per unit.
Setting an Example
When Marie won the lottery, she had plans that all sounded very honorable. She said she would donate start to her church and and so motility out of her mobile home and buy a new house for her children. She too planned to ready college funds for them.
Marie told NBC, “All the struggle that I ever went through, information technology was all for [my children]. I desire them to empathise that money doesn’t change you, but information technology tin assistance you.” The public fell in honey with Marie after hearing near her history of poverty and hard knocks before she became wealthy.
Could She Handle It?
The reputation that Marie had in her hometown and elsewhere was that of a hard-working, single female parent who, according to her family and friends, “understood the value of a dollar.” At one indicate, she had two jobs — Walmart and McDonald’s — to back up her four children. Therefore, nobody expected her to brand poor decisions about where the money would become.
Of course, no one took into account that Marie was inexperienced and uninformed about how to handle large amounts of coin. When she started deciding how to spend the lottery money, the public viewed her as young and irresponsible.
Financial Advisor, Please?
When people who aren’t wealthy win a lot of money, it’south 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 money.
Financial advisors warn that even titanic amounts of money tin disappear speedily if information technology isn’t invested wisely. In the instance of Marie Holmes, it seemed like her eye was in the right place and she was doing what she thought was right, but some expert advice definitely would accept helped her out.
The Bad Judgment Begins
The first thing dubbed a poor judgment call by the public was the $fifteen,000 Rolex that Marie bought her boyfriend, Lamar “Hot Sauce” McDow. The scout was more jewelry than a timepiece and was reportedly “dripping with diamonds.”
That aforementioned fellow ultimately cost Marie much more. The Port City Daily reported Lamar was a gang member and a drug dealer after 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 defence 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 afterward serving his sentence, he lived in the $350,000 home that she had purchased afterward winning the lottery.
According to the Daily Mail, of the original amount of $188 million, Marie was left with about $88 one thousand thousand afterwards deciding to take her winnings in a lump sum and paying taxes. This is notwithstanding a very large amount of money, but a loss of $100 one thousand thousand is obviously very significant.
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 money for all kinds of reasons. Unfortunately, this experience is mutual for lottery winners.
Marie and Lamar were constantly harassed for coin handouts, and it became very stressful for them. Marie was quoted as maxim, “When money comes, there are more problems,” according to reports.
Racial Intolerance in Their New Home
Another problem that plagued Marie and her family in their new life in their new home was harassment from neighbors due to racial prejudice. The neighborhood that Marie moved into with her family was an intolerant, primarily white customs, and much to the family unit’southward chagrin, the residents were not interested in changing.
Co-ordinate to Lamar, “One neighbour set up a photographic camera to tape everything we were doing. If I was driving down the road and going at the speed limit, they would wave at me for going too fast. They did not want usa there. They were prejudiced.” Lamar reported these disturbing events to the Daily Mail.
The Church Donation
Marie stayed true to her word, which was reported in a printing release as “The first thing she promised was to tithe — give a 10th of her winnings to charity.” Marie donated a full 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 press the church building was an important part of her life and her faith and that she had been attending that item church building since she was a child.
Unfortunately, a different pastor made 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 afterwards, Marie and her family believed him and allowed him into their lives and their habitation.
Soon after coming together Marie, Pastor Matthews asked her for $i.5 million and so he could build a retreat. According to him, Marie verbally agreed to fund the project, although at that place 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 $i.5 million for his retreat, Pastor Kevin Matthews announced publicly that he was suing Marie Holmes for $10 million. The amount of money named in the suit was inexplainable, considering the amount he was allegedly promised was much less.
The public believed Pastor Matthews was beingness ungrateful and greedy. His beliefs seemed unbecoming of a Christian leader to most people of religion. The justification for his lawsuit was that he had a exact agreement with Marie for a coin donation and compensation for “emotional distress.”
Equally soon as the media caught wind of the lawsuit, they uncovered that Matthews did not appear to be affiliated with any church. This led to a severe, angry public backlash. People shamed Matthews for being a fraud and trying to scam a nice lady out of her rightful winnings.
1 YouTuber, “Donald the Repentless,” was so mad about this that he put out videos entitled, “F*** You Pastor Kevin Matthews.” Public opinion was articulate that this and then-called “pastor” was nothing but a money-grubbing scam artist preying on a nice lady to get his easily on a lot of undeserved coin.
To Pinnacle It Off: Infidelity
In more bad news for Marie and her children, the media reported that her ex-convict young man was beingness unfaithful. Unfortunately, it was also 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 improver to Lamar cheating on Marie, he was besides stealing money from her to pay prostitutes for “sexual favors.” Unfortunately, the video went viral, every bit juicy gossip often does.
Instead of withering under the scrutiny of the media and the public, Marie decided to take drastic measures to improve her circumstances. She gathered her strength and took matters into her ain easily by turning to a well-known life coach to get some advice nearly 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 author and motivational speaker with a huge following due to her reputation for changing people’s lives for the improve.
The Truth Revealed
In some other surprising twist, when Marie went on the
Iyanla: Ready My Life
talk show, her mother, Fontella, came out and revealed that the numbers she chose for the winning lottery ticket were really hers and that they had a very special meaning.
“I kept dreaming about your brother that we lost. His birthday, he was the third child, he’d accept been 25 that year. Those were the numbers.” When Marie asked her female parent why she didn’t claim the coin 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 plenty to stay in Marie’southward proficient graces long enough to fight jail iii times, to the melody of millions in bail and legal fees. The first time Marie bailed him out, it price her $iii 1000000 in bond money.
Before a yr had passed, Lamar was arrested again, and Marie bailed him out again for $six million. The tertiary time Marie bailed out Lamar, it was $12 1000000. You would think she would take been repulsed by his criminal beliefs, simply she just kept spending the money, resulting in widespread criticism.
Misery Loves Company
Marie was warned past many people that if she continued her relationship with Lamar, she could end up with criminal charges herself. Unfortunately, that’south exactly what happened. Ane dark, Lamar violated his parole curfew. When the constabulary came, they discovered marijuana in the house.
Tragically, Marie was arrested for possession in forepart of her children. Marijuana remains illegal in N Carolina, but there is a significant racial bias about who is criminalized for information technology, according to the ACLU. The same number of white people as black people use marijuana, but blacks are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested.
The Boyfriend Defence force
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 child. This is what people do for each other.”
Lamar went on to say, “She has the money, and she tin do what she wants with it. If I had that money, and so I would do the same for her. People are but jealous because of how much she won, and people want to see me locked in jail.”
The Wolf Pit
During the taping of the Iyanla show, the bad headlines just kept rolling in. Marie’s family and even former friends started accusing her of actually stealing the lottery ticket from her female parent, despite Fontella freely albeit on telly 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 frontward and moving on with her life, demonstrating her strength and resilience.
A Goal Met
Despite poor gustatory modality in partners, Marie did brand some proficient decisions about what to do with some of her coin. She concluded up giving $nine.seven million to various charities. Function of that money went to the brand-new Marie Holmes Foundation, which was established to provide for children in need.
Marie’due south foundation provides necessities for underprivileged children. It also holds customs events, which are how some children get their schoolhouse supplies and their Christmas presents. The foundation helps struggling young mothers like Marie was earlier she won the lottery.
Do Christians Run a risk?
Marie was raised a devout Catholic, and she leans heavily on her Christian faith. Some people criticized her for playing the lottery at all, because information technology 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 Mail: “You can’t be against the lottery, simply your youth department is doing a RAFFLE! Same matter, pastor. Aforementioned Affair!” The stigma remains most gambling being an irresponsible coin-waster. Others argue that there is nothing specific said about gambling in the Bible, so it’s okay when it’s non abused.
The Root of All Evil
Other religious people, such as one pastor cited in the Christian Mail service, pointed out that the Bible says that coin is where evil originated. He scolded Marie for buying the lottery ticket and went on to say, “First, nosotros must guard confronting our love of coin.”
Information technology should exist noted that when the Bible does mention “casting lots,” information technology’south not commonly talking virtually fabric proceeds, but almost God. In an example of this, Proverbs xvi:33 states, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”
Some Friendly Communication
We recommend that others read the unfortunate story of Marie Holmes in example they discover themselves in her shoes. Information technology’s non at all piece of cake to go from rags to riches, and similar versions of her story take happened to others.
Information technology’s important to understand revenue enhancement laws for the long term, the rules of the lottery and investment options if yous ever find yourself in the position of receiving a big windfall of money. Be sure to hire a expert professional financial skilful to assist you lot decide how to manage your money to avoid reckless decisions.
A Cautionary Tale
If y’all ever happen to find yourself in the unlikely position of winning the lottery some things to lookout man out for include authorities laws, lottery rules, country and federal taxes and your previous unpaid debts. These things tin assist you calculate your expendable income.
Information technology may be unwise in the initial excitement to promise lots of charitable giving, like Marie did, without kickoff doing the math to encounter what your take-home corporeality actually is. Multiple millions of dollars may seem like an enormous amount, but as Marie discovered, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel to burn through it quickly if you lot are uninformed.
Some call back that Marie had a run of terrible luck after she won the lottery, while others think she brought her woes upon herself with poor determination-making. A few retrieve the truth lies somewhere in the middle of those two black-and-white judgments.
Bated from spending millions on her boyfriend — who eventually ended upward in federal prison anyway — Marie too fabricated some other questionable decisions after winning the lotto, such equally ownership her swain a business of his own and buying her mother a house. She also had harassment charges filed against her for allegedly calling a woman repeatedly to threaten her.
The Bottom Line
The ending of this story is mostly grim, although Marie Holmes did exercise some positive things with a lasting bear upon before the last of her money was gone. She didn’t seem to realize that she would exist under a microscope with the media and the public.
Here are a couple more tips, just in case you always hit it large: Don’t trust anyone asking for coin, fifty-fifty if they seem to have a very respectable social condition (like the pastor who sued Marie Holmes). Remember the practiced that money can do, but don’t forget the bad. No thing what, don’t make bold promises immediately afterwards winning.