Rags riches Lottery winners // Lotteries

Rags riches Lottery winners

The income gap is a common topic of discussion. We talk about the wealthy as opposed to the middle class, the rich compared to the poor. We have come to know what a middle-class household’s finances look like, but how do you define the term “rich”? And how much money does one have to earn to be considered rich? A CNN publication addressed this question a while back, in which experts offered their thoughts. Those interviewed seemed to think it takes somewhere between $2 million and $12 million to be considered rich, depending on age and other factors. The higher end of this $2 million-to-$12 million nest egg would equal around $300, 000 per year in annual retirement income. This is enough to pay all taxes, spend around , 800 per month on housing, and have , 000 per month for discretionary spending.

OK, so we’ve established what it means to be rich. That level of income truly is a great deal of money when you compare it to the average household, which brings in a little more than $50, 000 annually. For most people, having a stable $300, 000-per-year salary would mean no more scraping for savings, no more high amounts of debt, and much more financial freedom. For some, though, this money would be gone as fast as they could spend it, and they would be broke yet again. Why is it that some rich people go broke?

Stories of athletes and celebrities who earn millions and then go bankrupt a few years later have become fairly common. From older stories like MC Hammer to more recent tales like that of NFL player Warren Sapp, many of these riches-to-rags stories have common characteristics.

1. Luxury and Excess

A common theme behind many of these stories is an excessively high level of spending on homes, vehicles, jewelry, and clothing. MC Hammer, for instance, had a reported net worth of $33 million in 1991. The artist apparently shelled out $30 million for his 12-acre home in Fremont, California. Within his home, he included a bowling alley, Italian marble flooring, two swimming pools, a recording studio, tennis courts, and a 17-car garage. reports the ’90s rapper also bought dozens of luxury sports cars, airplanes, and a record company.

Toward the end of the 1990s, MC Hammer’s millions in net worth transformed into insolvency, as assets in bankruptcy court were only $9.6 million, compared to $13.7 million in debt. A person’s ability to generate wealth and enjoy substantial earnings power does not necessarily render them capable of sustaining wealth.

Hammer is by no means the only millionaire to overspend. Baseball player Jack Clark earned around $20 million throughout the life of his career, yet he overspent on his 18 automobiles. One of which was a 1990 Ferrari, priced to the tune of $717, 000. Then there is Mike Tyson, with his excessive purchases on things like $175, 000 diamond and gold chains, and even a Bengal tiger. Tyson filed for bankruptcy with a reported $23 million in debt, according to Time.

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Popular Q&A

avatar
Were the parents of rags-to-riches cons like Hannity and Laura Ingraham real losers since winners are rich?

Cons like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham say that all you have to do is work hard in America and you will become rich and everyone should want to do this. Since they grew up poor, can we conclude that their folks were losers?

I shudder to think of the household someone like him grew up in,
and the nonsense that was spouted at the dinner table that took root in his soul and made him the mogul of malicious misinformation that he is today.
Were their parents poor? Who knows, people like him manufacture their past to suit the image.


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