Who's got the golden ticket?
An $84 million SuperLotto ticket was sold by a Palmdale 7-11, but the ticket holder hasn't yet come forward to claim the prize. The way it works is you can take a lump sum — in this case, about $40 million; or get close to $3 million a year for the next 26 years.
Everyone always takes a lump sum. No, no, not the lump sum! Take the slow payout, live off a third of the cash, divide the rest between taxes, investments and charity. Do it again the next year, and the next. No matter how smart or kind or good you are, you will screw things up if you take the big payout. Sometimes even the slow payout is too much to handle.
Take William "Bud" Post, who's just passed away. In 1988, he had $2.46 in his bank account when he pawned a ring for $40 and spent it all on lottery tickets: he won $16.2 million. But after his wife left him, business deals failed and his brother went to jail for trying to kill him, Bud called his winnings the Lottery of Death.
We wish better luck to whoever's got the $84 million ticket. Hopefully they've got no siblings.