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$20 million? What's the big deal?

By Rachelle Bowden on Feb 6, 2006 2:57PM

2006_02_lottery_winner.jpgPeople were probably scratching their heads Friday morning at the Illinois lottery's latest winner and his nonchalant response to his new fortune. Paul Douglas of Chicago bought the $20 million winning ticket at the Streeterville White Hen Pantry at Ohio and McClurg.

Douglas not only said he plans to keep his job as vice president of operations at a Navy Pier charter boat company, but the money isn't burning any holes in his pockets. He said he has "no real plans - a new vehicle, that’s number one, but no real plans right now - just put it away, collect some interest, and see what the future brings." Yeah, no big deal, it's just millions of dollars.

Chicagoist is pretty sure we’d have no trouble finding at least a million things to spend that money on were we the lucky winner. As for keeping our job, well, we’d have to think about that long and hard while sipping mai thais at some exotic island resort.

But that's why Douglas is probably a better winner than we would be. Everyone has heard at least one story of lottery winners whose luck has turned sour, and according to Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., nearly one-third of all lottery winners go bankrupt. William “Bud” Post III of Pennsylvania said he had won the "lottery of death" after losing all of the $16.2 million jackpot he won in 1988. He filed for bankruptcy in 1996 and died last month at 66. And winning the lottery certainly didn’t work out too well for Hurley on Lost, but then again, he’s not an actual person.

Nevertheless, maybe it’s better to take the cautious approach. Or just send the money to us. You know, whatever.

Thanks, Joanna!

Image via CBS2