Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Kelly's World: Money fi burn

Published:Monday | March 21, 2016 | 3:00 AM

I came across a story in The Star newspaper recently, about a man who managed to go broke after winning J$45 million in the lottery.

As you would expect, readers and persons in my social circle were not very kind to him. But you know, somehow, I can actually see how you can go from being a millionaire to broke. Not saying it would happen to me (OK, maybe it would), but I can see how it can happen.

First off, for those who don't have one, the first priority after winning the big money is to buy yourself a nice, big house. Or better yet, build your own. Now if you're impatient like yours truly, then you might go for one that's already been made. Not sure where the building material prices are these days, plus, you would have to go through the whole process of hiring an architect and all that. So just buy a nice one and call it a day. Problem is, I can totally see people going overboard with the purchase. Multiple bedrooms, inhabited by people who are not paying rent, but who are using all the utilities.

 

Vehicle

 

OK, so house out of the way. Now you need a vehicle (and even if they cannot drive to save their lives, they are going to buy a crissas). So it's either going to be a long-mouth car, or an SUV. Forget about the price of gas for a minute. The parts for any vehicle, especially if you keep bumping into stuff (which you may do, being so carefree), can run your bill into the thousands. Plus, it is highly likely the winner will not be buying just one vehicle. On the contrary, they are probably going for three or four vehicles of various styles and shapes. It is also a high possibility that most of them will be imports (the local car marts too boring, man!) so that might cost you a few more pennies, depending on the deal you get. The bill gets worse if these vehicles are unique, where parts are not immediately available in Jamaica. Insurance? That's another matter.

Then there is the problem wid everybody (and I mean everybody) begging you a 'smalls'. And especially if you knew them from a while back, it seems hard to not try and help out. That's where perception gets in the way. Nobody wants to look like the person who 'rich and switch', so you dole out a few dollars, at first. And then a few more, and more. Well, you get the drift. Before you know it, the 'friends' have taken more from you than the tax man.

Big man ting, I can see all of those things happening to me. Trust me. While a ridiculously large sum of cash appearing in my bank account practically overnight would be a most welcome sight, it is not something I'm striving to do. I think that's why I don't buy Lotto (other than my utter dislike of the high possibility I won't be winning). Nope, better if I stay broke.

• Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com