Money not always a ticket to happiness

Money not always a ticket to happiness

Money not always a ticket to happiness

By Holly Miyasaki is a reporter with the Penticton Western News.

Jul 22 2007

Irish poet Oscar Wilde once wisely said “Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”

And one would like to think it is true.

Today, if you have enough of it, you can do whatever you want, go wherever you want and buy whatever you want.

Billionaires offer tons of cash for a cure for global warming, millionaires go into space, those that are wealthy can clone their favourite pets and heiresses never have to work.

While they seem to have it all, they might be lacking something too.

A study done on lottery winners (conducted by ) has reported some of these winners can”t buy happiness.

According to the site, in 1998 William “Bud” Post won $16.2 million, but today, instead of living off his riches, lives off the government.

He’s not the only one with a riches-to-rags sob story.

Evelyn Adams won the New Jersey lottery twice in the mid-“80s and currently lives in a trailer with all her funds exhausted.

“I won the American dream, but I lost it too,” she says on the site. “It was a very hard fall.”

I can”t imagine how these winners” lives are turned upside down when they unsuspectingly purchase a ticket worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

I”m sure some co-workers, friends and family members would harbour feelings of ill will and jealousy toward the winner.

Not to mention those that feel this new winner should be exceptionally generous now that they”ve come into money.

While it is doubtful any of us will be facing the dilemma of what to do with millions of dollars won through a lottery, it is a good question to consider: what would you do if you were suddenly rich?

Would you attempt to keep it a secret from friends and family members to ward off requests for loans and freebies?

Would you donate it all to the cause of your choice?

Or maybe you would just steel yourself against the publicity and possible influx of requests for money and just let the world know that you took home millions.

My plan would be to pay off the debts for my favourite charity – Summerland’s Critteraid, buy my parents a home in the South Okanagan as well as one for myself.

With the rest? I don”t know, I haven”t thought that far ahead and most likely will never have to.

All I know is that Oscar Wilde probably had it right – I should hope for the riches in life that aren”t monetary.