Have you ever wished you could magically find a winning lottery ticket? For one New Jersey woman, that fantasy became a reality this week.
According to Forbes, Yokasta Boyer was going through piles of paperwork as she prepared her 2015 tax returns earlier this year. While sorting through her work records (she works two jobs), she found a lottery ticket she had previously purchased for the Jersey Cash 5 drawing. Instead of shrugging her shoulders and moving on with her taxes, Boyer did the wise thing: she checked the numbers on her ticket against the winning numbers posted on the Jersey Cash 5 website — and got a big surprise.
The winning ticket Yokasta found turned out to be worth a cool $472,271. She claimed her prize on April 1 — less than two weeks before the lottery ticket would have expired. Boyer says she plans to pay off some debts and work fewer hours as a result of her unexpected windfall. Prior to purchasing (and much later finding) her winning lottery ticket, Yokasta worked 60 or more hours per week to make ends meet; she will now have the option to spend more of that time relaxing with friends and family.
Paying taxes led Boyer to find her winning lottery ticket, and ironically, she will owe a lot more state and federal tax next year after coming into almost $500,000 via the New Jersey Lottery. Uncle Sam and The Garden State will both be taking a cut of Yokasta’s new-found riches, but it seems unlikely that she will voice any complaints about that.
— Rick Telberg (@CPA_Trendlines) July 8, 2016
The Chatham Patch reports that Boyer purchased the winning ticket on April 14, 2015 in her hometown of Clifton, New Jersey. Lottery rules stipulate that winnings can be claimed up to one year from the date of purchase, so Yokasta was very lucky to find the winning lottery ticket when she did.
Winning the lottery would seem to be a dream come true, but for some winners, it definitely isn’t. CreditCards.com recently detailed the downside of becoming a lottery winner.
Once a person comes into a great deal of money via the lottery, friends will oftentimes try to take financial advantage of the lottery winner. The Inquisitr reports that Powerball winner Sandra Hayes has gone through this ordeal firsthand, having been asked by friends to rescue their family from financial ruin.
“I did not rescue them, thanks to the advice of my financial adviser, who told me if I bailed them out they would continue to sponge off me. If I did not draw the line, I would go broke,” Hayes says.
— Tech Insider (@techinsider) July 8, 2016
It’s also been concluded that suddenly coming into a large sum of money actually strains (and often ends) romantic relationships. Lottery winners also become targets of all types of scams, lawsuits, and demands from “long-lost” family members — and surprisingly, they even carry an increased risk of having to file bankruptcy.
“Winners suddenly have significantly more credit available to them than they ever had. That makes them more likely to make purchases on credit, rather than use cash,” says Scott Dillon, a senior bankruptcy attorney at Tully Rinckey in Albany, New York. “Winners are much more likely to make significant impulse purchases far beyond their previous means. So the purchase amounts will be much higher, making the interest accrued on those credit cards much higher. And because they don’t stop to think the money could run out, winners don’t generally think they need to create or live by a monthly budget.”
Another negative consequence of purchasing a winning lottery ticket is the resentment one will encounter from everyone around them, per Fox News. No matter how kind or how generous the lottery winner might be, bitterness from friends, family, and co-workers is almost always part of the landscape for lottery winners.
“Woman finds winning lottery ticket” is a great feel-good headline. However, for many lottery winners the blessing of winning a massive sum of money ultimately turns into a curse.
[Photo by Paul Beaty/AP Images]