A Canadian lottery winner held onto his winning ticket in a C$3.6 million lottery for almost a year, deciding instead to "reflect" on what he was going to do with money. And all I can day is "DUH!"
Peter Dushop won the lottery in August 2007, and put the ticket straight into a safety deposit box. He only told his mom about the winning ticket, and spent the last year just thinking about the money. He didn't even tell his girlfriend, and I'm wondering if he wanted to see if she loved him even without the money
But seriously... This was a really foolish move on the winner's part. Even if he took the money and put it straight into a savings account or certificate of deposit earning only 3%, he'd have earned over $100,000 in interest over the last year. If he needed time to "reflect" on his winnings, he could have put the money into a very safe investment and still kept quiet about it. And he'd have an additional $100,000. Heck, if he didn't want the extra money, he could have donated it to charity.
Why don't I ever win the lottery and get a chance to do something stupid like this? I promise I won't waste time thinking about what to do with the money. I'll put it right into an investment account and start earning some interest and dividends right away!
Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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