Column Chronicles
Lecturing losers
Frank Cotolo
August 24, 2017
Many lottery winners that have beaten the huge odds to make millions wind up broke. Coming down from that high is tough, most of the time requiring a stay at the Mega-Million-Dollar Winners Reformatory (MMDR). I was asked to speak to the latest group of entries. Here is the text of that speech:
Good evening. I hope to help ease the terrible pain all of you are experiencing after the traumatic fall into poverty following your astronomical rise into wealth. Terrible may be a conservative way of putting the deep, disturbing incident that puts you in a state of poverty so quickly after soaring to the heights of wealth by the good fortune of a lottery game. Perhaps you feel worse than you ever felt before, when you thought you felt the worst you could ever feel.
Things change. I know that sounds like an easy thing to say but that doesn't make it untrue. As things change with nature, so things change with instant millionaires. That's an easy answer as to why you are now poor but if you add to that the outstanding ineptitude of handling the role as millionaire to the nature stream of things, you can understand how you blew all that dough.
It can happen to anybody. Look around you, it happened to everybody here. One day you are notified that you will receive, even after taxes, millions of dollars, and not long after you wish you had been taught the meaning of the word finite. But when it sinks in that you are even worse off than you were before you won all of that money you realize that the shock of losing the magical status is not going to stop rattling your soul any time soon.
Is there good news? Well, sure. [P A U S E] Well, not so much. The trauma you are feeling needs immediate attention. Coming to MMDR is not going to solve all of the problems associated with the shock. You are going to have to help yourselves, too.
One way is to become a millionaire again and this time take care of all that money. That, however, is a longer shot than winning millions in the first place. Another solution is to... is to... Well, perhaps there isn't another way, unless you embrace the concept of denial.
It's usually not suggested as a remedy for a personal problem but let's face it, folks, you are a special category that needs immediate attention. This is why MMDR will emphasize denial as the sole solution. If you convince yourselves that it was never your fault that millions of dollars left your possession because you did not know a thing about handling that kind of money, you could free yourself of the torment you feel now. The best part about denial is you don't have to prove blame, you simply accuse, particularly, people and situations that are out of your control.
Blame your government. Blame the education system, your generation's lust for excess, some things your parents did to you when you were a child, other members of your family that you never liked. The list goes on and on and as you get deeper into MMDR's denial program you will rid yourself of a debilitating condition - stupidity that you and you alone bear responsibility.
Thank you and goodnight.
Frank Cotolo can be found hosting the talk and interview programme Cotolo Chronicles. You can send him an e-mail at this address:
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