Elizabeth Landau (CNN)
One study says that lottery winners do see improvement in happiness and well-being. Research finds that household income, once above $75,000, does not bring more happiness. Experiences bring more happiness than possessions, research suggests.
(CNN) She was a mother of three living in a small apartment and working four jobs. And then, as if in a fairy tale, she won her state's lottery last year. But the story doesn't have the happy ending you might expect.
She didn't do anything overly extravagant after the $1.3 million got slashed in taxes. She bought a house, got a new wardrobe at the Salvation Army, cut work down to just one job and invested the rest.
And then came the phone calls: promises, marriage proposals, accusations, threats. People who used to volunteer to help her do things wanted money for their trouble. Family members, she says, tried to run her life, and control her money.
"Sometimes I wish I could change my name and go somewhere and hide," said the woman, who asked not to be identified to prevent further attention.
It's fun to think about what you would do if you played lottery numbers that brought in millions of dollars. But, disillusioning as it may seem, big winnings can come with big costs, especially because of the greed of others, experts say.
Jim McCullar of Washington state, who claimed half of the Mega Millions $380 million prize Thursday, said he was initially afraid to come forward because "all we saw were predators and we were afraid to do anything until we got down here with police protection." More>>
The folks over at Astrology.com have outdone themselves with a set of predictions for 2011 based on your horoscope. The horoscopes offer "a good, long look at what the stars have in store for you this year!" Problem is, the predictions are all wrong. Why? Because, simply, the stars are not aligned as the prognosticators think.