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Powerball Lottery Jackpot Rises to $550 Million

Sophie Elkus |
November 28, 2012 | 3:24 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

The Powerball lottery stakes are bumped to $500 million. (Creative Commons)
The Powerball lottery stakes are bumped to $500 million. (Creative Commons)
With a record-breaking $550 million jackpot, interest in the Powerball lottery could reach new highs during Wednesday night’s drawing, ABC News reported.


While lottery winnings are a miraculous life-changer for a handful of lucky few, the price of financial freedom comes with immense responsibility. Past winners of mega-lottery drawings advise hopeful players to stick to a budget, invest their earnings wisely and beware of money-hungry peers.

“I had to adapt to this new life,” said Sandra Hayes, 52, to the Washington Post. “I had to endure the greed and the need that people have, trying to get you to release your money to them. That caused a lot of emotional pain.”

Hayes was a former child services social worker until splitting a $224 million Powerball jackpot with a dozen co-workers in 2006, leaving her with more than $6 million after taxes.

“These are people who you’ve loved deep down, and they’re turning into vampires trying to suck the life out of me,” Hayes said.

She kept her job for a month following the win and paid off student loans and a mortgage. Hayes spent a week in Hawaii and bought a new Lexus, but now six years down the road still shops at discount stores. She warns winners that momentary riches cannot remain sustainable forever.

“I know a lot of people who won the lottery and are broke today,” Hayes says. “If you’re not disciplined, you will go broke. I don’t care how much money you have.”


Read the full story here.

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