After winning the biggest undivided jackpot lottery in U.S. history, Mavis L. Wanczyk of Chicopee, Massachusetts, ignored much of the advice that financial experts typically give to lottery winners. She quit her job, spoke with the press and took her winnings as a lump sum. While she may be able to afford to break the rules, most winners can't.
Lottery winners are more likely to declare bankruptcy within three to five years than the average American. What's more, studies have shown that winning the lottery does not necessarily make you happier or healthier.
"Evidence shows that most people who make it to the top one percent of income earners usually don't stay at the top for very long," writes The Washington Post's Jonnelle Marte.
Economist Jay L. Zagorsky agrees with the research. He writes for U.S. News and World Report: "Studies found that instead of getting people out of financial trouble, winning the lottery got people into more trouble, since bankruptcy rates soared for lottery winners three to five years after winning."