For the Love of Money: Lucky for Some; Tragic for Others


FILE – Powerball lottery winners David, left, and Erica Harrig, of Gretna, Neb., speak during an interview at the law office of their attorney Darren Carlson in Omaha, Neb., on Dec. 13, 2013. (Kent Sievers /Omaha World-Herald via AP, File)

The couple from Gretna, Nebraska, a community on the outskirts of Omaha where Dave Harrig now is a volunteer firefighter, allowed themselves to buy a new home, some vintage automobiles and a few ocean cruises after they both quit their jobs.

But nine years later, they still live much as they always did, remaining in their community, keeping up with church, family and friends, and teaching their children to work hard to make a living despite any financial windfall that might come their way.

Many other winners haven’t been as lucky, suffering personal setbacks and lawsuits or becoming the victims of scams. The latest winner of a big jackpot came Friday, when a single ticket sold in Illinois matched the numbers for a $1.337 billion Mega Millions prize. Illinois is among the states where winners of more than $250,000 can choose to not reveal their names.