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Alcoholic/addict friend just won a million dollars...

Old 03-16-2010, 08:44 AM
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I knew a compulsive gambler (we referred to him as a degenerate gambler)...who won about 36K on a horse race....it was gone within a week. to be sure it is a lot less than your friend, but by the end of the week he couldn't even buy a hotel room...he lost it all "reinvesting in more gambling"....it sticks with me because he had NOTHING to show for it.

me, if i had won anything like that I would have thrown 75% of the winnings right into my mortgage to pay it off.....but i don't think I would be able to not have a drink to *celebrate*...it is hard to say, because I sure did not win a thing.
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:11 AM
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Have you discussed these issues with your friend? I guess you could do it diplomatically, without pointing out the obvious red flags.

I have one experience with a friend who I grew up with: we are both alcoholics and were drinking buddies from the time we were 16. When she was in her mid-40's, she inherited her mother's fortune, not a million, but a good amount.

She went through the money in about two years, most of it went to cocaine.

Does the wife have some say in how to use this money? Maybe her having control over some of it might be a good solution.
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:24 AM
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There is no wife, just an x-gf; the mother of his child, they never married. Ironically, I thought when they were having the baby that they should get married (just a belief I have that when you're having a baby, you get married, you know; too many single parents in the word, whatever..) anyway...if they had married she would be entitled to half, now I don't know what she is entitled to. I have heard that he did offer her half and she refused, not sure how true either part of that story is. Part of me thinks she should take the money offered because she may never get another chance like this to secure his contribution for their child, he has a history of being a noncontributory parent, always broke, dependent on her financially up until very recently when he finally moved out of their shared apartment. Then came the million dollars...and now his x says he is more depressed than ever...
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:59 AM
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If he is depressed after winning this much money, he is SO suffering from addiction and alcohol issues. When I was drinking, I always felt hugely depressed after great things happened to me.
If someone can get through to him, maybe he should consider putting a few controls in place. He might even like the idea because it's possible he is feeling very overwhelmed, and if there is a sensible little thought in his head, he knows this amount of money could be very dangerous for him.

One thing he could do is invest the money and get some returns on it. He should go to the nearest bank and get some investment advice. With that kind of money, he could see some fantastic returns on the money, and investing it will also mean that he will have to wait before he can have access to some of it. Really good CD's are usually locked for example up to 6 months and even much longer. But the returns are very good.

Looking into savings and investment plans might also help him see the practical side of it all and bring him a little more down to earth...and not just see the whoopppeeee aspect of it.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by getr345 View Post
There is no wife, just an x-gf; the mother of his child, they never married. Ironically, I thought when they were having the baby that they should get married (just a belief I have that when you're having a baby, you get married, you know; too many single parents in the word, whatever..) anyway...if they had married she would be entitled to half, now I don't know what she is entitled to. I have heard that he did offer her half and she refused, not sure how true either part of that story is. Part of me thinks she should take the money offered because she may never get another chance like this to secure his contribution for their child, he has a history of being a noncontributory parent, always broke, dependent on her financially up until very recently when he finally moved out of their shared apartment. Then came the million dollars...and now his x says he is more depressed than ever...
From expeirnce after a big win, in this case very big, a gambler will give some money away or will buy huge presents for people close to him...the rest will he will gamble then with a relatively clear conscience...if he is offering his ex and baby half they should take it NOW!

Also problem/compulsive gambling has nothing to do with the Big Win like people think it is about the high and loss of self in the act of gambling, just like with drinking, just like the drugs...there is no big win just like there is no enough for an alcoholic when drinking...and there is little joy even if another person thought the win/night was fantastic.

Like was pointed out maybe he will pay off his mortgage or buy a house then spend the rest of his miserable life pissed out of his mind until the money runs out or they put him into a box?! Can't see that being a lot better myself!
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:50 AM
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Also problem/compulsive gambling has nothing to do with the Big Win like people think it is about the high and loss of self in the act of gambling, just like with drinking, just like the drugs...there is no big win just like there is no enough for an alcoholic when drinking...and there is little joy even if another person thought the win/night was fantastic.
Thanks for that post: that is what I was referring to: the big depression that can come of good things.
As a recovering/recovered alcoholic getr345, can you think of how you might help in a 12step way?
I don't know if you do AA, but the 12 step deal is to help the other drinker/user/addict.

It may not ultimately help the person, but it may help you to find some kind of peace, knowing you did or said something to be helpful and understand in the long run that is more or less all you can do.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:51 AM
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Just a thought exercise on the addictive
mindset.... Add up all the Money spent on gambling, booz and other compulsive
spending, plus past current and future medical expenses related to lifestyle subtract from one mill.... What's the number? Whatever the answer is it in no way shape or form is better than living life in a way that ultimately makes you happy and
causes the least amount of harm to those we love. OK off the horse now, if the guy wants to live fast die young and leave a pretty corpse, who am I to judge, unless it negatively impacts others?
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:58 AM
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For the life of me, I DO NOT understand why the x-gf would refuse the offer of half. She is very realistic about the type of person he is (I think she is anyway) and she must know the risks of him losing it all and ending up worse off than ever, so why not take the money... put it away for THEIR child and be done with it? To be honest, she never really needed him to begin with (other than as a sperm donor) and still doesn't; she is a very independent successful woman and I bet what she wants more than any amount of money would be for him to just be happy and to be a great father to this young child. That of course is something money can't buy...
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by littlefish View Post
As a recovering/recovered alcoholic getr345, can you think of how you might help in a 12step way?
If he had not just won a million dollars I suppose I could think of ways to help him or reach out to him (although the truth is I rarely talk to him, and only learn about him through his x-gf who will always be a friend of our family) but now that he's has all that money and all that baggage, I just cannot imagine offering him the type of help that I have offered others who were struggling with drugs and/or alcohol, which I feel like I understand and can relate to. I don't understand the gambling issue enough to offer help and on top of that I can see how any offers of help might be seen all wrong, like somehow I want to get to his money, or I'm jealous, or like I'm the crazy one offering "help" to a man who just got all the help he ever thought he needed in the form of like 6 or 7 hundred thousand dollars after taxes.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:16 AM
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One thing all addicts have in common is the belief (from repeated pattern of thinking) that "using" will make them feel better.

This belief starts in the early stages of addiction when all of us enjoy using our drug. The more we enjoy using the more the belief is reinforced that using makes us feel better.

As addiction progresses we don't feel better when we use but the belief remains in place and we are ever using more and more to make us feel better.

For the lucky ones the losses in life due to the addiction eventually break through the belief that the drug will make them feel better and they hit rock bottom......hopefully change the belief that using makes them feel better and they go on to recover.

The way I see it with this situation is that this win has not only reinforced the belief that gambling makes him feel better but also that now gambling does not lead to any losses in his life. So instead being near to where he could have reached rock bottom, he could be further away.

Even if the money goes very quickly, that belief that gambling makes him feel better is real in the not too distant past rather than way back then in the early days when he started. In my opinion, recovery will only happen when he believes differently.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:45 PM
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i hope our hero will have the common sense to use the money to his advantage and turn his life around. but it's unlikely.
trust me, in 5 - 10 years the man will be broke. if it doesn't kill him first.
for those of you who don't know me, i am a gambler (amongst other things). and NEVER have i won and put my winnings to good use. i've always "reinvested" my winnings.
as i'm trying to quit at the moment i've been reading and thinking allot about gambling. and i've come to the conclusion that no matter how much money i'll ever have it will never be enough to fulfill my gambling needs. ain't that the truth.
for me, the money (or lack of it) isn't the problem. the problem is something much deeper. some kind of emotional disturbance or something, in my case.
i used to think that if i were to win back all of my losses (or even 50% would still be a considerable sum!) i'd never play again - but we all know that's not the truth, don't we.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:02 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Not sure if it makes a difference but he gets 35K a year after taxes for 20 years, no lump sum option is available. He's not likely to work (in his mind, he probably no longer has to or wants to, this is the dream come true for ever having to worry about that, well for at least 20 years and that seems like forever) so he will have money, time, and his myriad issues. Sounds like a bad recipe. Can you imagine the St. Patty's Day celebration he's gonna have tomorrow? OMFG, I see personal records being set for B.A.L., number of rounds bought for complete strangers, number of cigarettes lit backwards and best drunken rendition of that classic Irish drinking sing along song about all the animals...
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:17 PM
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Hate to say it, but I could live on 35k per year, no job, just good times and party buddies and kill myself pretty quickly unless I was very careful. For the record my
style was to isolate and hide everything, pretend to others (who I minimized contact with to fuel the beast) that everything was ok. The facade ultimately came
down in an inglorious blaze.... The little part of me
that actually gave a hoot about how others perceived me
went away. I bottomed and am rebuilding. I have to watch myself very carefully or I know I may slip into old
bad habits. For me the
getting sick and tired of getting sick and tired was real.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:08 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by getr345 View Post
...I have to imagine that this win justifies all the money ever spent, all the gambling, all the compulsion, everything.. like "look see, I won, it paid off"...it's all justified! "I was right to gamble, and you were all wrong to tell me not to, or that it wrong/stupid/problematic, because clearly it wasn't, after all...I won a million dollars!!"
Typical addict/alcoholic thinking...to rationalize, justify and defend our actions and look to the heavens to find someone, anyone to co-sign our nonsense.

Only until we become honest with ourselves and stop the behavior, will we be free from that sad, addicted sail through the sewer in a glass bottom boat.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:32 AM
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Last year in March while still on the opiates. I got a medical settlement of $17,000.00. I paid off everything I possibly could. A rent to own barn, CC, medical bills, dental bills, etc. I was left with about $500.00 when I got done. I bought my husband an ipod he'd been wanting for a couple of years. I'm so glad I did all that because my husband was laid off in May. He's still laid off as of todays' date. I don't want to even think about where we'd be right now with the bills if I hadn't of paid all of that off. We have no car payments either. We got a large tax return this year as well. I bought a new washer and dryer. A new hot water tank. A radio for my husband. New flooring to replace the ruined wood from the hot water tank. The only thing we owe for now on our two acres is the house payment. And the utilities each month. God has been good to us. We've both been thru several divorces and have lived in some God awful places, due to not having any money.

It's always wise to use a large amount of money when you have it on wise decisions. You never know where you'll be tomorrow or the next day.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:16 PM
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I've been thinking more about this.
Think of Elvis.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ElegantlyWasted View Post
Without discipline (a real plan); you would be surprised how easy of is to blow through a mil. Just saw a stat that 60% of NBA players have a negative or zero net worth when they retire from the game. Assume you conservatively draw 4% yearly; that's only 40k per year. The instinct of an addict is instant gratification. I say it's gone within 2-3 years; 5 max. Hope I'm wrong. PS... Former stockbroker, addict during the late 90s tec boom.
On a quirky spin on the stockbroker /addit thing... I say but lots of POT (ticker-do a google search) and sell covered calls thus banking alot while spending alot in the addition.

On the serious side the best/worst thing that can happen is waste it quick and hopefully find a quick bottom.

AG
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