Aspiring Billionaire Wins Lottery
Most tales of winning the lotto end in the winner frivolously spending their winnings and ending up right where they started. Either that or the famous curse of the lotto where big jackpot winners seem to meet a rather untimely end, although I’m sure their ends are not as accidental as they seem. One man has neither frittered his winnings away nor met any Final Destination like end; meet Brad Duke. Brad was a regular guy. He had bought a house, had a good job as manager of Gold Gym’s fitness centre in The Treasure Valley, Idaho and cycled every Saturday morning. On the 28th of May, a Saturday like every other, he stopped at Jackson’s Food Mart on the way to a race to buy fuel for his car and himself. He also decided to play Powerball using his “winning” numbers; a while back Brad had developed a number structure by analysing popular lotto numbers which he then formed into a pattern and played every week for four years, these “hot” numbers were 5, 7, 24, 28, 29 and 36.
That Saturday he went on, rode a good race, had drinks with some friends and then went on home. An ordinary day like every other before it, the Powerball ticket already forgotten. It was only when a friend mentioned that someone in the area had won the jackpot but had not come forward to claim their prize that he remembered. When he stopped for fuel again he asked that his ticket be put through the machine. He had won. A dead giveaway by the way the girls in the store screamed hysterically, telling him he’d won, he’d actually won! As most would be, he was in a state of shock but carefully took his ticket and walked to his truck where he just sat. To this day he still can’t remember whether or not he actually paid for his fuel! The first person he called, from his truck, was his dad. He then waited over two weeks before coming forward to claim his prize. During this time, the business savvy man put together a team of advisers including a lawyer, a financial adviser and a publicist; a wise choice for anyone winning a whopping $220 million.
What captured our eye about this story though was not the amount or the fact that he is still riding on the success of his win, but that upon winning, he had boldly stated that his goal was to turn the winnings into $1 billion in 15 years. Quite a goal if you ask us. Brad decided to take the full amount instead of being paid out monthly, this meant he received a check for $126 million and after tax, was left with $86 million, considerably less than the actual jackpot but still an amount I’d be happy to pocket. One thing Brad knew was that he didn’t want to end up like so many other winners who had lost their entire fortune by squandering it. So what did he actually do with his winnings?
Well he started off in the most logical manner. He paid off his mortgage and student loan, bought a used VW Jetta, made an annual gift of $12 000 to all his family members, splurged a little by going to Tahiti with 17 of his friends, oh and of course he bought some new bicycles. He then cleverly invested the rest and continued working. However, two and a half years later he quit his job as he was tired of being hounded by people and managing his new wealth was taking up a fair amount of his time. So where is Brad Duke now? Well, a little behind on his goal apparently but still managing to increase his wealth exponentially. If he does eventually succeed, no matter how late, we have to acknowledge that he has mastered a secret known to the rich: delayed gratification.
And if you’re wondering, he has spent many dollars on charity. Not only a smart, wealthy man but also one with a big heart.
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