COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Visions of lifelong riches are surely dancing in the heads of those rushing to buy lottery tickets for Wednesday night's $500 million Powerball jackpot.
Past winners of mega-lottery drawings and financial planners have some more sound advice: stick to a budget, invest wisely, learn to say no and be prepared to lose friends while riding an emotional roller-coaster.
Tales of big lottery winners who wind up in financial ruin or other desperate straits are increasingly common.
A two-time New Jersey lottery winner squandered her $5.4 million fortune. And a West Virginia man who won $315 million a decade ago on Christmas later said the windfall was to blame for his granddaughter's fatal drug overdose and his divorce.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.