By on December 13, 2007

01020104042100.jpgLast week, Petra L. won the German national lottery. Her jackpot: €15.28m ($22,461,600). Needless to say, the Divinely Chosen Ms. L ran right out and bought herself a new car. Ferrari? Bentley? Mercedes? "I really just wanted a new one," she told Spiegel. "With airbags!" And so she purchased a $10k Polish-made Fiat Panda. In the Fatherland (i.e. not all markets), the Panda comes with four airbags as standard, with two more as an optional extra (go on; you know you want to). Is this proof that the Lottery is, as many have suggested, a tax on stupidity? Psychologists have observed that lottery winners who don't change their lifestyle have the best chance of "coping" with the "stress" of a big win. Which is exactly what  Petra L. is doing: "I will still be looking for special deals at the  shop, and won't be going on any big trips. I worked by the sweat of  my brow all life and turned every penny, and won't change now." What about… now? Anyone remember the old joke about the guy who wins the  jackpot, loses all his money, and later explains: "I spent some of it on women, booze and cars. The rest I wasted".

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20 Comments on “German Lottery Winner Buys…...”

  • avatar

    There was an article about a guy from West Virginia who won the biggest Powerball, “Rich Man, Poor Man: Jack Whittaker’s big Powerball win cost him — and everyone around him — dearly.”

    -This guy won $314 million (one-time payout check: $113 million after taxes), and it pretty much ruined his life. Interesting point, he was actually a successful businessman before he won. He bought the winning ticket when he went to put gas in his Lincoln Navigator. I wonder how many lotto winners can claim that?

  • avatar

    I don’t know if George Best was repeating an old joke, but he did once famously say “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”

  • avatar

    yah! west virginia! around here, the proper way to win the lottery is to buy a corvette, four ATVs, a bass boat, a second bass boat, a ski boat, two jet skis, and a pitbull. then you remodel your basement to be a nascar shrine. put at least one of your ATVs in the basement. move into Cabela’s. buy more guns. THAT’s how you win the lottery in WV.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    “the Lottery is…a tax on stupidity”

    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who thinks this.

  • avatar

    “the Lottery is…a tax on stupidity”

    Hey I hope to win the lottery one day, I just need to start buying tickets. And spend the money West Virginia style, except a Ferrari instead of a Corvette and dirt bikes and motorcycles instead of ATVs, and a sailing yatch instead of a bass boat, and more guns. Who am I kidding I’ll never win, but I can day dream.

  • avatar

    Good for Petra – she’s on the right track. Other than telling my employer to go f— themselves, I’m not sure that I’d go out and buy all kinds of stuff, either. But now I’d have more time to enjoy all the crap I already have.

    What’s wrong with buying a dream for a dollar? (Unless you shouldn’t really be spending the dollar to begin with…)

  • avatar

    You miss the obvious: after euro-style income taxes, Frau L might have been left with only enough Euros to buy a Panda, and maybe 20 liters of gas.

  • avatar

    At one time the statistic was the ‘Vette being the first thing lottery winners purchased.

    I wouldn’t mind starting off with that tbh after a lottery win…while waiting for Aston Martin, Bentley, Maseratti & Alpha Romeo to get to my customized orders…

  • avatar

    Lotto wins are tax-free, if you play the German state lottery…

  • avatar
    Virtual Insanity

    If I ever won a mega bucks lottery, I’d like to think I’d

    A)Pay off my student loans
    B)Buy one or two of my dream cars
    C)Invest the rest in some safer options. I can handle low payouts when I’m warm in my knowledge it wont all disapear overnight.

  • avatar

    Hey, wait a minute, I want a Corvette when I win the lottery! And I’m not from WV (although my Dad is).

    Really, all I need is my Vette, a nice daily driver (Audi S5?), all debts paid, and invest the rest to live off the interest.

  • avatar

    Petra sounds like a sensible person, hardly a “stupid” one. However, maybe she bought her hubby a Porsche…

  • avatar

    I’d move out to the sticks and build a rifle range off of my back porch.

    Heck, I probably move out to one of those mostly abandoned western states.

  • avatar

    Some very interesting scenarios on “if I won the lottery”. I too, day dream of having untold wealth, and not having to work another day in my life. But the fact that someone comes into this much money, does have it’s down side, whether it be lottery or inheritance.

    However, on to the automotive side of this…several cars would be needed, such as a Masarati Quattroport for comfort and speed (yes, I have driven one), a mere $100 G. A Range Rover HSE, for bad weather (Supercharged V-8) another $90 G. A Porsche Boxster S, for summer days (cheap buy the other ones standards.

    Ther rest would be put into those pesky needs like college ed for grand kids, etc. etc.

    I really don’t understand how someone ends up broke by hitting the lottery or being an NFL player.

  • avatar

    Good for her. I’d buy a car or two, but nothing over 40k. Exotic cars just seem like a huge waste of money to me, and it annoys me that companies like Ferrari get rewarded for making expensive unreliable junk that costs a fortune to maintain. They should be punished.

    edit: Come to think of it, that’s probably why all these lottery winners are going broke. The repair and maintenance costs on their exotic cars have run them dry.

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    She did well.

    If you want to dream on, go buy a ticket. Otherwise lengthy dreaming is no better than what congress does (starts with M and ends with baiting).

    I buy one or two a year and well, say no more.

  • avatar

    I read a survey that suggested 50% of lotto winners end up unhappier than before. Why? Because they go crazy buying expensive cars, speculating on property and are a magnet for dodgey investment product spruikers.

    She seems to be rather level headed by buying a cheap car she really likes and eschewing super cars that require tens of thousands of dollars maintenance and insurance per year. She can of course afford it, but no one stopped to ask whether at her age she could fold herself into the average super car.

    It’s said that lotto really is a tax on the stupid, but only a tax on those that don’t win. By definition she’s a real winner all round.

  • avatar

    He’s in good company. Elle McPherson drives one.

  • avatar

    the first thing you do after winning the lottery is make yourself scarce. family and long lost friends can be tenacious about tracking you down.

  • avatar

    OK, my mistake- a Panda and 40 liters of gas…

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