German Lottery Winner Buys…

Martin Schwoerer
by Martin Schwoerer

Last 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".

Martin Schwoerer
Martin Schwoerer

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  • Michal Michal on Dec 13, 2007

    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.

  • Hank Hank on Dec 13, 2007

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

  • GS650G GS650G on Dec 14, 2007

    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.

  • Jjdaddyo Jjdaddyo on Dec 14, 2007

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