Woman wins lottery prize and goes into debt buying designer handbags

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

Almost everyone has dreamed of winning the lottery at some point. Who wouldn't want extra money, especially when you didn't even have to work for it? However, as many people have learned the hard way, winning the lottery doesn't always lead to a life of happiness and luxury.

In fact, for some people, it can actually lead to problems like overspending and debt. This was the case for a family friend. She won a small lottery jackpot a few years ago and ended up blowing all the money on designer handbags.

We were all so excited when a family friend won a prize in the lottery. It wasn't the big jackpot. She was not that lucky, but it was a nice cash prize of several thousand dollars.

This woman was so happy. She couldn't keep the good news to herself. She told everyone she knew. From the way she carried on, you might think she had won a million dollars.

Her husband cautioned her about telling too many people, but he was too late. Soon, all her friends and family knew about her five-thousand-dollar windfall.

As soon as she received her check from the lottery, she cashed it and took the money to the shopping mall. "Why not?" she told my mother. "I never had that much cash before in my life. I figured I might as well enjoy it."

Our family friend made a beeline for a shop that sold designer handbags. She picked out four of them, one for herself, one for her daughter, and one each for her two closest friends.

She felt incredibly pleased with herself. Not only could she get a special present for herself, but she could also make the three most important women in her life happy in one fell swoop. That feeling of satisfaction stayed with her until the clerk rang up the four designer handbags at the cash register at the front of the store.

To her shock and disbelief, the four handbags totaled easily double the amount she'd won in the lottery. Not wanting to embarrass herself, she paid half the bill in cash and pulled her credit card out of her wallet to cover the remaining balance.

Although she considered returning the bags for a refund when a different clerk was on duty, she gave the bags to her daughter and friends as she had planned. That's how a family friend went into debt buying designer handbags after winning the lottery.

When she told me and my mother the story, she seemed content. "I made three people very happy with those designer bags," she told us. "Sure, it took me years to pay off the credit card bill, and you wouldn't believe how much I paid in interest, but it was worth it. If I had to do it all over again, I would."

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