Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

The second largest lottery jackpot ticket in history was sold in South Carolina the other week. The winner of the $1.54 billion prize hasn't yet come forward. And why should they? They'll be hounded the rest of their lives. Prior to the drawing, ticket sales ratcheted up and many dreamed of leaving their jobs to live a life of luxury. It's interesting that our heart longs for wealth and a life free from drudgery. People are looking for happiness. But it's worth asking if gambling winnings are the path to that destination. By looking at other lottery winners, the answer is a surprising "no." One of the problems with unearned wealth is that money quickly gained isn't respected like hard-earned money. It changes lives. And in some cases, extreme wealth often changes people for the worse.