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What I learned when I won the $112 Million Lottery

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  • What I learned when I won the $112 Million Lottery

    Stephen: I am not suggesting anyone play the lottery. Instead, it is a lesson in planning without doubt, and with patience. Every day I work with groomers writing business plans with Pet Grooming Business Plan Helper. Obviously some are ready to be funded, they have backing, collateral or an angel to fund them. Quite a few others don't. With persistence and planning, and that's the key of this lottery winner, amazing things happen. Funding without a bank just happened to a young groomer who has been working on her plan with me for about 2 years. She never gave up, she spread her dream, it's all she thought about and wanted to talk about, and her angel arrived last week. I really love when this happens, and it does a few times every year. I ran across this lottery winner who saw the lottery as her funding of a new life and business she PLANNED, she knew she would eventually win, and unlike the majority of lottery winners has not lost all of her good fortune. She made mistakes that led to some losses and had money stolen, but she remains successful doing what she loves with her own company. Very wise advice, and don't give up on your dreams...know it will happen, don't put limits on it, don't let other people's opinion block your hope and commitment to make it happen, see it know and back to just know it happen with patience. Writing a plan which can take weeks keeps one focused. Drive around looking where you would place the business (in this case my young groomer), talking to landlords, drawing up floor plans, sending them to me for free review (oh my), kept this young groomer immersed in her dream, just as the lottery winner did the same and never letting go.

    What I Learned When I Won the $112 Million Lottery

    When I found out I had won $112 million dollars in the California Mega Millions jackpot eight years ago, I wasn't even watching the TV. The winning numbers had been announced a few days before, but my kids and I had forgotten to check. Then my father called and told me to look at my ticket. The random numbers aligned.

    I felt elated, like I was floating.

    When you win the lottery, you can either opt to go to the state lottery office or receive the check in the mail (you can also accept one lump sum or installments). My brother, father, and I decided to go collect the check, in one lump sum, in person. It was more exciting that way.

    On the way to the state lottery office, I remember thinking that this money was coming at precisely the right time-and that I had willed it into my possession.

    I'd generally played the lottery about two to three times a month, and friends and family always said, "Oh, you know, a lot of people try and win." And I would always say, "Yeah, but I'm going to win." I had been focusing on winning for so long that when I did finally win, it didn't even feel random; it felt like I had made it happen.

    When I did finally win, it didn't even feel random; it felt like I had made it happen.
    My trick? Whenever I bought my ticket, I would visualize winning. At first, I picked my own numbers. But then, as I would visualize the money as my own, I'd pick whatever quick, random numbers flashed into my head.

    I even chose that exact number: $112 million. I decided that I would win that amount.

    The first thing I did with my winnings was go house-hunting. I had been living in Hawthorne, California in a 1,100 square foot house raising my late brother's five kids (at the time, they ranged in age from eight to 17 years old). I was working as an account executive with a computer technology firm; I sold specialized software training for computer techs and major corporate organizations. I was financially supporting the kids, myself, as well as helping my dad out here and there where I could. Money was tight but we were okay. I've always known how to work with what I've had.

    When I asked the kids what they would like in our new house, they unanimously said, "a pool!" So I looked for a house with a pool. I found a 4,000 square foot home in the Pacific Palisades that was the house I had always imagined myself in. It wasn't crazy decked out; no huge big backyard. But it felt very open. Nearly 10 years after winning, I'm still living in it and I still love it.

    Next, I upgraded my car: I bought a used Mercedes-Benz R-class.

    Then I set up a film production company-something else I always envisioned myself doing. A couple of the kids were getting into acting (I had paid for them to take acting courses prior to winning), and one of my daughters was getting a lot of work. I started going with her to different sets where she was filming and getting a good sense of the business.

    I had taken a two-day business course at the Hollywood Film Institute with the founder, Dov Simens, about a year before I'd won. I remember being in the class and he asked everyone a question: How many of us had the money to make a film? Some of the class raised their hands. And then, how many of us intended to have the money to make a film? I raised my hand for that one.

    You have to prepare yourself for wealth.

    Later on, I bought a lot of little things: a trainer, a trip to Paris. I've donated to charities I have always admired. But I look back now on the first time I took that business course and realize that I was getting myself prepared for the new life I felt sure I'd have. That's the thing about money: You have to prepare yourself for wealth. You have to mentally prepare for what is going to occur-at least as much as you can.

    That's why I think I'm an anomaly as a successful, stable lottery winner. I prepared and recruited people like financial advisors and lawyers (who I began researching before even winning) to help me get in the correct mindset of possessing this much money.

    My financial situation has shifted since winning the lottery. I've had many losses: businesses that have gone south and people who have stolen from me. But I've learned to trust myself more than anything. My intuition has become my most valuable asset.

    Cynthia P. Stafford won the California Lottery in 2007. She is the CEO of Queen Nefertari Productions and serves on the Board of Directors of The Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles.
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  • #2
    Thanks for posting this, so true what I focus on and never let go always happens.


    • #3
      I think it is nice she shared. Amazing how many lottery winners go broke.


      • #4
        Odd Tipping Pattern

        About 8 years ago one of my clients won $3M and she blew a chunk of it, she admits that too. Kept a nice house though. But still works at her job. I am not a tip hungry groomer, but after she won she stopped tipping almost, tiny tips. Go figure. But so glad she is still with us.