As you’ve no doubt heard or read, the Powerball jackpot is set to break records this week, topping at least $425 million before the next drawing Wednesday night. I hate to break this to you, but you probably won’t win. Don’t feel bad. I probably won’t, either. Here’s something to make us feel better. Granted, it won’t make us feel better the way $425 million would, but it’s either this or hard drinking. Winning the lottery sounds like a grand idea until you start to see the list of bad things that happen to winners. Let this list make you feel a little bit better that we’re not going to win. Remember, like the man said, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems,” right? Right? Yeah, I know. Whatever.

  • 1

    Your Family and Friends Will Become Jerks

    This one’s a no-brainer. You win money, and every in-bred cousin from “the other” side of the family will be oozing out of whatever hole in the ground they live into come separate you from your cash. EVERYONE’S got a hard-luck story that would be solved if you’d just make them wealthy. Blood is thicker than water, right? That’s absolutely true when money ISN’T involved. Of course, lottery winners should help take care of the ones they love. You’re just going to find out how many people “love” you all of a sudden. And you’ll wish they didn’t.

  • 2

    You Have to Give a Huge Chunk of It to Uncle Sam

    Sure, everyone wants to help out their nation – just not with money. Even once the IRS goes all Dracula on your nice, fat stack of cash, they’re going to hit you again with the estate tax when you die (as long as your winnings are over $5 million). There’s going to be some bureaucrat in D.C. getting inappropriately happy at collecting your winnings and your death tax.

  • 3

    You’ll Probably Still Go Bankrupt

    Everyone knows someone who’s won a little bit of money at one of the local casinos. What did they do with the money? Did they invest it? Did they pay down their credit card bills? Yeah, I doubt it. But I bet they have a real nice flat screen TV, right? Most lottery winners go bankrupt or run out of cash within the first five years of winning. Most people lose their freakin’ minds when they win the lottery, and just as soon as they get used to lighting cigars with $100 bills, they’re back working at Wal-Mart. Or living in a shelter.

  • 4

    People Will Want to Kill You

    Remember, even if you don’t get all money-stupid and spend all the cash yourself, a LOT of people are going to want to spend it for you. Scam artists love to prey on lottery winners who haven't yet learned how to live with lots of money. It's easy to scam a newly-rich person because no one wants to be seen as a jerk who “changed” when they got money. And that means lots of new strangers will come into your life to try to rip you off. Some will succeed. And some will worm their way into your life and then kill you like poor Abraham Shakespeare. That’s a sad story.

  • 5

    You’ll Discover All Your Addictions, And They Will Likely Ruin You

    When money is no object, people will indulge all their deepest, darkest addictions. Could be gambling. Could be drugs. Could be freaky stuff you don’t want to tell the kids. Whatever it is, you’ll do it up in style when you no longer have to worry about how much it costs. If your addiction is giving money to charity, you might be okay. But your addiction isn’t giving money to charity, is it? No, I didn’t think so.

  • 6

    You Might Kill Yourself

    This one is kind of like the addiction one. People with no limits on their money suddenly become daredevils. They drink harder and smoke harder and jump from airplanes and go on exotic vacations into dangerous locations. The statistics on lottery winners who buy the farm early are not encouraging. And the statistics of lottery winners who commit suicide aren’t looking so hot, either.