In 2005, a man by the name of Brad Duke won $220 million in the Powerball lottery. Reporters from NPR gave him a call on the 10th of January this year in order to see what he was up to, and how the win had changed his life. Seeing that the massive Powerball draw for $415 million is tomorrow, this article ought to inspire you on how to cope with the overwhelming scenario of winning the jackpot. This is Brad’s story.
Brad Duke managed to remain grounded after his life changed. It’s very interesting to get the opportunity to speak to someone whose life has been affected by his name making headlines and millions in the bank.
In 2005, Brad Duke of Idaho won the $220 million Powerball lotto. It took a few weeks until the reality of his win actually sunk in. Brad refrained from telling anyone in this time and carried on with his usual routines while he coped with the gravity of the situation and planned his next steps forward.
Brad was a regular lottery player and, like many players, he fantasized daily about what it would be like to win millions of dollars. Brad is passionate about cycling, and he dreamed of owning the most expensive on-road and off-road bikes which his windfall would easily cover.
“I took the ticket in, let the gals behind the counter run the ticket through, and the machine made a bunch of weird noises and they started jumping up and down and in circles. And I was trying to actually pluck the ticket out of their hand because my first instinct was to get out of there,” explained Brad of his winning moment.
Brad didn’t immediately call the headquarters or start spending money he never had, instead, he tried to keep calm and ponder what he was going to do next. “I stayed in my house, I drove a used car for 3 years even after the win. The more I started to fantasize about what I could do with the money, the more I felt like I should try to keep my feet on the ground and change as little as I could,” said Brad.
Brad kept the ticket in the visor of his rental car at the time of his win when he had to stop and get fuel. That was when he thought it would be a good time to check his ticket. Brad worked as an exercise instructor in Idaho before his life changed. The massive Powerball win forced him to re-evaluate where he was in life, his relationships, and also what exactly his expectations were for improving the quality of his life.
“I thought that maybe I had won 10 or 20 thousand, but I didn’t confirm it. I went on with my day just daydreaming of what I could do with even five thousand, whatever the amount would be,” said Brad.
After the win had been confirmed and the correct amount annotated, Brad started letting reality sink in only after a couple of days. The first thing he did was try to decide what to do with the money and where he wanted to go with this whole event. He didn’t tell anyone. He continued working. He did make one phone call to his dad, though.
“It’s a funny story. I told my Dad to sit down and prepare himself for some pretty life-changing news. He thought I was getting married! I told him that wasn’t it, but that I had just won the lottery,” explained Brad. So my dad came over for the next few weeks so we could talk about what we were going to do. These talks went on for almost five weeks.
You could only imagine how badly Brad wanted to tell everyone. He said that it was very fun keeping it a secret at the time. Brad said that it was important that he took his time because it gave him the time he needed to put together a team around him who would help him manage his choices.
Brad wanted to grow his wealth, so he invested in a good tax attorney and a corporate business attorney. They encouraged Brad to do some press so that he could increase his opportunities. Brad was assigned a publicist and a personal banker. He has the same team around him since he first appointed them.
So the question is, how did Brad’s dreams change when he was handed a cheque for millions of dollars? Brad was thinking about the kinds of bikes he could buy for cycling. $220 million would definitely do it for him.
“I’m a goal-oriented person. One of the goals that I had put out there for myself after this was to try and make the most of this opportunity and not squander the gift that’s been given to me and try to grow it into something I can leave behind, to leave a legacy behind. Once I started to believe in that goal I set for myself, it dictated many of my decisions,” said Brad.
Brad didn’t quit his job. He continued with it for as long as he could. That’s when all the inventors started contacting him for me to invest in them. Time machines, flying cars, and all of those kinds of proposals made their way to Brad. He had to put a stop to it because it was disrupting the business he worked for.
Did people start treating Brad differently?
According to him, yes. “Yes, there’s definitely a preconceived notion, whether good or bad, and it changes your surroundings. It amplifies everything around you,” said Brad.
Fortunately, for Brad, he never had to end any relationships because he never had a serious casualty like that. He had some trouble dating, but that was expected anyway. Dating doesn’t bother Brad, though. He said that he is grateful for the family and friends he currently has in his life who have always been genuine with him.
Brad was quite aware of all the sad stories about lottery winners who went bankrupt or spent their money badly. Because Brad was well aware of the statistics, he made sure that it was one thing he would not become.
“The biggest piece of advice I can give somebody who wins Powerball like I did, is that you have to define what’s important to you, and develop a plan around that and get more experienced people to help you with that,” advised Brad.
Brad still has his favorite expensive mountain bike he bought, plus another ten.
We hope that Brad’s story has inspired you to become a smart and wise Powerball winner.
The $415 million Powerball draw is tomorrow!
Get your Powerball tickets online now.
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