LOTTERY WINNERS USE WINDFALLS WISELY
DENVER – Kim Haggarty, a $27 million Lotto winner, spends her days skiing, coaching ice skating and raising her children in Steamboat Springs. One half of the quartet who won a $20 million Powerball jackpot two years ago, continue to quietly operate a Golden restaurant. Lottery officials recently caught up with Haggarty and the members of SEEP Financial Group – the biggest winners in Lottery history – and found them living fairly normal lives, despite their windfalls.
“The only thing we wanted to do was live in the mountains,” says Haggarty, who moved to Steamboat shortly after her big win 17 years ago.
In addition to buying a home in the resort town, Haggarty (whose name was Kim Walker when she won), helped convert the city’s outdoor rink into a covered arena, where she has built a competitive ice skating program. The Lotto winner is now working on opening a new restaurant in downtown Steamboat. To make the most of the money, Walker advises future lottery winners to avoid viewing big prizes as free cash.
“Spend the money like you earned it,” said Haggarty, who also urges fellow winners to surround themselves with “good people.”
The members of SEEP Financial Group have also been careful with their jackpot prize. Instead of splurging on something extravagant, one of the couples started a college trust fund for their young daughter. The duo said the current financial crisis and poor performing stock market made them glad they decided to receive their prize in an annuity.
“I rest easier knowing that annuity check is coming ever year,” said one of the SEEP group.
Proceeds from the Colorado Lottery’s games – Powerball, Cash 5, Scratch, and Lotto - stay in Colorado to improve the quality of life in the state. The Lottery has returned more than $2 billion to the state of Colorado over the last 26 years. Through Great Outdoors Colorado, the Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado State Parks, the Lottery has provided funding for new trails, precious open space and wildlife protection.
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