24 June 2015
“And they all lived happily ever after.” It’s a familiar happy ending, one that’s most often seen after fairytales or Disney movies, but it’s an ending that could apply equally to lottery jackpot winners as well. “Their bank accounts were filled with zeroes, and they all lived happily ever after!”
But do they though? We so often eagerly follow the stories of lottery jackpot winners, lapping up their tales of luxury and delighting in their extravagant, grandiose plans right alongside them. However, more often than not, that’s where we leave them – clutching their giant lotto cheques, spraying each other with champagne, and dreaming about a future filled with Ferraris and solid gold furniture. How often, if ever, do we see what happens beyond the happy ending? Do they really live happily ever after? Or does the future hold something different than originally planned?
It’s an interesting question, and one that we often ponder (when we aren’t working ridiculously hard, of course) – what’s the reality of being a lottery winner actually like? Is it all first class and five star and fabulousness, or are there other lessons to be learned? That’s why we were so interested to hear about the “Snack Shack Girls”- a group of five co-workers from Nova Scotia in Canada, who shared an enormous lottery jackpot of over $15 million two years ago.
In 2013, Snack Shack co-workers Stephanie Dunham, Joanne Gillis, Valerie Archer and two other colleagues found their lives changed forever when they laid claim to a life-changing lottery jackpot of more than $15 million. Now two years later, they’re making headlines again – this time for what they’ve been up to since their phenomenal win.
For Stephanie, apart from a far healthier bank balance, life has continued as normal – so much so that she’s still working at the Snack Shack, albeit this time as the owner, rather than an employee. And joining her for the breakfast shift – fellow winner Joanne Gillis, who’s also doing it for love, rather than money, which she now has plenty of.
While the other Snack Shack Girls have since left the restaurant, the group still meets up regularly – a necessary occurrence, as some of the lottery winners are finding it challenging to adjust to their new lifestyles, as incredible as that may be.
"You have no idea how much money it is, even when you see (it) in your bank account," says Stephanie. "I can say the number and say 'Yeah, that's a lot of money,' but to picture how much that would be, (I have) no idea."
Valerie Archer agrees – to the point where after winning, she actually contacted the lottery company with a view to giving her share of the money back. Today she lives more modestly than you would expect of a lottery jackpot winner, with her only two major purchases having been home renovations and new car, now two years old. Out of all the Snack Shack Girls, Valerie seems to have struggled the most with her change in fortune, particularly in terms of those looking for hand-outs.
"You got friends coming out of the woodwork who you haven't talked to in years, and it's like 'Oh, OK, you remembered who I was," she says.
While the two remaining members of the Snack Shack Girls have yet to share their story, one point seems clear – winning a massive lotto jackpot is what you make of it. If you want to use your money to help others, you can. If you want to live in peace and spend frugally, you can. And if you want to spoil yourself and your family, and indulge in the life of luxury you’ve always wanted, you absolutely can! All you need is a lottery ticket from GiantLottos.com, a little help from Lady Luck, and you could soon be living your happily ever after for years to come!