Powerball Winner Pays Neighbors' Rents but Probably Shouldn't Have

moneyEven though many of us fantasize about winning the Powerball, it's actually hard to imagine winning $328 million like New Jersey resident Pedro Quezada. The Dominican immigrant has had no trouble figuring out how to spend the $152 million he received in a lump-sum post-taxes, though -- a close friend of Quezada told the New York Daily News that he's promised to temporarily cover everyone's rents on his block in Passaic, New Jersey for at least a month or two.

Conversely, Quezada is due in court today to settle his outstanding $29,000 bill for unpaid child support.


However, according to some sources, he's already paid what he owes and the court appearance is just a formality. It's unclear which of his five children are owed money, but apparently, it's all taken care of.

Here's the thing. While it's incredibly generous and kind of Quezada to cover everyone's rent, he's got to be careful and mindful of his money. There have been too many stories of lottery winners burning through tens of millions in a matter of years, then going bankrupt. It's so prevalent, in fact, that winning the lotto can be viewed as a curse.

I admire Quezada's magnanimous spirit, but dude's gotta be cautious. You give people an inch, they take a mile. Sure, he won't miss the money he's dolling out to pay neighbors' rents, but I wouldn't be surprised if people start asking for more. Their hospital bills need paying, or they just need a couple grand for car payments, or their kids need a tutor -- as much as anyone would be happy to lend a hand to those in need, it's a very, very, slippery slope.

The sooner Quezada realizes he can't save the world, or his block, the better, and I hope he gets some sound financial advice. It sounds like he's already willing to use his winnings for good rather than evil, he just needs some pointing in the right direction.

Or, you know, he can just give it all away if he damn well pleases. And if that's the case, I could really use an iPhone 5.

What would you do with $152 million?


Photo via Phillip Taylor PT/Flickr

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