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January 08, 2022

When gambling becomes a gamble

Moneybags By Dawn Cuthbertson, Sympatico / MSN Finance

What a week Ontario's Thomas Noftall had. It started with elation over winning $135,000 from a scratch lottery ticket, followed by speculation that it might be a hoax. Next came frustration when his worst fears were confirmed and ended with some level of satisfaction over an "undisclosed" settlement.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on who's at fault (OLG, printer) and how Noftall should be compensated, if at all.

Regardless of that, there's no denying that $135,000 is a sum of money that can change someone's life. With the flurry of attention surrounding him, it’s doubtful that Noftall has had a chance to think about what he’s going to do with his settlement.

But he should know the risks he may face.

In a recent article on this site, Gordon Powers explains that people who suddenly come into a large sum of money often feel overwhelmed and are at risk of squabbling it away.  Using real-life examples of winners who’ve run into trouble after winning the lottery, Powers says that people “underestimate the ripple effect their good fortune can have, both emotionally and financially.”

Hopefully Noftall will enlist the help of a financial advisor to avoid the same fate.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t come with the same kind of drama that got him there in the first place.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...