By Bill O'Reilly
The mega millions lottery has been won and there are two winners -- one in Georgia and one in California. And if they take lump sum payments, they each get close to $171 million before taxes. The feds will then take 39.6 percent of that. If the winner takes an annuity, they get 6.4 million for the next 30 years. If they die, their heirs get it and the feds also get 39.6 percent.
So we have two new one percenters in America tonight. Do you wish you were in that circumstance? Well here's what happens when a person is wealthy. First, he or she becomes a target. Some folks want a piece of their money and will lie and cheat and steal to get it.
So rich people have to hire lawyers, lots of lawyers, because they will be sued, extorted and stolen from -- that will happen. Every person you deal with will consider your money. Good folks will not let it influence how they treat you so pray you know good folks.
Take the case of 42-year-old Abraham Shakespeare who won $30 million in the Florida lottery four years ago. By all accounts, Abraham was a generous guy helping family and friends with his money. One year ago this woman, Doris Moore, was convicted of murdering Mr. Shakespeare, part of a scheme to get his money.
And then there's 45-year-old Pedro Quezada of Passaic, New Jersey. He won $338 million in the Powerball lottery worth about $152 million after taxes. Presto -- Pedro's ex-girlfriend suing him for half.
There are legions of lawyers lined up to bludgeon wealthy Americans and corporations. They work for a piece of the action. They don't charge you up front. So ruthless people can hire them to try to extort money in civil court -- if they lose, so what?
Every affluent person in America is in danger every one. Thus the two folks who have won the big money this week will see their lives instantly change and perhaps for the worst. Their relationships will be different and they will have to watch every move they make, every telephone call, every cell phone camera. Everything they do. Their freedom will be severely curtailed.
The upside is financial security if they can find a trustworthy investment firm. And they'll have freedom of movement to go where they please when they please. Also they'll not have to struggle as many Americans do to provide a decent living for themselves and their families.
Right now the median income in USA is slightly more than $52,000. That means half of us earn more than that half less. Only one percent of the population is truly financially independent. Yes, we are a rich nation but the cost of living well is out of sight.
So congratulations to the mega winners and the best thing we can do for them is say a prayer.
And that's "The Memo."