The Town Where Everyone Got Rich 01/30/2018

Time magazine
In 1996 a group of 43 farmers in Roby, Texas pooled their money and bought 430 lottery tickets. The next day they had won a $46 million prize.

Suddenly a town of 600 had 43 new millionaires. A Texas Monthly article reported most of the winners opted for a cash settlement, providing them with only one third of their winnings.

Though “the town’s farmers could finally breathe a sigh of relief,” few prospered from their winnings.

Most winners cut deals with lottery buyout brokers, who gave them cash upfront in exchange for future annual payments, writes Pamela Colloff, author of the Texas Monthly article.

In the end, she says, that left them with roughly 1/3 of their original winnings.
Bad business ventures and a plague of untimely bad luck didn’t help.

Years later, Roby remains a dying town. “ “For all the trouble the lottery brought on me, I don’t know whether to be happy I won or sorry I didn’t,” said Lance Green, the town’s mayor."

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