Wednesday, August 8, 2012
No Pain, Lots of Gain
Most of us chase success by working hard, sacrificing our personal lives and even our health in an all-out pursuit of Mammon. But it doesn't always have to be that way. For a fortunate few, it doesn't mean a Harvard MBA or years spent perfecting a new drug. It just means doing as little as possible and still making more money than you ever dreamed of.
As much as industrious overachievers hate to admit it, sometimes all you need to get rich is dumb luck. One Las Vegas woman has won the lotto four times since 1993. A man in the U.K. found buried gold worth millions with a metal detector. A family facing foreclosure found a valuable Superman comic book in their basement. Not all stories are so whimsical. Other shortcuts to wealth come with strings attached: Marrying rich, divorce, or lawsuits, for example. Still, the point is that while the average Americans toils for an average wage of $22.59 per hour, according to July data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are the few who made fortunes without much labor. In other words, for the average wage earner to make a million dollars, he or she would have to work 40 hours a week for approximately 21 years. Doesn't it sound so much easier just to buy a lottery ticket?
Easy Ways to Get Rich: Win the lottery
Most people dream of hitting the lottery just once, but Las Vegas resident Joan Ginther hit it an unbelievable four times. According to ABC News, Ginther won the Texas lottery four times over the past 17 years, winning $5.4 million in 1993, $2 million in 2006, and $3 million in 2008. Her biggest score came in 2010: a $50 scratch ticket that was worth $10 million. Lucky or just unfair?
Easy Ways to Get Rich: Bet on the right horse, with free money
Texas software entrepreneur Glen Fullerton won $900,000 in the Kentucky Derby this year. What’s even better: He didn’t bet his own money. Fullerton, a novice gambler, won a $100,000 sweepstakes sponsored by Churchill Downs and CNBC to bet the lot on any of the horses in the field. His pick, Super Saver, with 8-to-1 odds, earned him the prize, reported nationalpost.com.
Easy Ways to Get Rich: Get a hole-in-one for $1 million
It is a challenge even most pro golfers would fail. Jason Hargett, a restaurant manager and father of four, was a last-minute replacement in a $1 million hole-in-one competition at the Mark Eaton Celebrity Golf Classic in Utah in 2009, and he almost opted out because of a sore wrist, reported ESPN. Fortunately he decided to stay in. Hargett sank the ball with his brother’s 9 iron to win the prize.
Easy Ways to Get Rich: Buy and hold
Long-term stock investments can pay off. Lake Forest (Ill.) resident Grace Groner worked as a secretary at Abbott Labs (ABT) for 43 years. She bought three specially issued shares of the company’s stock for $180 in 1935 and held on to them over the next seven decades, reported wsj.com. The shares split several times, and she reinvested the dividends. By the time Groner passed away this year at age 100, she had 100,000 shares valued at about $7 million.
Easy Ways to Get Rich: Your bank adds a few extra zeroes to your account
Would you take millions if you had to live as a fugitive? New Zealand couple Leo Gao and Kara Hurring were managing a failing service station in Rotorua. Last May, Gao requested a NZ$100,000 overdraft from Westpac Bank. Instead he received NZ$10 million (or about US$6 million at the time) due to a typing error, reported the New Zealand Herald. Gao transferred part of the funds to various accounts in China and Hong Kong. The two left the country, and their debts, and have been on the run since. They are reportedly in China now, according to news website stuff.co.nz. Westpac Bank has recovered all but NZ$3.8 million. (The worker who botched the transaction was fired last August after she made a second error keying in a loan amount, although the second mistake did not result in a loss for the bank.)
Easy Ways to Get Rich: Find treasure in your basement
Everyone dreams that their junk at home has not only sentimental value but also huge dollar value to collectors and eBay trollers. This is rarely true, but one family recently discovered a copy of Action Comics No. 1, dated June 1938, in their basement as they cleared the house in preparation for foreclosure, reported ABC News. The comic—the first to feature Superman—has an estimated worth of $250,000 and is expected to help the family keep the house.
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