Striking the lottery. Luck or curse? - Grab driver blew through his lottery winnings

| 04 Mar 2020

(Source: Ian Isaiah Ding)

Someone walked away S$9 million dollars richer in Singapore after the recent lottery draw results. But is it luck or a curse? Here's a timely reminder on the importance of money management as we learn from the experience of someone who blew through his lottery winnings and is back working as a Grab driver.

Singapore Pools, the state-owned lottery subsidiary company in the lion city, announced the results to its Toto lottery draw on 27 February. And there was one winning ticket for the grand prize of S$9,310,169.


I’m sure you must have heard of objections from prospects or even your clients sharing with you their hopes of striking the lottery to put aside all their financial worries.

Even as they continue to dream and hope for a lottery win, it is important that they put in place a financial plan and enhance their personal financial literacy to cultivate good money habits with you.

You can find plenty of examples doing a quick search about lottery winners in the US with unbelievable amount of winnings who end up broke again.

Well, here’s a story closer to home in Asia that you can share with them.

“I won the big sweep. 2nd prize. $500k”

Earlier this year, Ian Isaiah Ding recounted his conversation with the driver on his Grab ride in Singapore.

While chatting, the driver Mr Teo shared what Ian described as “the most fascinatingly mind-blowing story” he has heard.

Mr Teo shared, “I won the big sweep. 2nd prize. $500k.”

According to Ian, Mr Teo:

  • quit his job with immediate effect
  • took his dad on a holiday to Taiwan, where he spent $20k on business class flight, food, and experiences
  • took the next 45 consecutive days to drinking expensive hard liquor at his regular club

Unfortunately for Mr Teo, after the 45th night of drinking, when he got up to shower the next day, he slipped and fell in the bathroom and fractured his spine.

At the hospital, the MRI scans showed that he also had 3rd stage brain cancer.

And the driver showed Ian the photo proof of the letter of diagnosis as well as his X-Ray images.

Fortunately for Mr Teo, he didn’t have to worry about his medical bills as 90% of the bill was covered by his hospitalisation insurance plan and all his surgical costs were covered, including the two spinal implants at his neck.

So how did he spend the more than $300,000 that he was left with?

Mr Teo lost another $100,000 at the casino and was scammed some $100,000 by someone in a Chinese temple for two years.

The rest was spent without much thought to pass time.

“This year is my 5th year. In March, the doctor will declare me clear of cancer. But the money ran out already, so I have to come out and drive grab,” said Mr Teo.

The incident happened five years ago when Mr Teo was 33. Now he is only 38.

Check out the original post here:

And the driver has replied to collaborate the story and gave further details

“I check 6 times to double confirm the number before collecting it the next day, lol I spent 7k on 5days trip in Taiwan and business class air tickets was at 15k only, I spent 100k on drinking Gordon blue, Martell Chivas and beer, I lost 28k in casino anyway we got a common friend, so he text me what u send online.”

“I got scammed by a chinese medium 130k after 2years which I confirm 2 times at the temple I strike is basically out of luck but the ??? help me strike 1st prize 70k, ???? help me strike 12500 when I was in hospital. really damn funny”

Screenshot of Ian's Facebook comment.

As Ian rightly pointed out, Mr Teo won the money, but we can all gain the lessons from his experience. So can your prospects and clients, when it comes to financial literacy and sound money management habits.


Read also:

"Free" insurance advice from friend nearly cost man $1.8 million

"Without insurance, I wouldn't know where to find the money for my cancer treatment"

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