Bank­ing on Lady Luck

> Easy come, easy go, as they say to those who try to seek their for­tunes by bet­ting on chance

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE -

RE­CENTLY, some­one re­called the story of that lucky man in Pe­nang, who when faced with mas­sive traf­fic jams and flood­ing two months ago, made a de­tour to a lo­cal bet­ting out­let.

Lady Luck smiled upon him and he struck close to RM70 mil­lion!

In the lat­est round of floods to have hit Pe­nang, I don’t know how many peo­ple be­came overnight mil­lion­aires fol­low­ing his ex­am­ple.

Talk­ing about sud­den for­tunes re­minds me of a quote by Prof Michael Man­del­baum, one of the world’s top 100 Global Thinkers, who said: “The wind­fall of great riches can, if mis­man­aged, make things worse, not bet­ter, for the re­cip­i­ents.”

I agree with him, as I had heard count­less sto­ries of sud­den riches break­ing up fam­i­lies and re­la­tion­ships. Here’s one story of fi­nan­cial mis­man­age­ment, lost op­por­tu­ni­ties and wasted youth.

There was once a man who worked in a cof­fee shop in one of the East Coast towns who later mar­ried the boss’ daugh­ter.

This sim­ple and happy-golucky man liked to bet on 3D and 4D num­bers, and did strike on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions, mostly small win­nings.

His streak of good for­tune em­bold­ened him to place even big­ger bets, till one day, he struck big time. He even had to come to Kuala Lumpur to col­lect his win­nings.

Then, the cof­fee shop from where his fa­ther-in-law op­er­ated had to be re­lo­cated. They found a new place, and lo and be­hold, it was next to a bet­ting out­let – greater con­ve­nience for the lucky gam­bler, who con­tin­ued to win.

It came to a sit­u­a­tion where the more he won, the more he bet­ted. Lady Luck con­tin­ued to smile on him and he chalked up cu­mu­la­tive win­nings of close to RM800,000!

The fre­quency of his win­nings, big and small, made him be­lieve that one could get easy money through bet­ting. And that your luck won’t change – ei­ther for the bet­ter or worse.

But it grad­u­ally did make a turn for the worse. He made fewer strikes. No more big win­nings.

By the time the punter re­alised this, it was too late. He didn’t even save for a rainy day.

He had taken the view that if he didn’t win dur­ing week­days, the week­end may be a dif­fer­ent story. And if this week he wasn’t lucky, he be­lieved that he would in the fol­low­ing week.

And so it went on and on, un­til there wasn’t any­thing left for him to shout about.

I was told that at the height of his win­ning streak, he was asked to consider buy­ing a three-storey shop­house cost­ing half a mil­lion ring­git.

Banks were will­ing to lend in view of his good fi­nan­cial stand­ing, while the build­ing’s ten­ants would pay for the bal­ance of the prop­erty through rentals.

Call it naivety, lack of wis­dom, ex­pe­ri­ence or ed­u­ca­tion, but he de­clined to make the in­vest­ment.

To­day, his son, who is in his mid-30s, can only lament with tears in his eyes as he stands in front of the build­ing that his fa­ther could have owned.

It was un­for­tu­nate that his fa­ther didn’t come across Nel­son Man­dela’s quote: “Ed­u­ca­tion is the most pow­er­ful weapon which you can use to change the world”, or Ben­jamin Franklin’s say­ing: “An in­vest­ment in knowl­edge pays the best in­ter­ests”.

Sadly, the des­o­late young man is now work­ing as a se­cu­rity guard, liv­ing with his aged par­ents in a low-cost flat, as they also didn’t pay heed to his ed­u­ca­tion.

Jeff Yong, af­ter mak­ing his mark in the twisty maze of main­stream jour­nal­ism, has fi­nally de­cided to en­joy what he does best – ob­serv­ing the un­usual and re­count­ing the glee­ful. He can be con­tacted at­

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