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Fame – How Does It Affect Us?

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Elaine Paige OBE is an English singer and actress best known for her work in musical theatre. Raised in Barnet, Hertfordshire, Paige attended the Aida Foster Theatre School, making her first professional appearance on stage in 1964, at the age of 16. Her appearance in the 1968 production of Hair marked her West End debut. Elaine Paige has been famous for more than half of a century; in this short article, we will try to explain what fame is and how it affects people.

The Inner Workings of Fame

Celebrity refers to the fame and public attention accorded by the mass media to individuals or groups or, occasionally, animals, but is usually applied to the persons or groups of people (celebrity couples, families, etc.) themselves who receive such a status of fame and attention.

As was evidenced in the recent death of 48-year-old Whitney Houston, fame and celebrity can closely mirror substance abuse symptomology — and over time, result in actual substance abuse, isolation, mistrust, dysfunctional adaptation to fame, and then, too often, untimely death. The examples are familiar: from Judy Garland to River Phoenix, and Michael Jackson, to Whitney Houston.

The Ordinary People Who Got Famous With a Little Help from…

Merle and Patrica Butler of Red Bud, Illinois and three teachers calling themselves The Three Amigos in Milford Mill, Maryland, as well as an anonymous winner in Ottawa, Kansas, shared the $656 Mega Millions jackpot March 30. That's $218.6 million each. Merle and Patricia Butler were the only winners to come forward publicly.

Andrew Jackson Whittaker (born c. 1947) is the winner of a 2002 lottery jackpot. When he won US$314.9 million in the Powerball multi-state lottery it was, at the time, the largest jackpot ever won by a single winning ticket in the history of American lottery. Afterwards he had several brushes with the law and personal tragedies.

After cashing in a $319 million Mega Millions jackpot for a share of $28.7 million in 2011, Kutey and his wife Linda decided to donate a portion of the winnings to building a water park in honor of their parents. They donated $200,000 to construct Spray Park in Green Island, New York, The Albany Times Union reports.

Mark Brudenell, 50, won a Lotto jackpot of £916,915 in February 1997. Lives with his wife Cheryl, 44, in a five bedroom family home in Stockton-on-Teas. Mark was a chemical tanker driver at the time of his win and Cheryl was the manager of a local bakery. They have been running the business successfully for 13 years.

Evelyn Adams won the New Jersey Lottery twice (in 1985 and 1986), for over $5.4 million combined (both prizes were paid in the form of mandatory annuities.) However, she was a compulsive gambler, giving large sums to friends and family. By 2001, Adams was living in a trailer.

William “Bud” Post III was the winner of a Pennsylvania Lottery jackpot worth $16.2 million. Shortly afterward his brother tried to have him murdered for the inheritance. Post survived, and was successfully sued by an ex-wife for a share of the winnings. By the end of his life, Post was $1 million in debt.

Michael Carroll (born 29 March 1983 in Swaffham, Norfolk) is an English winner of the UK National Lottery. A former binman, Carroll won £9,736,131 on the National Lottery in November 2002, aged 19. He enjoyed a celebrity status for a time in the British media as a "Lotto lout" and the self-proclaimed "King of Chavs".

As you can see, fame affects us all, as do lottery winnings. Whether we build a water park in our parent's memory or end up in a trailer depends on us. Will we be gracious about the winnings, or will we trumpet about and squander them? The choic is up to us. The sole thing left to do is to buy EuroMillions lottery tickets and hope for the best. May you all live up to 120!