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The Guide to Happiness

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The Guide to Happiness

The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depend upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily.

- Plato

In June of 1997, Billie Harrell, a shelf stocker at a Home Depot outside of Houston, Texas, won the lottery. The prize was $31 million. Harrell was deeply religious and had struggled his entire life to provide for his wife Barbara Jean and his three children. The lottery seemed to be the pay off he and his family finally deserved after a long life of faith and sacrifice.

In July, he arrived in Austin to pick up a check for $1.24 million dollars, the first of 25 checks he was would receive over the next 25 years.

Billie bought himself a ranch and horses. He put money away to send his kids to college. He bought homes for members of his family. He donated money to his church. And two years later, in May of 1999, he locked himself in his bedroom, put a shotgun to his chest, and pulled the trigger. A confidant said that Harrell claimed, “winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”

Christopher …

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