For more than two weeks, people wondered who – and where – the winner of the largest lottery jackpot in history was hiding. Now, Gloria Mackenzie, an 84-year-old widow, has stepped out of the shadows and claimed her $590 million winnings. A resident of Florida, she reportedly agreed to split her winnings with her son. Perhaps they’ll purchase Florida together.
But there was plenty of other news going “ka-ching” around the world and across the disciplines. Read on.
1. The Browns See Green. A retired British couple, Richard and Cathy Brown, had just set sail for a trip around Britain when they learned they had won a multi-million jackpot of their own. They abandoned ship to celebrate with a gin and tonic. The couple does not have children, but they plan on sharing their winnings with their nieces and nephews, as well as their favorite charities. They will also upgrade from a sailboat to a yacht. Married for 39 years, they can finally agree that their time together has been worth it.
2. Hollywood Blockbuster Flush With Cash. Warner Brothers has won the promotional jackpot, landing 98 global partners who have committed $170 million to “support” the release of the summer blockbuster “Man of Steel.” That money is on top of the amount Warner Brothers has already secured in paid advertisements for the film. The movie is a reboot of the Superman storyline, and partners are doing everything from releasing collectible action figures (Mattel) to concept cars (Chrysler) to themed cheeseburgers (Carl’s Jr.). Which is all just great, because if there’s any segment of society that really deserves an infusion of money, it’s poor little old Hollywood.
3. Summing Up Apple: Dollar Signs. A real estate advisory firm has released a report on its study of the economic impact of Apple’s expansion in the Cupertino, California area. If you don’t have time to read the report, don’t worry. Here’s an abbreviated version: $$$$$. Apple employees earn an average of $125,000 per year, the company generates $103 million in gross sales for area companies and $25 million in local property tax revenues, and is Cupertino’s largest single employer. The public is hailing the report as highly instructive; until now, no one had any idea that Apple was a remotely successful enterprise.
4. Back To Booming: New York City Real Estate. Just a few years ago, the New York City real estate market was sluggish and borderline depressing. (Trust me on this one. I was trying to sell an apartment in 2009; it finally sold in 2011.) Now, open houses are packed, bidding wars are the norm, and prices tend to increase after they’re put on the market. And this is all in the luxury housing segment of the market. There is no time for negotiation; there might not even be time to get a mortgage. One seller listed a two bedroom, two bathroom condo for $1.89 million in January. Within 24 hours, the sellers raised the price by $100,000. 100 people came to the first open house, and multiple offers followed. The apartment was under contract by the end of January at the price of $2.16 million – all cash. My brain, my heart, and my wallet all hurt on this one.
5. Boston Bombing Suspect Receiving Donations. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving brother of the Boston Marathon bombing duo, has told his mother that people are sending him money and opening bank accounts for his benefit. He has directly received at least $1,000, and his family has received as much as $8,000. Presumably, the funds will go towards Tsarnaev’s defense, which hinges on his parents’ assertion that the brothers were “set up.” They might need more than $9,000 to really flesh that one out.
6. Prettiness Pays. A recent article on The Broad Side asked whether it is easier to “lean in” if you look great as you’re doing it. A new study has found that, at least in real estate, being attractive measurably yields greater success for agents. Lovely listing agents usually attract higher-value homes, and in turn secure higher commissions. The leader of the research team, a professor of economics, said the results are not surprising, given the growing literature linking physical attractiveness to productivity in the workplace.
Great. Just great. Really, really great.
Tune in next week for the “6 Things” you’ll need to know!
Associate Editor Abby Diaz is a mother, wife and lawyer who shares her opinions and her sarcasm while blogging about current events at What’s Left Over. Hailed by readers as “hilarious,” “insightful” and “related to me,” she is sure to cover a subject that resonates with you. Assuming you care about things like life, entertainment, and/or family. If reading full paragraphs is too much for you, enjoy Abby over at Facebook or Twitter.
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