Retire in Style!
Nowadays, the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, near Chester, West Virginia, boasts about a thousand of the latest slot machines among other attractions. However, back in June, 2006, Beverly Whitten, who had retired less than a week earlier, after 38 years in the teaching profession, was interested in just one, by the name of ‘Golden Chambers’. Ms. Whitten was, no doubt, looking forward to a financially secure retirement in any case, but after two hours’ play on the aforementioned slot machine, she headed home to Ohio no less than $3,718,311 better off, having hit the jackpot.
At the current exchange rate, her windfall was worth the equivalent of £3.14 million and, taking inflation in the last decade and a half into account, $5.46 million, or the equivalent of £4.61 million, by modern standards. In any event, Ms. Whitten reportedly did not take her winnings as a lump sum but, by arrangement with the casino, in installments of $1,945, or approximately £1,614, a month. Of course, teachers are not lavishly paid, but how the lucky Ohioan and/or the casino arrived at such a trifling sum was not revealed.
That is not to say that $1,945 a month, or $23,340 a year, is a trifling sum by definition but, notwithstanding her teacher’s pension, at that rate Ms. Whitten would have taken 159 years to burn through her winnings. Granted that life expectancy for a 60-year-old Caucasian women in the United States was 24.9 years, it could be argued that she erred on the side of frugality.