Hulk Hogan

He became “the Godfather of my family” overnight, after hitting a $35.3 million jackpot. He threw “wild parties,” was propositioned by porn stars and invested $500,000 in a female wrestling television show called Wrestlicious, which featured Hulk Hogan’s daughter, Vargas said. It didn’t make it past the first season.

The money turned his life toxic.

“People weren’t the same,” he said. “Life wasn’t the same.”

He heard outrageous rumors that he had been chopped into pieces by his stepfather, wasted his money flying to the moon and was caught smoking crack in a nightclub with a famous rapper. He suffered from depression and anxiety.

“I almost didn’t make it out,” said Vargas, who’s now investing in real estate and crypto currencies.

Instant wealth can be poison, said Dan Egan, director of behavioral finance and investments at Betterment LLC, which uses algorithms to generate passive investment strategies.

“It’s very hard to get dropped on a ski slope when you don’t know how to ski,” he said. “It’s equally hard to be given a lot of money and know how to manage it.”

Those who teach themselves to be rich responsibly are the exception, Egan said.

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