Sunday, April 19, 2015

Remembering the "Spend, Spend, Spend" Woman

Vivian Nicholson
Vivian Nicholson wasn't a household name in the USA when she died at 79 on April 11th. Yet, for over fifty years, Nicholson's extraordinary life held the United Kingdom's attention. She was a celebrity for being a celebrity and one of the UK's early tabloid darlings.

It all started in 1961 when she told the media that she would "spend, spend, spend" after she and her husband had won £150,000 (the equivalent of about $4.5 million in today's dollars) in a football pool. And spend she did. She bought houses, cars, couture clothes, and expensive jewelry. But by 1966, the spending was done, and Nicholson was penniless.

While most lottery winners fade into obscurity, Nicholson never did. Her 'rags to riches and back to rags' story was made into a book, play, and musical. Perhaps, if she had saved and invested well, Nicholson would have remained a wealthy. Instead, she spent recklessly and became a media curiosity until her death. In the end, I think Nicholson may have preferred it that way. 

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