|Gary Michelson in old high water suit|
His early life growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and adult life here in Los Angeles, California was completely attention-free. He even stated in interviews and a book that his parents didn't care for him, never gave him positive attention or feedback. He stated he was not popular at school, was bullied and had no friends. He stated his only friend was his dog.
Gary Michelson is instantly catapulted from obscurity to up front and center. How does a man who has no social skills, no real socialization with people, no experience handling vast sums of money handle this? Not very well. He gladly accepts all the media attention and publicity. He is happy that people finally want to talk to him, do business with him and be his friend. But do they really want to be his friend or do they just want his money? Gary Michelson has no idea because he has no experience dealing with people or vast sums of money. He is ripe to be used by people because he lacks the ability to judge people or social situations.
After his $1.3B win everyone asks him what he'll do with all that money. It's the same question lotto winners are asked. In fact the next few years are strikingly similar to what happens to lotto winners and it's not pretty.
Gary states he will make two foundations and give most of the money away. He forms Found Animals Foundation and Michelson Medical Research Foundation in 2005. From 2005 to 2013 he barely gives away any money for his causes. Instead he is embroiled with the same problems instant multi-millionaire lotto winners face, i.e. how to invest the money, how to spend the money and whom to trust.
During these years he burns through advisors, friends and business partners. He ends up suing his own accountants, lawyers for "ripping him off." He ends up being sued by a business partner for fraud and defamation and settles. He sues his "best friend" claiming he ripped him off when he didn't. Gary Michelson becomes involved in some very nasty, petty and bitter lawsuits.
Part II coming soon
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