He Hit the Jackpot

Money: He Hit the Jackpot
What does it take to have a rich life? Transcript of radio broadcast:
01 December 2007

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Now, the VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.


I think people everywhere dream about having lots of money. I know I do. I would give anything to make money hand over fist. I would like to earn large amounts of money. You could win a large amount of money in the United States through lotteries. People pay money for tickets with numbers. If your combination of numbers is chosen, you win a huge amount of money – often in the millions. Winning the lottery is a windfall.

A few years ago, my friend Al won the lottery. It changed his life. He did not have a rich family. He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Instead, my friend was always hard up for cash. He did not have much money. And the money he did earn was chicken feed – very little.

Sometimes Al even had to accept hand-outs, gifts from his family and friends. But do not get me wrong. My friend was not a deadbeat. He was not the kind of person who never paid the money he owed. He simply pinched pennies. He was always very careful with the money he spent. In fact, he was often a cheapskate. He did not like to spend money. The worst times were when he was flat broke and had no money at all.

One day, Al scraped together a few dollars for a lottery ticket. He thought he would never strike it rich or gain lots of money unexpectedly. But his combination of numbers was chosen and he won the lottery. He hit the jackpot. He won a great deal of money.

Al was so excited. The first thing he did was buy a costly new car. He splurged on the one thing that he normally would not buy. Then he started spending money on unnecessary things. He started to waste it. It was like he had money to burn. He had more money than he needed and it was burning a hole in his pocket so he spent it quickly.

When we got together for a meal at a restaurant, Al paid every time. He would always foot the bill, and pick up the tab. He told me the money made him feel like a million dollars. He was very happy.

But, Al spent too much money. Soon my friend was down and out again. He had no money left. He was back to being strapped for cash. He had spent his bottom dollar, his very last amount. He did not even build up a nest egg. He had not saved any of the money.

I admit I do feel sorry for my friend. He had enough money to live like a king. Instead, he is back to living on a shoestring -- a very low budget. Some might say he is penny wise and pound foolish. He was wise about small things, but not about important things.


WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, in VOA Special English, was written by Jill Moss. I’m Faith Lapidus.

hand over fist (informal) if you gain or lose something hand over fist, you gain or lose it very quickly: Five years ago, the company was losing money hand over fist.

1 an amount of money that you get unexpectedly:
his £2 million windfall in the lottery
windfall gain/profit etc (=high profits that you did not expect to make)
2 a piece of fruit that has fallen off a tree

hard up
1 if you are hard up, you do not have much money:
I'm a bit hard up at the moment.
2 not having something that you want or need:
'How about a date with Tom?' 'No, thanks, I'm not that hard up.'
hard up for
The media are obviously hard up for stories.

chicken feed [uncountable]
an amount of money that is so small that it is almost not worth having:
The bank offered to lend us £1,000 but that's chicken feed compared to what we need.

hand‧out [countable]
1 money or goods that are given to someone, for example because they are poor:(동냥)
people who have to live on handouts from the state
a cash handout
2 a piece of paper with information, which is given to people who are attending a lesson, meeting etc:(유인물)
Please read the handout.

dead‧beat [countable]
1 someone who is lazy and has no plans in life
2 someone who avoids paying their debts

pinch pennies
지출을 극도로 줄이다
penny-pinching : unwilling to spend or give money [=mean]:
penny-pinching governments

cheap‧skate [countable] 구두쇠/노랭이
informal someone who spends as little money as possible - used to show disapproval:
The cheapskate didn't even pay for the cab.

flat broke

If you scrape together an amount of money or a number of things, you succeed in obtaining it with difficulty.
*They only just managed to scrape the money together.
*It's possible the Congress Party will scrape together a majority.

strike it rich
: 돈벼락을 맞다
to suddenly make a lot of money

splurge [intransitive and transitive] informal
to spend more money than you can usually afford [= splash out]
splurge (something) on something
Within a couple of months I'd splurged about £2,500 on clothes.

have money to burn 《구어》 돈이 주체못할 만큼 많다/돈이 썩을만큼[얼마든지] 있다
to have more money than you need, so that you spend it on unnecessary things: Unless you've got money to burn, these expensive guitars are probably not for you.

burn a hole in your pocket :
if money burns a hole in your pocket, you want to spend it as soon as you can
<돈이> 몸에 붙지 않다

foot the bill : 요금을 부담하다
to pay for something, especially something expensive that you do not want to pay for
He ordered drinks and then left me to foot the bill!

pick up the tab:셈을 치르다, 값을 지불하다
to pay for something, especially when it is not your responsibility to pay
Taxpayers will pick up the tab for the stadium.

feel like a million dollars:
to look very attractive or feel very happy and healthy
매우 기분이 좋다, 기분 최고다., 날아 갈것 같다.

down-and-out 무일푼의 (사람)
1 having no luck or money:
a down-and-out actor
2 having no home and living on the street

strapped for cash:돈이 다 떨어진
[ informal] having little or no money at the moment:
Can you lend me ten dollars? I'm a little strapped for cash.

bottom dollar 최후의[남은] 돈

nest egg [countable] 비상금
an amount of money that you have saved so that you can use it for something special in the future:
They had to use part of their retirement nest egg to pay for their son's college fees.

on a shoestring [informal]: 얼마 안되는 돈으로
if you do something on a shoestring, you do it without spending much money
run/operate/do something on a shoestring
The program was run on a shoestring.

penny wise and pound foolish:소탐대실
someone is careful with small amounts of money but wastes larger amounts of money on unnecessary things


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