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Misplaced Millions

May 4, 2006

Over the last few days, much has been made–at least in sports-reporting circles–about John Daly’s gambling loses that were revealed in a soon-to-be-published autobiography. Daly reports that he has lost between fifty and sixty million gambling over the past twelve years. While I agree with the general consensus that losing over fifty million dollars gambling is a bit daft and certainly indicative of a need to make a quick call to gamblers anonymous, I was struck by something different: how can an individual be fuzzy over ten million dollars?

Not fifty million, not sixty million but “fifty to sixty million.” Daly apparently can’t nail it down anywhere closer than a margin of ten million! I might can see where a country can misplace $10 million, but an individual? Even an individual making millions? Come’on, it seems you’d notice that. I can almost hear him mulling it over: “The other ten million might have been gambling, but I did buy a lot of shoes, who knows how many cigars, and those six packs of beer add up over time; maybe that’s where the extra ten million went.”

I did try to put this into perspective to see if doing so would make it sensible. See, often SWMBO has commented that she took $100 from an ATM and can’t figure out where it all went. “I took a hundred out of the ATM on Tuesday, and here it is Friday and I’ve only got eight dollars left.” She’ll try and sort it out, and it goes something like this: “I got my hair done on Tuesday, that was twenty, then stopped by Piggly Wiggly on the way home and spent another fifteen or so. Call that forty total. Then Wednesday, I had lunch out and that was about eight dollars plus tip. But I haven’t spent any since then, so I should have fifty left–but there’s only eight bucks.”

Forty-two bucks disappeared in a period of three days. Extrapolated, that would be over five thousand a year. If Daly misplaced, oh I don’t know, say a hundred-K annually it might work out, but compared to the eight-hundred thousand per year Daly hasn’t a clue about, it just doesn’t compute. We’re talking ten million dollars total on which he’s fuzzy. I gotta tell you, I don’t expect to ever be making Daly’s kind of money, but if I do I will fight that problem. If SWMBO comes home with “Let’s see, I took $100K out of the ATM, spent eighteen thousand at Walmart, another fourteen thousand at Michael’s on clothes, five thousand at the spa–I should have sixty-three thousand left but only have eight thousand bucks” we will put intense focus on setting up a cash flow monitoring system. I wonder if Daly has ever heard of Dave Ramsey?

From → Ramblings

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