No one remembers Evelyn Adams, but in 1986 she was quite the celebrity. That was the year that she won the New Jersey lottery for the second time (she had won it a year earlier). Her total earnings were $5.4 million. Today Adams lives in a trailer. “Everybody wanted my money,” he explains. “Everybody had their hand out. I never learned one simple word in the English language—No.”
Her story is actually quite typical of people who suddenly strike it rich. Suddenly there’s a line of long lost relatives, who sent a $10 check for your bar or bat mitzvah and expect to be paid back in spades. Imagine what it must be like for Mark Zuckerberg, whose developed a website to find a date in college, and suddenly found himself one thousand times richer than Evelyn Adams ever was. Everyone is asking for a handout.
First there are the Winkelvi twins, who want Zuck to “grow up” and give them more money. After all, he’s only going on 27, and they’ll be hitting the big three-oh this August. They’re upset that in the original settlement, Zuckerberg only gave them $65 million—even less than he gave the Newark School District! The twins want to go to court again, which means that a sequel could be in the works for The Social Network.
Then there is Pradeep Manukonda, who has recently been stalking Zuckerberg. Stalking and Facebook sometimes seem to go hand in hand, but mostly when you are an anonymous twenty-something who posted a bit too much information. It’s not the same when you are Facebook’s founder. According to TMZ, Manukonda is asking for Zuckerberg’s help to pay for treatments for his ailing mother. On the other hand, he has shown up in Facebook’s offices and Zuckerberg’s home as many as twenty times in one day, and has begun stalking Zuck’s sister and girlfriend as well. Zuckerberg responded by filing a restraining order.
Manukonda has since promised never to bother Zuckerberg again. On the other hand, given the Facebook founder’s high public profile and Facebook’s goal to be the first $1 trillion dollar company, there may be other stalkers waiting in the wings.
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