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Here’s a trend I’d like to see take off in 2016 – minding your own business. In the social media era, that may be impossible, but it has become more and more obvious that folks are getting their entire lives off watching and commenting on the perceived downfall of others.

Case in point: North Carolina Powerball winner Marie Holmes. The 26-year-old single mother of four was living in a trailer when she bought a winning lottery ticket to the tune of $188 million. The attractive young woman took a financial advisor, lawyer and security guard to her press conference and then proceeded to live her life. She would have likely been mostly forgotten in the 24-hour news cycle if not for her fianceè, alleged drug dealer Lamarr”Hot Sauce” McDow.

Holmes has now posted bond for McDow’s bail a total of four times, with each bail getting higher, up to $12 million the last time. According to published reports, McDow’s bail doubles each time Dow violates the terms of his pre-trial agreement. Holmes’ public life choices have sent the internet into a shaming frenzy, calling her a “dumbass,” “stupid” and several other names for bailing McDow out.

But here’s what folks are missing. For one, Holmes has $88 million at her disposal. She has spent, so far, in non-refundable bail fees, a total of $630,000 to keep her man out of jail. That is a lot of money, to be sure, but it doesn’t even represent a tenth of what is at her disposal. In just about any family in America, if you have a relative who is in jail, you’ll try to bail him out if you can afford to, even if he’s a lifelong jailbird.  In most cases, you can’t afford to, nor can many families afford decent counsel, which is why so many innocent Black men end up spending years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.

But let’s say Mr. McDow, 31, is, in fact, guilty of what he’s accused of. Before last year, Holmes was a struggling single parent of four in a bad financial position as she readily admitted. The money was a blessing for her and her children and one she seemed to appreciate. Holmes also donated over $800,000 to her family’s church, something that got much less attention than her boyfriend’s troubles.

Alleged dealer McDow is Holmes’ youngest child’s father and as he says in the interview below, they grew up together and have been dating for two years. So it’s possible that when Holmes was struggling, that he helped her feed her children whether they were all his or not? Is it more than likely that if that were the case, that she’s just looking out for a man who looked out for her?  Is it possible that even now, if this guy is the town kingpin, as alleged, that he and his reputation are actually protecting her from even worse since it’s a small town where everyone knows who she is and what she has?

McDow spoke to an Atlanta reporter in October. See what he has to say HERE. 

Who exactly did you think Holmes was going to be with? Before the money she was a single mother with a high school education in a small town. Did you think once she got the check, she was going to start hanging out with Oprah and Diddy? She may need the time to adjust to her new circumstances and figure out where she goes from here. It may mean leaving all she knows behind her, but that would be a challenging adjustment for anyone, especially once they’ve come into the enormous responsibility of managing a fortune.

McDow could very well be an older man taking advantage of a gullible young woman who’s come into a LOT of money. It’s more than possible and it may be that Holmes is on her way to learning a very expensive lesson. The only difference between her and other gullible young women in the same situation is that its money she can afford to lose. Some women are throwing away $800 dollar paychecks on men who don’t deserve it. Holmes, with a net worth of $80 million plus doesn’t have that problem. She could still end up broke, as many lottery winners do. She may end up a cautionary tale. But she’s still young enough, and rich enough, to turn things around.

Some of you may be genuinely concerned about the welfare of a woman who has been thrust into the spotlight due to a windfall we’ve all dreamed about. Others are jealous haters who never wished her well in the first place because they didn’t think she “deserved” the money due to her gender, race or single motherhood. Well, let me be the first to tell you – it ain’t your money. It’s Holmes’ and she can do whatever she damn pleases with it. Without knowing the whole story, many online commenters have rushed to judgement.

Some of you who have $80 in the bank are shaming a woman with $80 million in the bank instead of wishing her well. If Holmes ends up leaving McDow and moving on, good for her. If she stays with him and they live a quiet life from here on out, good for them. Until you’re working with that kind of financial scenario, you can’t imagine what choices you might make. So instead of judging and hating, wish that Marie Holmes makes the best of this blessing and that she and her children will be all right down the line. Get out of her pockets and worry about your own life. It’s energy that will serve you much better in 2016.

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