Saturday, November 26, 2005


Money can buy you friends, bliss, an incredible array of drugs. It can make dreams come true.

It cannot save you from dying a lonely death. Kurt Cobain was cold for a couple days before his body was found. Layne Staley, lead singer of Alice in Chains, had been dead for a couple weeks before someone noticed a smell coming from his apartment.

An accidental celebrity from Kentucky met a similar fate this week.

Virginia Metcalf Merida, 51, won $65.4 million playing Powerball in 2000. They found her body in her 5,000-square-foot geodesic dome home. She had been dead for days.

The Associated Press reports:
Her husband, Mack Wayne Metcalf, died in 2003 at age 45 while living in a replica of George Washington's Mount Vernon estate built in Corbin. His death followed multiple run-ins with the law in the days following the lottery win.

When they won the jackpot, the couple refused dozens of interview requests but told lottery officials they were going separate ways to fulfill lifelong dreams. Merida was quitting her job making corrugated boxes and planned to buy a home. Metcalf, a forklift operator, wanted to start a new life in Australia.

The couple split the winnings of the $3 ticket bought at a Florence truck stop and opted to take a $34.1 million lump sum instead of annual installments. Merida took 40 percent, or $13.6 million, while Metcalf moved to Corbin with the remaining $20.5 million.

Neighbors said Merida shunned attention successfully until last December, when a body was found in her home.

Campbell County Deputy Coroner Al Garnick confirmed that a man died of a drug overdose at the home, but he couldn't recall the person's name. Official records were unavailable because of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Sometimes wishes do come true.

No comments: