Paul Warren, two-time grand prize winner of the Taiwan Receipt Lottery, lives a paycheck to paycheck existence, blissfully unaware of his wasted good fortune. Totaled together, Warren’s lottery winnings after taxes would have been nearly $515,000 USD, or as Warren would think of it, about 80,000 pints of Stella Artois at On Tap.
The 30 year-old Kojen English teacher, who spends his entire monthly paycheck on overpriced beer at foreigner pubs to treat his low-level depression, is oblivious to the major transformations in his life that would have occurred had he played the receipt lottery.
Unfortunately for Warren, whose bank account has been devastated multiple times by blackout drunk shot purchases for single women at Brass Monkey on ladies’ nights, he views the receipt lottery as a ludicrous waste of time. The absurd manchild, whose financial mismanagement is the lifeblood of foreign pub businesses in Taipei, rarely has the money to afford tickets home to see his worried parents.
A fugitive from US creditors, the irresponsible grown ass man owes nearly $10,000 in unpaid credit card bills, and $50,000 in unpaid student loans. Had Warren a lick of sense, he could have paid off both bills instantly, invested $375,000 into index funds, and would have been able to retire at age 65 with a $4 million nest egg earned entirely from investments.
That would have left him with $75,000 in immediate play money, allowing him to start his own foreign pub business and further increase his fortune by exploiting hopeless foreign alcoholics like himself. The stark reality for Warren, who holds the quaint belief that he’ll be able to retire comfortably in the United States, is that he won’t even be able to scrape by on Taiwanese social security, despite earning middle class wages.
As to how Warren could have such good fortune, Chen Pei Lin, a social psychologist from National Taiwan University, chalks it up to his careless spending habits and a lot of dumb luck.
“Paul could be collecting a shocking volume of receipts on a monthly basis,” Chen explains. “One might assume he was trying to game the system, but it’s clear that he’s simply incompetent and has no willpower, leading to a blizzard of convenience store receipts from single Taiwan Beer, cigarette, gum, and replacement lighter purchases.”
Warren, who has been living in Taiwan for six years, knows a total of ten words in Mandarin. Four of them, the only ones he speaks in correct tones, are “Bu Yong Fa Piao”, which he bellows with gusto at unimpressed convenience store cashiers.
Asked for a comment on this story, the receipt-collecting hobo outside of the Xin Yi club district Family Mart said nothing as the dull glint in his eye faded to black.