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Piers Morgan Live
Interview with Congressman Stephen Lynch; Arapahoe School Shooting
Aired December 16, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world . Tonight, NSA bombshell. Why a judge says the agency's collection of phone records is unconstitutional, and what it could mean for whistleblower Edward Snowden. And top secret (inaudible) you can't read, President Bush sends 28 pages, pages that reportedly include a stunning revelation about a massive 9/11 cover-up. This man has read the missing pages, and he says he's absolutely shocked. We'll hear why in just a minute.
Plus, the 17-year-old girl fighting for her life tonight after America's latest school shooting. I'll talk to one of her friends and to a classmate of the shooter. Also, are you dreaming of a green Christmas? The Mega Millions jackpot is $586 million, but you're more likely to hit a hole in one three times in a row than actually win it tonight. We reveal the dark side of the game everyone's talking about.
Want to begin, though, with our big story, that top secret 9/11 report and today's NSA bombshell. Joining me now to talk about both is Congressman Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts. Thank you, Congressman, for joining me. You're heavily involved in both of these things in different ways. Tell me first of all about this NSA ruling today. How significant is it? How likely is it this will go to the very top of the legal system in America?
REP. STEPHEN LYNCH, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: Well I had I think it was a victory for the fourth amendment, Piers. I think that it's a logical conclusion in terms of protecting our rights to unreasonable search and seizure and I think that the court came down the right side of the issue and even though today's decision was just for a preliminary injunction I think the text of the justice's decision indicate that they would in fact rule that this is unconstitutional.
MORGAN: It was a pretty scathing verdict to me, wasn't it talking about how the founding fathers would never have countenance this kind of behavior by government. Edward Snowden wait in tonight saying, today a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans' rights. It is the first day of many. Has Edward Snowden been vindicated by this ruling?
LYNCH: Well, I think he's been proven right in terms of his views of this program. I'm not so sure that people think he is right in terms of how he responded individually. MORGAN: How should he have responded then, if he was there reading about all this feeling concerned it breached American's constitutional rights, what else should he have done?
LYNCH: Well, you know, I'm not going to argue against the fact that he brought a lot of things to light. But I think that maybe in some ways he may have exposed some of our people to great dangers in the process of doing that. And really I can't -- I really can't endorse that by putting some of our people that are working clean and decently in other places and putting them in a position where they are exposed. So there's some -- so obviously there's some good that was done here in terms of disclosing the operations of this NSA program especially the bulk gathering of data that the court has ruled this in this instance to be unconstitutional.
MORGAN: Is the way forward for Edward Snowden perhaps to take the advise or suggestion from an NSA official in a 60 Minutes special of the weekend which was he should perhaps be considered for amnesty. This isn't the way ...
LYNCH: Well ...
MORGAN: ... he said actually before you answer that. I just mean by what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEDGETT: My personal view is, yes, it's worth having a conversation about, I would need assurances that the remainder of the data could be secured and am I barred for those assurances would be very high. It would be more than just an assertion on his part.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: And may I supposed you think if Snowden was to give back the substantial data that he so far not revealed in return for an amnesty would that be a sensible conclusion to this given this court ruling today?
LYNCH: I would need a lot -- know a lot more about it before I made that type of conclusion, but let's just say that Edward Snowden has shown a light on some of these programs that a great amount of good has resulted from. That doesn't necessarily give him a pass on some other things that may yet to unfold or some damage that I'm not aware of right now that may have occurred because of his actions as well.
MORGAN: Let's turn quickly to this report you and Representative Walter Jones had proposed in Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to de-classify the entire 2002 report into 9-11 the joint inquiry into intelligence community activities before and after the terror attack of September 11, 2001. Why have you done this, and I know that you've read what has not been revealed to the public and you can't talk about the precise detail, but how concern should we be about what we haven't been told?
LYNCH: Well, I think that in this case transparency is the way to go. Not just because of the value, one, and of having this information out there. Remember there was a very extensive report, the 9-11 report hundreds and hundreds of pages but these 28 pages were actually excised from that report. So these are not, you know, these are not just reductions. This -- The 28 pages that I've read and that Walter Jones read are actually been pulled from the report completely.
I think transparency would be served by this, number two I think if you think about the families who lost loved ones in this, they are certainly deserving of a full accounting and thirdly I think, after reading this 28 pages I think it could help to inform our decisions going forward not just looking back in historical context but I actually think it will help the quality of our decision making going forward.
MORGAN: Congressman Lynch, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
LYNCH: Thank you Piers.
MORGAN: I want to turn to America's latest school shooting, 17-year- old Claire Davis is fighting for her life tonight after a classmate she didn't even know Karl Pierson shot her in the head at Arapahoe High School in Colorado on Friday. Pierson then killed himself. Joining me now is Chris Davis a senior at Arapahoe High School. He's not related to Claire. Thank you very much for joining me Chris Davis.
First of all how are you and all the students holding up after this? Obviously a shocking thing to have happened right in the middle of your school.
CHRIS DAVIS, SENIOR AT ARAPAHOE HIGH SCHOOL: Right now we're -- this is to me it's surreal. It just doesn't seem right. We're coming together, I think it's going to make us stronger as a community. At the school right now, we're struggling, we're going to go back to school on Thursday next week, juniors and seniors and go back to the school and get our stuff, but right now it's tough and we're just trying to get through it right now.
MORGAN: Do you have any inkling and anything at all, any detail from his past that could possibly explain why this young man would shoot at point blank range Claire Davis who by all account is a delightful young lady, she's a horse lover, very loving family member, why would he even think of doing this?
DAVIS: I have no comment on Karl or his actions tonight I'm strictly talking about the donations and how our communities come together tonight.
MORGAN: OK, fair enough. Tell me about the donations. Few of the students have teamed up and you're trying to raise money for what purpose?
DAVIS: Yeah. Me and a few friends, Sam (ph), CJ (ph), Zach (ph) and Dylan (ph) we've teamed up around the community today we went around to 12 different high schools to set donation boxes in and just collect money from them in the last couple of days we've had some events around Arapahoe and the community and we've collected close to $10,000 and we're just collecting whatever we can to help the family out and help them get through this and heal ourselves through this.
MORGAN: Tell me about Claire, what kind of girl is she?
DAVIS: Claire seems -- she seemed really nice, she had a lot of friends and that she love to ride horses and all that kind of stuff.
MORGAN: And in terms of Colorado and the number of incidence we've now had in the State Columbine obviously the Aurora tragedy, why do you think this mass shootings and individual shooting incidence, why Colorado?
DAVIS: I really don't know why Colorado. It's just it's -- weird to think that they're all within 30 miles of each other. It's really sad but I have no further comments on that.
MORGAN: OK. Chris Davis, thank you very much indeed for joining me and obviously send all our best to all the students there and anyone who knows Claire and all our thoughts and prayers with her tonight.
DAVIS: Thank you.
MORGAN: Some of the students who knew the shooter said they never saw this coming. I'll talk to one of Karl Pierson's classmate when we comeback. Meanwhile, one of his friends told ABC news this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CALLAHAN: He is not a monster. He is one of the best people I knew. He's not this killer. He's Karl Pierson, he's one of the best I know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE REDMOND, FRIEND OF SHOOTER, CO-CAPTAIN OF SPEECH AND DEBATE TEAM: And I know that we did not get along on this trip to Nationals. Karl had threatened to kill Mr. Murphy kind of half jokingly. Mr. Murphy brought that to the administration and Karl got suspended for that. He felt like the suspension had ruined his chances into college and ruined his future. Whenever he gets angry, he felt like, "Oh, you know, I just want to shoot every one up", you know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A friend of shooter Karl Pierson who was co-captain of school's speech and debate team. What he says is chilling.
And now, I want to turn to another of the shooter's classmates at Arapahoe High School. Daylon Stutz is a junior and in the defensive tackle on the school's football team. He joins me now. Welcome to you, Daylon. Obviously, what we just heard is pretty chilling in the context of what then happened. Tell me about Karl Pierson. Did you have any feeling that things weren't quite right with him?
DAYLON STUTZ, ARAPAHOE HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR: You know, I couldn't really say that he was not right or anything. I thought he was a pretty normal student.
MORGAN: Was he particularly bright? Was he good at class? How about you describe his academic record.
STUTZ: Absolutely. He was, honestly -- one of us said, intelligent people I knew my freshman year. I had a class with him and we would have class discussions and he was very good at speaking and proving his points to the class.
MORGAN: What was his views about politics, about America? Did he ever say stuff in an aggressive way which could explain perhaps some kind of agenda he may have?
STUTZ: You know, I couldn't really say. I didn't really notice anything out of the ordinary.
MORGAN: When this guy, you know, he's gone from being apparently perfectly normal, pretty bright guy at school to point block shooting one of your female classmates right in the head. How on earth does this happen, do you think?
STUTZ: You know, I wasn't in his shoes at the time. Maybe there is some struggles in his life. I've heard a lot of things, but you can't really believe what a person was going through unless you knew them specifically and I can't really say what was happening in his mind.
MORGAN: We know that his parents got divorced a couple of years ago. Were you aware that that was a particular strain on him? What else have you been hearing?
STUTZ: No. I wasn't actually aware of that. I didn't know him on a very close personal level especially with his family. I've heard a lot of things especially with the speech and debate club and a couple of classroom things. But, I couldn't really say what was going on in his mind at that time.
MORGAN: And what were told is that about a week before the incident, he have been dropped from the debate club which is run by Tracy Murphy, the school librarian. Were you aware of that? Have he said anything to you about it? Were you aware of any ill will that he bore towards this decision?
STUTZ: Yeah. Actually, it was brought to my attention that he was -- well, I got kicked off of the speech and debate club. I'm not really sure why there could be multiple reasons that -- some that I'm not sure of. But, I had heard that before.
MORGAN: You hang out with him. I mean, what kind of person was he? Was there anything in his character would suggest an aggression or an ability to be aggressive?
STUTZ: He was a very outgoing person. Like I said, a very intelligent person. He really spoke his opinions and he spoke them very well.
MORGAN: How do you feel about what he did?
STUTZ: Words can't describe how I feel for Claire and her family. But, I do know that it could have been much worse and I'm really happy that 2,000 other students at my school ended up being safe.
MORGAN: Did you know Claire?
STUTZ: No, sir. I didn't.
MORGAN: What has been the reaction to what has happened to her in particular? She is -- we believe in a coma tonight and they're fighting to save her life. This must be a huge shock to everybody, isn't it?
STUTZ: Absolutely. I do know that there is a community around her with thousands of people who really care for her. And right now are doing their best to raise money and awareness for her and really do what they can to help her family out especially.
MORGAN: In terms of the investigation, have you been helping with the police in this? Do you know of other students who can help him?
STUTZ: I haven't actually spoke to the police yet. I have -- I've spoken to CNN and I've been interviewed but I haven't given any information to the police.
MORGAN: Well, Daylon Stutz, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
STUTZ: Yeah. Thank you.
MORGAN: How do we get this trouble with young people to mental health care they possibly need and can we stop the next shooting before it happens. This is familiar questions in America. Well, joining me now, Dr. Michael Welner, one of the country's top forensic psychiatrist. Dr. Welner is also the Chairman of the Forensic Panel and developer of the Depravity Scale. Welcome back to you Dr. Welner.
We talked so many times now in the wake of these shootings, some mass shootings, some individual shootings, here, it looked like it could've been a mass shooting. Fortunately, although, obviously not for this poor young girl. It wasn't an annihilation of a lot of students. What can we read into what has happened here? Is there any different or anything else?
DR. MICHAEL WELNER, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: Well, there are a couple of important messages that you're previous guest have brought to our attention. One is that we're talking about people who are unremarkable and we're making them remarkable. When you talk about this happening in Colorado, keep in mind that just as we were talking about the Aurora shooter, and it's best not to remember him by name, and just as we are talking about the Columbine shooters and it's best not to remember them by name.
Just as they became familiar to us, they became larger than life to alienated young people in Colorado who could relate to them, who can relate to the Aurora shooter being thought of as brilliant, in the same way that this shooter is being described as brilliant and hearing something sympathetic and somebody sobbing he's the best person that I knew. Well, obviously, he wasn't the best person that you knew and I think that the appropriate response is that the behavior is disgusting and that the community should respond in a way that's disgust did in order to be part of a systemic solution. And we're talking about people who are perfectly unremarkable who are doing this and we have to recognize that this is only going to be eliminated from the ground up.
You as a parent who look at your child and say, "Could this possibly ever happen to me?" What we already know is that there is a confrontation between the intended victims which is how it always starts the shooting and the assailant, but it was a confrontation because the perpetrator could not deal with the experience of having something taken away from him. Parents, teach your children to learn from the bad things that happened to them. Teach them not to blame others even when it's someone else's fault. Teach them to learn from everything that happens to them good or bad, because if they don't start blaming others, they'll never get them there. Teach them resilience because bad things happen to everyone and a person who doesn't have the ability to bounce is a person who makes suicidal decisions. This was a suicidal decision. Teacher ...
MORGAN: But if something is, Dr. Welner, let me just read your statement from Barbara and Mark Pierson, the parents of the Arapahoe shooting said, "We are shattered by the tragic events that took place on Friday at Arapahoe High School. Our thoughts and prayers are with Claire Davis and her family. They, and, she have suffered unimaginably, and we pray for her full recovery. We also pray for the entire Arapahoe High School community, as we know your lives are forever changed by this horrific event. As parents, we loved our son Karl dearly and we are devastated by what happened Friday. We cannot begin to understand why Karl did what he did. We ask for privacy during this unthinkably difficult time and hope that you will respect our need for time to grieve."
Here is what I just can't fathom, you know, this guy is a young student by all accounts from his friends, perfectly normal, on the bright side, good debater, very outgoing, nothing there to suggest compare to somebody like Adam Lanza or some weirdo, loner, locked in a dungeon watching nasty videos. We now know this same guy is apparently normal student because of a shotgun he bought a week before a (inaudible) with ammunition, a machete, three Molotov cocktails.
In search of a librarian, who runs of debating society. Now, what does this tells us about American society right now? That the only way this kid who doesn't seem that extraordinary or deranged or unsettled or have any real record of trouble, thinks the only way to resolve this dispute with the librarian is to kill him with a shotgun. WELNER: Well this is quite clearly more than just intending to kill the debate coach or he wouldn't have gone in there armed to the teeth and with Molotov cocktails and with every capacity to carry out a mass casualty attack and this is about the idea of a pretext of his grievance against the symbol of the school turning into something that's going to give him a transcended immortality. Mass killing and fantasies of mass killing are the by-product of people with high self- esteem, not low self-esteem, high expectations of themselves, but people without resilience.
If you take away the debate team from this individual, he has an emptiness inside and he's alienated enough in his own mind and he identifies enough with destruction but it matters to him to be relevant that he watches how we make other people like Lanza, like Aurora, like Columbine bigger than life and he says, "I'm going to have that," and we've just giving it to him. We have his smiling picture, we have his ...
MORGAN: Yes, but hang on, hang on, hang on. Let me jump in, let me jump in.
WELNER: It perpetuates it.
MORGAN: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. We don't know that. We don't know that he looked at this previous mass shootings and though I want to be like that, do we? I mean you're supposing that was part of his intention but we don't know that as a fact.
WELNER: We know that he shot somebody that he had absolutely no grievance with. That he went into a school where we had absolutely no ideological or day to day conflict. And we know that he actually shot someone who had nothing to do with his debate coach. And we also know that he had no psychotic condition to explain. We have no indication that he was irrational in any way and what we do know is that with folks who carry out mass casualty attacks who are young males that they are aware of other kinds of such cases. They identify with the idea of destroying and they are aware of how much attention and notoriety. There was another Colorado case, we haven't talked about. Someone who left and note behind and said, "People are going to talk about me." Some have been - have spelled it out.
So we have enough to learn from previous attacks that sometimes people leave indication. Sometimes police are wise enough not to make that a matter of the general public. But they see themselves being humanized. Let me give you an example, the Boston Globe, no less authority than the Boston Globe published an 18,000-word article about the elder (inaudible). What better way to humanize someone who destroyed so many people in Boston for someone who is alienated say, "Wow, I'll have a multipart series about me. My life is a dead end. People are going to want to know everything about me."
MORGAN: But how do you -- yes, OK, isn't that an easy thing to blame the media.
WELNER: I'm not blaming the media. MORGAN: While in fact -- Well in a way you are, you're saying the media shouldn't be writing about this people because it humanizes them. You'll saying the media should be what about this (inaudible).
WELNER: No, I'm saying the media provides -- I'm saying the news media perpetuates it by humanizing the inhumane when you have clear data.
MORGAN: But how do you get to -- how do you get to understand what has caused this thing? Typically, they'll deny it where do this radicalized young men right at the heart of normal society in America.
How do you get to tackle this kind of situation and try to prevent it happening elsewhere if you don't tell the public, this is exactly what happened and why.
WELNER: The same way we always have. This cases get examined by police, by attorneys, by psychiatrist, by psychologist, by governments, by the 9/11 Commission. People may have a right to know and that's great and you could talk about it in advance such as the Boston Marathon. But when you humanize the inhuman, then the people who identify with them draw inspiration.
You could withdraw that when you report ...
MORGAN: Let's take a short break.
WELNER: ... about these things. It's just one component of that. But if that were changed, it would make a measurable, measurable difference.
MORGAN: OK, let's take a short break. Let's come back and talk more about this because it's a fascinating subject. We've got a lot of debate about this. This is more about the parent's responsibility in this kind of situation.
Also about what I believe the real problem is which is the glamorizing of the gun in America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF GRAYSON ROBINSON, ARAPAHOE COUNTY SHERIFF DEPT.: The shooter came armed with a pump shotgun and had multiple rounds available to him. It is our strong belief that he came to the school with that weapon and with multiple rounds and his intention was to utilize those multiple rounds to cause harm to a large number of individuals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Arapahoe County Sheriff, Grayson Robinson talking about what police believed Karl Pierson planned to do last Friday, kill as many people as possible in Arapahoe High School.
Back with me now is forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Welner. What do you say Dr. Welner, a lot of reaction on Twitter to our interview so far. If you want to join the conversation, tweet me, @piersmorgan.
I would say, 80 percent agreeing with you on this that the media has to have responsibility for the glamorizing of these people which I'm sure will please you and however.
WELNER: Well, I get there's 20 percent who are angry, they'll -- you can respond to them too.
MORGAN: Well I think it's really interesting debate this and mine us just trying to get to the heart of what is making so many young people in America want to do this kind of thing. And, you know, I have to say that they're almost always now. Young white males between 18 and 25, I don't know why, it just seems to be the pattern of all mass shootings, school shootings and so on. And I'm concern of that.
WELNER: I don't know that I would agree with that but let me qualify that.
MORGAN: Well let me just give you my thesis, hang on. My thesis is very straightforward is that I'm sure the media could do less to glamorize this people I agree with you perhaps we overdo naming them, the details and so on well I think it's important to public to have that information, but the glamorizing of the gun in America ended American culture and society is to me even more fundamental to this. There is a certain kind of Ramboesque quality to this culture which encourages young people to think, you know, what I'm going to go and blaze up a school.
WELNER: Sure, sure, well look this gets back to the issue though I said that this has nothing to do with -- culture because if schools were so safe in black community, gee, I fail to get that memo. The reality is that there are all kinds of cultural forces that bombard our children let say guns as an accessory there is a necessary accessory to manhood and fathers have got to do whatever is possible to teach their children what it is to be a man. To be creative, to have a responsibility and for children who are children of divorced homes where there isn't a man in the house or an available man.
We have to look out for our communities and again going back to again black community there has to be some awakening that the idea of certain elements of hip-hop culture that have glamorized guns that have made it a necessary accessory of manhood are responsible for catalyst cannibalism within the black community by violence ...
MORGAN: Right, right. Let me jump in again.
WELNER: ... just as it does here. That it's disgraceful.
MORGAN: All that is correct how ever this is not about the black community and guns, it's the story.
WELNER: No it's about glamorizing guns. It's the same thing it's about glamorizing guns and I agree with you.
MORGAN: OK. But lets focus on this particular issue that I have picked up on which is I would say 95 percent of all the mass shootings and random school shootings that's on that we see in America in the last decade had been perpetuated by young unsettled white males. Why is that?
WELNER: And I would tell you that there are shootings within the black community that we don't cover and that the black community feels necessarily, now that's because the white-run media doesn't care what happens in the black community and I think that they're right. I think that there are unsafe schools that what they speak more too is young people, young people that are bombarded by messages they glamorized guns, they glamorized destructiveness as an expression of masculinity that's what makes you a man and I agree with you Piers that that has to change.
The two aren't mutually exclusive whether it's gun glamorization or whether it's the media making people larger than like there are many different to ways to bite at this elephant and we talked about it one a couple of weeks ago which is who gets attracted to violent video games it doesn't mean that everyone's going to be destructive, but someone who uses them in order to train themselves is a vulnerable individual and are we teaching children resilience? Are children getting this kind of message. So I believe there are many approaches and I agree with you that glamorizing guns as a symbol of masculinity, as a symbol of importance that's got to end, it's got to end.
MORGAN: Dr. Welner stay with me we're going to change topic completely to something that I know you also have views on which is lottery. Coming next Mega Millions entirely possible the jackpot could reach $1 billion before Christmas you heard me a billion with a B when we come back what will it take for you to win and do you really want to wait given what happens to some of the winners.
MORGAN: The Mega Millions jackpot is tipping the scales at $586 million and is only growing. That's the good news. The bad news is it maybe harder than ever to win even harder than usual. Joining me now is Paula Otto the Lead Director of Mega Millions. Paula Otto welcome to you, you're the Executive Director of the Virginia Lottery which is running the Mega Millions at the moment. And we're heading for a very, very big price aren't we?
PAULA OTTO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VIRGINIA LOTTERY: We certainly are. And we have never been in this position to have a jackpot this tremendous over $0.5 billion already the week before Christmas. So, it's created a lot of fun and I think the country is in full blown Mega Million mania.
MORGAN: Well, that's certainly true. And if there's no winner tomorrow, then the jackpot by Friday could be $800 million which means by this following Tuesday which is Christmas or Christmas Eve, it could be $1 billion, is that right?
OTTO: That is correct. Now, every time the jackpot goes up we know that more people get in the game and people are buying maybe a few extra tickets. So, we had about a one in two chance of having a winner this past Friday. As more and more people get into the game, we know that more of the one in 259 million it's 259 million combinations will be covered. So, we have a better chance that we'll have a winner on Tuesday night if we roll to Friday. And it gets into record territory $800 million or so, then we know we'll have an even greater chance of having a winner but, you never know. We've never been here. We have a new Mega Millions game. It's working well in terms of creating a really big jackpot. And we may have a winner on Tuesday, we may not. And you're exactly right, we could be close to a million or a billion dollars if that's what that be by Christmas Eve.
MORGAN: Now, there was a change on October the 22nd, 2013 which meant that people could choose six numbers between one and 75 up from six numbers to one and 56. My quick mental computation of this meant that it was nearly 30 percent therefore more unlikely that somebody could win or indeed you'd have a winner. So you've made it much more difficult for Americans to actually win this right?
OTTO: Well, the second side of numbers went down to one and 15. So we did change the game, but you're right. It does have longer odds now, very long odds. And I think most players recognize that in both of the national mega jackpot games. It's very, very hard to win the jackpot. But someone is going to win it. We do like to remind folks though that when the jackpot gets this high, that you play responsibly, that only takes $1 to get in the game and you only need one ticket to win, the one with the right six numbers. And we do encourage people to remember, it's only a game. It's not an investment and you should be playing responsibly if you do choose to play.
MORGAN: I mean, no one is going to listen to any of that of course, I guess. But I guess to $1 billion, they're all just going to go out and spend every single dollar they could possibly spend on this. It's human nature, I mean, I'll be out there writing my bank account to buy as many as I can.
OTTO: Well, hopefully you'll be careful in that raid. Really, lottery ticket should be purchased with your entertainment dollars, your discretionary dollars and the great thing that happens when the jackpot gets this big is that everybody is talking about it. It becomes a very social game. There are often office pools and friends and family that pull together. So you just need a few dollars perhaps to get into that pool. So, we would hope that people do play responsibly.
MORGAN: Are you allowed to play, Paula?
OTTO: I am not. Nobody who works for the lottery is allowed to play. If I could play, I think my limit would probably be about $10 dollars.
MORGAN: And tell me about this. Do most winners in your experience, do they take the annuity or the lump sum.
OTTO: Most winners do take the cash, the lump sum. So in this case, it's about $315 million. There was a time when there wasn't a choice between the lump sum or the annuitized prize and of course the big number that we advertise, the $586 million does assume that you're going to take it over the 30 years. But it's a personal choice. If you take the cash then you have a lot of money upfront. I always say to those winners here in Virginia that had been lucky enough to beat those long odds that you are an extremely lucky and fortunate person and I hope that you will be a good steward of this money and have and do good things for you and your family and causes that are important to you. And we certainly had a lot of winners who have gone on to do great things with their lottery winnings.
MORGAN: Yes. I interviewed one last week, she won over $100 million and she was a very happy lady who had done huge amounts of philanthropic work and helped out lots of people, including her own family and could not have been happier. However, as you know, that's not always the case and after the break, I'll talk to somebody who knew someone who won a lot of money and it ruined his life. But for now, Paula Otto, I want to kill the fun and congratulations on the success of the lottery and good luck to the one who's competing. Thank you very much.
OTTO: Well good luck to you.
MORGAN: Thank you. We'll be back.
MORGAN: Everyone dreams on what they would do if they won the lottery, but what about the nightmare of losing it all? Well, joining me now via Skype is Frank Pompeo who tried help his friend Buddy Post who died penniless after winning $16 million in the lottery in Pennsylvania and back with me still is psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner who I'll talk to after this.
Frank Pompeo, thank you for joining me. A very sad story about your friend Buddy Post, he was a carnival worker earning $150 a week. He won the lottery and it effectively ruined his life. Tell me why.
FRANK POMPEO, FRIEND OF BUDDY POST: Well, Bud has kind of a compulsive personality and there are a lot of people enjoyed Bud. When he has money he was not a really nice guy. He first got his winning ticket and he hired a limousine to go to Harrisburg to collect the check and immediately he proceeded to put all his relevance in business and opened new restaurants and bought tons of vehicles and heavy equipment and backhoes and did all kind of compulsive things and everything seemed to, you know, go bad when he did this.
He was almost murdered by a couple of his relatives, somebody took out a hit on him and the poor guy ended up in jail. Bud was the tougher guy, you know, he thought he was jack of all the trades and he tried to use an attorney. He always defended himself with this numerous lawsuits that he had. In and out of court all the time and never really won any of the cases. In fact he lost about $5 million to a lady that used to buy tickets with him, prior to his winning day and she was awarded that much money a good part of his earnings and I believe he probably blew about $3 million in the lawyers in town here. They all have new vehicles after they met, Bud.
And the city here wanted, Bud to be broke because he -- as long as he had money, he was a problem. And so they agreed to let him sell his lottery at the end there. And the day that he came to me and told me that he was actually working some like plumbing in a heating company delivering supplies and he was living in my office up here. He had no money left and -- but he was scheduled to get this last check and before he even received the check, he went up to the Cadillac dealer up here and bought three or four more new Cadillacs and told them that he'd pay him next week when he got the check. And he bought $150,000 motor home in which he sold for $35,000, I mean I think $60,000 in a broken down motor home that he was always making bad deals sometimes but ...
MORGAN: So what would your message be, Frank. Frank, I mean given what happened to Buddy, what would your message be to people who are all racing to buy a ticket this week for Mega Millions? Is it that it's, you know, that you shouldn't -- be careful what you wish for?
POMPEO: Well, I figured Bud used to call it the lottery from hell. He couldn't wait to get rid of the last bit of money because truthfully, I knew Bud more than anybody and he was the happiest when he was broke because his life became totally unmanageable and it's just complicated, everything about him and all his family and just totally destroyed the guy. So he died ...
MORGAN: Well Frank Pompeo I've got to leave it there. It's a fascinating tale of warning in many ways. Thank you very much indeed for joining me.
I want to turn to Michael Welner who's still with me the forensic expert here. Tell me, Michael, when you hear this, I mean there's so many stories like this, aren't they? People who imagine it will be the stuff of dreams, the lottery, and it becomes -- but when you win it, the stuff of nightmares. What do you think?
WELNER: Well, didn't you have Mike Tyson on here just a little awhile ago and there are folks that by virtue of their character, their limitations, their weaknesses and vulnerabilities, you can put opportunity and money in their world. But by virtue of their being who they are and not adjusting and perhaps not being aware of their limitations and how they're going to be affected by changes of experience, they're going to be vulnerable to new pressures that they don't see coming and they won't be able to handle.
So for those who were fortunate enough to win, I think the lottery is a wonderful thing for many reasons. But those who are fortunate, perhaps the best thing to learn from this is to be aware enough and have people close of you who are aware enough of your limitations. So that if you have to make adjustments, you make a plan for those adjustments and then just be able to take things in stride rather than to be rigid and then be cast about like a boat on the seas.
MORGAN: Is the lottery a force for good or bad in a society like America?
WELNER: I think the lottery is wonderful. Look, lotteries raise money, the proceeds go to necessary programs that states have that otherwise they would be having taxes for. So if people voluntarily will give for something that can help a state run its affairs as opposed with taxes being imposed upon people. It's a wonderful thing. Not only that, just the idea that everyone's on a level playing field. Look, the people who worked at the lottery can't win, they don't buy tickets because they're not allowed to win. Somebody with power doesn't have an advantage, somebody who has a lot of money doesn't necessarily have an advantage.
It's like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the magic of that when you were a child. The idea that anybody rich, poor, any corner of the earth, if you've got that winning ticket, it's you. It's a matter of luck or it's a matter of God, however you look at things. And there's something magical that it's a matter of collective hope and optimism and as they say in their own advertisements. That's how the lottery is promoted. Hey, I mean, you never know. It's just healthy.
MORGAN: Are you going to buy a ticket for Mega Millions?
WELNER: I'll tell you what. I'll split it with you.
MORGAN: You miser. Anyway, good talking Michael. Come back soon. I appreciate it.
WELNER: Hey, you got 50 percent of ...
MORGAN: We'll be right back.
WELNER: ... that jackpot. I don't need it all.
MORGAN: You're not getting any of my winnings. See you soon. Take care. We'll be right back.
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, I'm joined by two of the toughest women in America but for very different reasons, Barbara Walters and Ann Coulter.
And also, I would like to end this show with a bit of inspiration. Just go and look at guy's Twitter feed. He's name is @billy_baker, it'll be the most inspiring stuff you read probably all year. Just read what he wrote today. That's all for us tonight. AC 360 starts right now.