Fontella Marie Holmes, 26, single mom, lotto winner. Black lady. She hit the numbers back in February to the tune of $88 million after taxes, and she has since dropped NINE milli bailing her man outta jail two times. I keep reading articles about how people are enraged and baffled by her spending this amount of money on a felonious man.
Me? Meh. Not so much.
1. She was with ol' boy before she had money.
Holmes hit the lotto in February 2015 and used her proceeds to bail out Lamar McDow, who was arrested in November 2014, in March.
I'm going to suggest that an active drug distributor, who had a girlfriend with four children, probably spent some dough on her and the kids, and not just a lollipop here and there. Babies— FOUR babies— are expensive. And Holmes didn't have a job at the time she hit the number. It's not a reach to assume that McDow dropped some duckets on the regular for this family. He may have been funding Holmes — and her kids— entirely before she "got on".
When the drug dealing man who held you down gets locked up, you return the "favor" by bailing him out.
2. She Doesn't Care He's A Drug Dealer
Look, I'm all for innocent until proven guilty, but you don't just happen to find yourself in a room with 8,000 bags of heroin unless you are— have been for quite some time— into some nefarious sh—. You get caught with a bag of heroin? I'll hear you out on saying the police planted it and you don't know how it got there. But eight thousand bags? Son. That's. Your. Heroin!!!
You also don't stumble into EIGHT THOUSAND bags of heroin over night. You've been in the game for a minute, long enough to know people who know people to get your weight up, figuratively and literally. And if you are moving drugs at this level, unless your girlfriend is ADA Angela Valdes, she knows what you do for a living.
When McDow was arrested again in July, he was living with Holmes and her four kids in the trailer Holmes lived in before she hit the lotto. He'd also been upgraded from boyfriend to fiancé since his March release. They'll have "matching lambos" any day now.
3. Perspective Matters
NINE MILLION DOLLARS is an insane amount to people who don't have $88 million after taxes. Holmes dropped almost eight figures (kinda) getting her man out of jail and still has $79 million more… AFTER TAXES.
I have a personal philosophy on not visiting jail or being involved with men who do illegal hood rat sh— with their friends. As a personal rule, I don't do bail money unless the case you caught was protecting our family, saving a life, or marching for civil liberties. I'd also drop stacks to free you if you have an encounter with a rogue cop. But otherwise, no.
That said, if I had a different philosophy on bail and say I had $50k saved? If I spend the same percentage freeing my man that Holmes did freeing hers, I'd spend about $5k. That's not so bad. What you have to understand is that there are levels. We ain't financially on Holmes’s.
4. She didn't actually pay $9 million in bail.
Holmes used a bail bondsman to get McDow out of jail. So she's plunked down a non-refundable 900k so far, about .01 percent of her winnings. She only pays the other $8.1 million if McDow fails to show up for court.
5. I never expected very much from Holmes (at least not anytime soon)
Prior to hitting the lotto, Holmes was a 26 year old, unemployed single mom with four kids by two men, dating a drug dealer and living with her mom. That's a lot of not-the-best decision making in a relatively short life. Cashing a lump sum lotto check wasn't going to turn her trajectory around on a dime.
Many people have this idea that money makes you smart, or changes you. Um, that's what education, reading, travel, experience (if you learn from it) do. Money just gives you more options, and if you're not at least mature, it makes you more of what you are. Holmes was a "trap queen" before the money. She's still one 88 million dollars later.
Demetria Lucas D'Oyley is a life coach and the author of Don't Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. Follow her on Instagram (https://instagram.com/abelleinbk)