Winning a lottery is a chance of pure luck. One needs just one stroke of good luck and their lives change forever. Immense wealth gives people who were down on luck a chance to better their living styles. It can be dream come true for people who were doing breaking their backs doing hard work all their lives.
This might mean that they don’t have to lift a finger for the rest of their life. It also means one needs to become a better wealth managers and ensure that they make that last for a long time to ensure they get the best mileage out of it.
But we have 15 stories of lottery winners, who chose to live a lavish lifestyle and blow it all away, or were conned out of their winnings and were left with nothing but pennies.
1Lara and Roger Griffiths: $2.7 mn
Lara and Roger Griffiths thought their life would change for good after winning $2.7 mn dollars in the lottery in 2005. The couple had two daughters and was living a happy life until the lottery win happened and Roger decided to quit his job. He spent his money buying sports cars, spending huge money on vacations with friends and family in Monaco, Dubai and New York.
The couple bought a $1 mn home, which burnt down. Roger also left Lara after 14 years of marriage and things changed when he had just $7 to his name out of the $2.7 mn in 2013. Both Lara and Roger blamed each other in an interview for blowing away the money.
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2William ‘Bud’ Post III: $16.2 mn
At 66 years old William ‘Bud’ Post III won a huge draw of $16.2 mn in 1988. Though he had his intentions right, Williams invested in businesses but didn’t hire a financial advisor. His investments failed and he owned a lot of money to shareholders. This resulted in every check he got annually going into paying the shareholders. His brother got jealous of him and hired a hitman to murder him. However, he was arrested and convicted.
William had burned through his money in a year, got sued by his landlord for 1/3rd of his lottery winnings and William got convicted for pulling out a shotgun on a debt collector.
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3Suzanne Mullins: $4.2 mn
In 1993, Suzanne Mullins won $4.2 mn in Virginia lottery and has split her prize money with her husband. She was supposed to receive 20 annual after-tax payment of $47,778. She had to borrow money from a company that lent to a lottery winner. After 2000, Mullins was able to collect on the rest of the money at once, after rules changed.
Instead of paying back to the company, she spent all the money away and still owed $154,147 in 2004.
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4Sharon Tirabassi Resident of Hamilton: $10 mn
35-year-old Sharon Tirabassi, a resident of Hamilton, Ontario won $10 mn (Canadian) in 2004. She checked out her check with the lottery corporation and bought a fancy house, sports cars, expensive clothes, trips, parties and everything pricey. After a decade of splurging, she realized that she only had $1 mn left in her account. Thinking straight, she put the money in a trust fund for her six children. Now she is back working, taking the bus to work and living in a rented house.
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5Evelyn Adams: $5.3 mn
Evelyn Adams won the lottery twice- the New Jersey Lottery (1985-1986). Her first winning was $3.9 mn and the second time she won$1.4 mn. Before her wins, she was working as a clerk and bought lottery tickets worth $100 every week. She managed to buy the convenient store she worked at and married her fiancé.
However, some bad choices like gambling, shopping, bad investments and expensive gifts to family meant that they lost their fortune in a matter of years and now lives in a trailer.
6Abraham Shakespeare: $30 mn
Abraham Shakespeare won the Florida State Lottery worth $30 mn in 2006. However, his tale is a pretty tragic one. He decided to take up the whole $17 mn and live a comfortable life. Friends and family hounded him for funds and then a woman named Dee Dee Moore offered her help in protecting his fortune.
She convinced him to transfer the funds into her account and then murdered him. Authorities managed to pin her despite her stories thanks to surveillance tapes of Moore buying $104 worth of gloves, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and other suspicious things, which were later found near Shakespeare’s buried body. Moore got life in prison without parole.
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7Gerald Muswagon: $10 mn
Gerald Muswagon won $10 mn Super 7 Jackpot lottery in 1998. The Canadian’s life became a fairytale and he bought cars for family and himself. He bought a new house and multiple big screen TVs for friends in a day. The money led Gerald to become an addict of various bad things and spent time in prison thanks to reckless driving to sexual assault. He spent his own fortune till 2005 and went back working minimum wage. In 2006 Gerald committed suicide by hanging.
8Americo Lopes: $38.5 mn
Americo Lopes and five other people in his office pooled money to buy lottery tickets. A verbal contract was made to share the winnings after each one had pooled in money for the tickets. However, Americo came to know that one of the tickets he had bought in the pool had a price of $38.5 mn and his mind changed.
His co-workers found that Americo was planning to rob them and he was sued for the tickets, though he had claimed that he had bought the tickets with his own money. The judge ordered Lopes to pay $2 mn each to the other men.
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9Andrew Jackson Whittaker: $314,900,000
55-year-old Andrew Whittaker won $315 mn Powerball jackpot in 2002. Even after tax deduction, he got $114 mn. He lost $545,000 cash when thieves broke into his car. A second robbery cost him $200,000 and his granddaughter’s boyfriend was found dead due to overdose in his house and a few months later her grand-daughter suffered the same fate.
Whittaker was sued by Caesars for bounced checks and his mansion was burned to the ground in 2016.
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10Michael Carroll: 15 mn pounds
19-year-old Michael Carroll won 15 mn pounds in the lottery and spent every penny of it on booze, women and extravagant lifestyle. He bought a mansion and turned it into his personal race track. Thieves broke into his mansion and made off with $100,000 worth of gold and jewelry.
Michael’s addiction to narcotics cost him his marriage and he blew the 15 mn pounds and was broke. He then worked at 204 pounds a week at a biscuit factory but was happier than ever.
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11Janite Lee: $18 mn
Janite Lee won $18 mn in 1993. However, with money came bad habits and she reportedly lost $300,000 per year in gambling. She was also generous to a fault, donating to charitable and political organizations, including $1 mn to Washington University for a new library. She filed for bankruptcy in 2001.
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12Martyn and Kay Tott: 3,011,065 pounds
Martyn and Kay Tott beat the odds of 1 in 14 million to win the National Lottery jackpot. Martyn was a purchasing manager and was living with his wife Kay in a two bedroom apartment before winning the mega jackpot.
With the win, both started a new lifestyle splurging on an Audi car, luxury house, and a world tour. The winning ticket had to be claimed within 6 months of winning the jackpot and the couple somehow lost the ticket. Despite having proof of winning the lottery, without the ticket, the lottery organizer refused payment. Even Tony Blair and Sir Richard Branson appealed to the organizer to pay out, but they didn’t budge.
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13Billie Bob Harrell Jr: $ 31 mn
Billie Bob Harrell Jr. won $31 mn in Lotto Texas game in 1997. Earlier, Harrell used to stock shelves at Home Depot and now he began splurging on friends and family. He bought ranches, bought a few homes and donated to the church.
Slowly, his marriage fell apart and spent all his winnings. Sadly, in 1999 he took his own life, less than two years of winning the lottery.
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14Callie Rogers: $2.67 mn
At the tender age of 16 years, Callie Rogers won $2.67 mn dollars or 1.9 mn pounds in 2003. She spent her money on drugs, extravagant trips, cosmetic surgeries and partying. After marrying and having three kids, she has just 2,000 pounds in her bank and has admitted having attempted suicide three times. But she says she was happy now.
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15Ronnie Music Jr: $3 mn
45-year-old Ronnie Music Jr. won $3 mn in Georgia Lottery in February of 2015. But instead of making sensible use of the funds, he spent all of it on crystal meth and played a drug dealer. He was caught and was sentenced to 21 years in prison in April 2015.
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