People Who Won the Lottery (and lost it all)

Credit: Lisa Brewter (via Flickr)

Every week hundreds of thousands of people play the lottery.  Most don’t win much, if anything, but some people win big.  Of those people only some come out on top in the end.  They lose their money for various reasons, without really being able to enjoy it.  Here are some people this has happened to, and what went wrong.

William Post

William won $16.2 million in 1988.  Afterwards his ex-girlfriend sued him for a share of it and won.  Then his brother hired a hit man, and other people kept asking for money.  He very quickly got into debt and filed for bankruptcy.

Callie Rogers

This is a case of someone winning money too young.  Callie was 16 when she won 3 million dollars.  She spent most of it on gifts for her loved ones, then the rest on parties and designer clothing.  It might not have been so bad, but the pressure of having so much money drove her to attempt suicide twice and she’s now broke.

designer shopping spree
Credit: Darlington Borough Council (via Flickr)

Janite Lee

Janite won $18 million in 1993.  Most of it she put into good causes for her community,  but hundreds of thousands went to gambling and investments that went bad.  Four years later she filed for bankruptcy.

Evelyn Adams

Evelyn won the New Jersey state lottery twice for a total of $5.4 million and ended up gambling it all away.  Sometimes losing it all is as simple as an addiction.

Credit: jetglo (via Flickr)

Jack Whittaker

Jack won a $315 million Powerball in 2002.  Between his granddaughter and his philandering, the money quickly disappeared and his granddaughter died of a drug overdose.  He now says he wishes he had torn the ticket up.

Gerald Muswagon

Gerald won $10 million in 1998.  He spent it all on drinking and partying within seven years.  Then he hung himself over the regret of blowing it all.

Credit: Jason A. Howie (via Flickr)

Urooj Khan

Urooj won a million dollars in Chicago.  A month later he died from cyanide poisoning and his family is all in a battle to claim the money.  It’s bad enough when someone blows all of their money, but not even having the chance to is worse.

Unfortunately a theme of blowing money on addictions, other people who want money, and bad decision-making is all too prevalent.  They’re simple stories, but significant for these people.  If you come into a large sum of money, please, take some time to plan and hopefully you won’t have your own story like the ones above.

Do you know someone who won the lottery and lost it?  How did that happen? What would you do if you won the lottery to make sure this didn’t happen to you?

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