You probably fantasize about winning a cool few million on the lottery, don’t you? You might have earmarked your windfall for things you’ve always wanted.
But when you read about some of the biggest lottery losers, you may just reconsider. Sometimes, it’s just too easy to blow that fortune.
Beverly Hillbillies for Real
William Post III was a carnival worker. He’d even done jail time. He was just an aimless soul trying to make ends meet where he could.
Then, in his 40s, with no more than a couple of dollars in his pocket, William won a little over $16 million in the local Pennsylvania Lottery.
Within three months of his 1988 windfall, Post found himself $500,000 in debt. It could well be because he bought a twin-engine airplane (the fact he didn’t have a pilot’s license is neither here nor there).
But wait, it gets worse. One of William’s brothers was convicted of planning to murder him. The annual after-tax payments of that $500,000 were spent with no forward thinking, and Post filed for bankruptcy a few short years later. In 2006, he died of respiratory failure.
$315 Million to The Strip Clubs
What’s a popular place for a rich man? A strip club? Well, it was for Jack Whittaker. Jack was by no means without money when he hit the 2002 $315 million Powerball jackpot. But with that much money in his bank account, Jack lost his marbles.
He also lost most of his money at strip clubs. He’d drop huge amounts of cash on dancers, and this, quite naturally, attracted unwanted attention.
One day, while Jack was on his way to his favourite hang out, he rather stupidly left a suitcase of $545,000 cash in his car. Thieves broke in and helped themselves.
There’s more. The strip club manager drugged Jack to try and steal the case.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
The Fraudulent Millionaire
In 2011, Amanda Clayton won a cool $1 million in the Michigan Lotto. Amanda was just 25 when she landed her jackpot, but it didn’t stop her from applying for food stamps – and getting them.
The state later convicted Amanda of fraud and she was sentenced to a nine-month probation. Sadly, she didn’t live out her probation, having died of an overdose in 2012.
Generous to a Fault
Let’s face it, if you won the lottery, you’d probably help out a few people, wouldn’t you? Well, that’s what Janite Lee did when she won $18 million in 1993.
While Janite’s gambling problem cost her over $300,000 a year, it’s reported that she spent more than that on political and charitable donations. In fact, she generously handed over $1 million to Washington University for a brand-new library.
She filed for bankruptcy in 2001.
Cash for Cars
In 1988, Jay Sommers struck it lucky when he scooped the $5.8 million Michigan lottery jackpot. Jay later admitted being too young to handle his stack of cash – he was just 20 at the time.
In just three months, Jay blew $290,000 on cars – five of them! He did have a talk or two with his financial advisor buddy, but it didn’thelp and soon, Jay landed a job delivering pizza.
Easy Wins, Easy Losses
Evelyn Marie Adams didn’t just win one big sum of cash, the New Jersey convenience store employee won two seven-figure jackpots! In 1985, she raked in $3.9 million from the Pick 6 lottery and soon after, she scooped another $1.4 million.
Soon, everyone was asking Evelyn for a handout. Besides that, she landed up losing a whole stack of cash in 2012 in various Atlantic City casinos.
The result? Evelyn went broke. She took two jobs to make ends meet and advised anyone else who wins a lottery jackpot to seek legal and financial advice right away.
Good advice, we’d say!
Our Biggest Loser
These are some pretty big losers, right? Well, in terms of their winnings, at least.
But we think Michael Carroll really takes the cake. He could have saved his win. He could have been careful. But no, he ended up broke, just like our other winners.
For these lottery players, Lady Luck was merely paying a fleeting visit. They could have done so much more with the right advice!
Lesson learned: hold on to your common sense with all your might when you hit that lottery jackpot!
Be a winner! Check out this week’s Powerball numbers.