The giant Power Ball lottery jackpot recently caused all sort of commotion around the U.S. People were forming giant lines outside of gas stations for their chance at instant fame and riches. The Power Ball jackpot was at an unprecedented $1.5 billion dollars before someone in California won the whole darn thing. Millions of people across the United States had their hopes lost in an instant. Some people even took out loans to purchase thousands of tickets! Can you imagine doing something like that, and then not winning anything! I even came across a women who created a GoFundMe page asking for people’s donations. She claimed her and her family had spent all of their money on Power Ball tickets, “Expecting to win the $1.5 billion.” Well we may like to think that winning the lottery would cure our woes and we would be set for life. But there are plenty of examples out there from past lottery winners that show that not everyone can handle the money once they win. Check out these past lottery winners and how they ended up blowing all of their money!
1. Imagine winning the lottery at 16, you would not nearly be ready to handle that kind of money. Some bad things would most likely happen. Well that is exactly what happened to Callie Rogers. Went she was just 16, she won $3 million in the UK’s lottery in 2003. After that, she got together with, from all accounts, a loser boyfriend. She then had two of his kids, and partied away the rest of her money. She also bought lavish gifts for all her friends. She is now reportedly a cleaning lady and facing bankruptcy.
2. Bill Bob Harrell Jr. was just a Pentecostal Preacher who was working at Home Depot as a stock boy. One fateful day he hit a jackpot for $31 million. He promptly did what most of us would do. He bought a ranch, six other homes and some cars. The problems started arising when he found himself just unable to say no to someone in need. He eventually divorced and ended up committing suicide.
3. When Denise Rossi hit a $1.3 million jackpot in the California lottery, she started scheming how to keep her husbands hands off the money. She didn’t mention a word to him about the money, and asked for a divorce. Her husband knew something was up, but agreed to the divorce anyway. Two years later, he intercepted a letter at his new place in L.A. that detailed how Denise had hidden the money from him and divorced him. He sued her, and the judge awarded him every single cent.
4. In the 1980’s no one seemed to have better luck than Evelyn Adams. The women from New Jersey won the lottery not once, but twice, once in 1985 and again in 1986. While not as much as some of the jackpots today. She won a nice sum of $5.4 million. Apparently she decided to do the worse thing you can do with money, and gambled all of it away in Atlantic City. She apparently resides a trailer park today.
5. In 2012, Robert Erb won $25 million in the lottery. While he didn’t blow it all like the people above, he did donate to many charitable causes. One of them was a $1 million donation to organizations that support marijuana legalization. At least he was being productive with his money.
6. John Kutey won a share of a $319 million prize in 2011 along with six other people. His share was $28.7 million, still enough money to live an incredibly nice lifestyle. He and his wife decided to spend $250,000 to demolish a local pool and create a giant spray park. They also donated $200,000 to help build a water park in New York.
7. Some people know exactly what they want when they win the lottery. Michael Carroll, who won $15.4 million in the UK lottery, was one of those people. He was reportedly spending $3,000 on cocaine daily along with paying for hookers daily. He also bought a mansion, and many luxury cars that he would crash on his own homemade racetrack. Carroll eventually had to sell his mansion, and lost almost all of his wealth. The ex-garbage man is now looking to get his old job back.
8. In 1961, Vivian Nicholson didn’t technically win a lottery, but her and her husband did win £152,319 on football pools which would be equivalent to £3.5 (approx $4.6M USD) million today. She spent almost every cent of vast winnings on designer clothes. She declared bankruptcy a mere 4 years after winning.
9. Apparently winning $35 million wasn’t enough to make this guys idea a good one. After buying his parents a new home with his winnings, Jonathan Vargas started to spend on himself. He invested in his own wrestling show believe it or not, called Wrestlicious. It featured attractive women wrestling in skimpy outfits inside a specially built pink ring. Though you may be asking yourself “How could an idea like that fail?”, it did in glorious fashion.
10. This is almost the perfect American dream come true…almost. A South Korean immigrant named Janite Lee won $18 million in the lottery. She actually didn’t even spend her money on meaningless material things. She gave out much of her winnings to various charitable and political organizations she believed in. After doing all of this though, she ended up going bankrupt.
11. Many people debate whether they want the lump sum, or payments for life when they win the lottery. I always say take the lump sum, but that’s just me. Well Suzanne Mullins took home a large sum of winnings from the lottery, but opted to get it in the form of annual payments. She ended up using future payments as collateral for a $200,000 loan. After that she switched to a lump sum payout, but never paid back the loan she took out. The loan company then sued her, and won for $154 million dollars, thought they were never able to collect the judgement. Mullins was completely out of assets.
12. Luke Pittard is a Welsh-born man who won $1.9 million in the UK lottery. He then promptly spent it all in a year and a half on a trip to the Canary Islands, a wedding, and a house. He was forced to get a job at McDonald’s. He says he is happy though, and that the little winnings he had left over collect a nice bit of interest.
13. This is just some bad luck right here. After doing what most people wish for, winning the lottery for a sum of $16.2 million William Post was on top of the world. He would soon come back to Earth however. After he won the lottery, his luck to a dramatic turn for the worse. An ex-girlfriend sued him for a portion and won. His brother took out a hit on him to try to collect some inheritance as well, along with relatives incessantly bugging him for money. Within the year, Post was $1 million in debt. He now lives on Food Stamps and a $450 a month stipend.
14. In Michigan in 1989, a man named Willie Hurt won $3.1 million in the Michigan lottery. Jump ahead two years later, Willie had gotten divorced, lost his kids, was charged with attempted murder and picked up one hell of a crack addiction. His addiction was so bad it drained his entire winnings. A couple of years ago, he was charged with murder after fatally shooting a 30-year-old woman in the head after a dispute over him not having crack cocaine to consume.
15. In 1998 a man in Canada named Gerald Muskegon won $10 million in Canada’s Super 7 jackpot. In 7 years however it was all gone. He partied and drank all his money away. After being overcome with guilt and remorse, he hung himself in his parents garage in 2005.
It seems that most people who don’t already have money have a hard time dealing with it when they get it. Getting handed millions of dollars overnight is bound to do something to your personality. We all like to think that money wouldn’t change the person that we are, but it’s almost unavoidable. I do hope I would at least semi-responsible and put some money aside that I would never touch. I would save that and let it collect interest and try to live off of that.