Winning at the lottery seems like one of the best things that could ever happen to anyone. Taking home the huge prize can inject millions of dollars into your bank account and change your life in the process. While plenty of people have won the lottery happily, there have been many who won a big jackpot, only to lose everything in a few short years. Gambling, prostitutes, excess donations, over-zealous lending habits, and mesmerizingly poor investments have led lottery winners to lose all. If you find yourself lucky enough to win the lotto, you’ll want to avoid following the lead of some of the biggest-losing lottery winners in history.
When Alabama Waffle House Tonda Lynn Dickerson was given a lotto ticket given to her by a regular customer, her co-workers claim that she agreed to split the earnings, should she hold the winning ticket. Sure enough, the ticket won and Dickerson failed to pay her colleagues a dime. Instead, she put all of the money into a corporation, which she in turn gave 51% ownership of to her family. So, what is the problem? In doing so, she was found liable for the gift taxes – totaling around a million dollars, coming from her 49% of the rapidly-dwindling earnings.
Another example of how not to win the lottery is that of England’s Michael Carroll. Carroll won 9.7-million pounds in the U.K. lottery, which blew, over the course of eight years, on partying, drugs, and prostitutes. He lost over 100,000-pounds on prostitutes alone. Now, with a purported 42-pound per month in income, it seems that Carroll has gone from partying with prostitutes to destitute. Yet, this one lottery-loser who seems happy with his lot in life, having lost his wife and all the money, Carroll insists that this life is the one he prefers.
Perhaps one of the most horrific tales of lottery winners who lost it all is tahat of William “Bud” Post III. Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania state lottery in 1998. After cashing in the winning ticket, everything really fell apart for Post. His brother hired a hit man to kill him; he lost a fortune on failed business ventures, and got swindled out of millions by a landlord. He even went to jail for a period for unlawful discharge of a firearm. Post also spent exorbitantly, losing practically all of his lottery earning before he died in 2006, penniless and living on a $450 a month social security check.
Ken Proxmire showed us how to lose at winning the lottery by squandering $1 million on abysmal business failures, forcing him to return to his old job as a machinist. Janite Lee of Missouri won and lost $18 million, filling bankruptcy with $700 in the bank in 2001. Willie Hurt won over $3 million only to wind up charged with murder and hooked on crack cocaine.
Then there is Evelyn Adams. Adams has been luckier than most, winning twice, two consecutive years in a row, netting a cool $5.4 million. Unfortunately, her luck was only matched by her total inability to manage money. Adams lost everything by gambling in casinos in Atlantic City. She now lives in a mobile home, broke.
Winning the lottery can be a blessing, and there are many success stories. These stories can show you what not to do if your numbers come in. Using these hardships of others as a guide, you can get a strong idea of how to win the lottery without losing everything, from your money to your friends, or your life.