Imagine you just baught the winning lottery ticket. Your now a multi-millionaire! Would you do a better job than these lotto winners at spending your money?
Coming into a large sum of money suddenly is many people’s dream scenario. Or is it? Former jackpot winners may agree or disagree depending on the road they took after cashing in their winnings. Learning how these people are living their lives now gives you a personalized look into the world of the mega-rich and how quickly many ordinary people lose their fortunes rapidly.
In 2016, US residents spent a whopping $73.5 billion on regular lottery tickets. Citizens in the UK spent an impressive 7 billion euros. Many people love the idea of winning, but few are prepared for the experience once they do. Former lottery winners admit that they wished they wouldn’t have won their fortunes in the first place.
Urooj Khan of Chicago Won $600k
A lottery scratch-off ticket revealed a million-dollar prize. Urooj Khan did what most people would do and took the lump sum option of $600,000. Sadly, days before he could pick up his prize winnings, he died. His family was suspicious and later learned that one of his relatives poisoned him. The court divided his life’s fortune, and lottery winnings between his widow and his daughter but no one admitted that they caused his premature death.
Sharon Tirabassi from Canada Won $10 Million
Without a sound financial background, to begin with, Sharon Tirabassi, a 10 million Canadian dollar lottery winner, blew through her fortune in just nine years. She reportedly gave money to her parents, siblings, and doled out loans to people who never intended to pay her back. The ill-advised mother didn’t hire a financial advisor nor did she plan on ever riding the bus to work again. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s she doing because the only money that exists from her winnings is what she placed into trust funds for her six children.
Michael Carroll from the UK Won $9.7 Million
The Brit won 9.7 million euros but didn’t use it to fund a healthy lifestyle. Instead, he wasted it on lavish homes, cars, gambling, and an expensive drug habit. Although a portion of his winnings went to his family, he abused a majority of his prize money. He got sob stories and death threats routinely from strangers and came home to find his pets slaughtered because he became an instant millionaire. Today, he works as a bin man.
William «Bud» Post of Pennsylvania Won $500k Per Year
Before the 66-year-old could collect 26 annual checks of $500,000, he was already in debt because he spent money he hadn’t received. He spent the remainder of his life living on disability checks because he amassed a million dollar debt. If that wasn’t bad enough, his landlady sued and received most of his fortune due to his inability to pay her. The court convicted Post’s brother of trying to kill him. The now-deceased lottery winner admitted that winning his fortune was the worst thing that happened to him.
Abraham Shakespeare of Florida Won $17 Million
The 17 million dollar lottery fell into bad company when he met Doris Moore, a woman who claimed she could protect him from unscrupulous people. Instead, she preyed on him, murdered him, and even tried to pay his family to lie to the police about his whereabouts. They eventually were led to Abraham Shakespeare’s body found buried under a concrete slab on the property of Moore’s boyfriend. Stories like this paint a very dark picture of the vulnerability of lottery winners who don’t have someone watching out for them.
Bob Erb from British Columbia Won $25 Million
Bob Erb is a lottery winner from British Columbia. He won 25 million dollars and donated money for the legalization of marijuana. He also took much of his fortune and used it to do good deeds for others. Always a generous man, he lost his daughter to cancer and was a noted philanthropist before winning the lottery. Erb is a shining example of what could potentially go right with being a jackpot winner. He was able to touch more lives with his generous donations.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Winning the Lottery
Winning the lottery has its perks. If you want a piece of the prize, you’ve got to play. If you’d rather avoid the drama and keep yourself from becoming another lottery statistic, allow someone else to gamble on their dreams.
The winners featured here had a lot to gain, but also, a lot to lose. Several didn’t get to live long enough to enjoy their winnings. Others did but found that the people around them tried to exploit their fortune from them. Only one story on the list had a happy ending, which involved giving away a sum of the winnings to people and organizations in need.