Lottery Winners Who Blew It All

As the lottery jackpots climb, people begin to spend time and effort to get a ticket and leave it all to their luck. We’ve seen it plenty of times, whether it happened at local level or it became a worldwide frenzy! We’ve seen it in March 2012, when Mega Millions was raising the standards once and forever. We’ve seen it again in January 2016, when the US Powerball had a record breaking jackpot worth $1.6 billion. Winning the US Powerball or the EuroMillions and becoming an instant millionaire is an exciting dream-come-true. But be reminded that winning a lottery cannot solve all your problems.  Some lottery winners’ stories prove that winning big can make you rich, but you may still end up poor. Here are some lottery winners who blew it all:


Gambled and stumbled

Evelyn Adams won the lottery twice in 1985 and again in 1986. Her $5.4 million windfall though went to her gambling in Atlantic City. Losing everything she won, reports said the New Jersey native ended up living in a trailer park as of today.


Won, lied and got sued

Americo Lopes won the lottery in New Jersey and decided to quit his job. He tried to hide his winnings and said he was quitting because he needed a surgery on his foot. But later, he came clean to an ex-colleague. The latter ganged up with some others to sue him for the reason that he had not split the lottery win as promised. After a rigorous trial, the court’s decision favors the others ordering poor Lopes to split his winnings.

Image 1: Americo Lopes
Image 1: Americo Lopes



Won the jackpot, lost the ticket

Isn’t it exciting to know that you won a huge fortune of $5 million in a United Kingdom lottery? Martyn and Kay Tott, a young couple from the UK, must have felt huge excitement after finding out that they hit the jackpot. But all of it slided down the drain after the couple learned that the ticket was lost. Martyn and Kay were able to talk to lottery officials and convince them of their winning. But they were not able to produce the ticket during the 30-day limit on reporting lost tickets making the $5 million pot the largest unclaimed winning since 1994.

Image 2: Martyn and Kay Tott
Image 2: Martyn and Kay Tott


Couldn’t say no

In 1997, Billy Bob Harrell Jr., a Pentecostal preacher, won a sum of $31 million. His luck was great as he bought a ranch, some cars and a number of houses.  But his winnings flew away in a short span of time just because he could not say “no” to those who asked for handouts. Later, Harrell and his wife divorced and in the long run; the poor man killed himself.

Image 3: Billy Bob Harrell Jr.
Image 3: Billy Bob Harrell Jr.


Got hooked

In 2002, Michael Carroll won Britain’s lottery jackpot amounting to a total of 15 million USD. But in just five years, he was on mercy of getting his old job as a garbage man back.   The reason: he spent all his winning on parties, cars, cocaine and hookers.


Ended up flipping burgers

In 2006, Luke Pittard won a £1.3 million jackpot or a sum of 1.0 million. He spent all his winnings for his wedding, a house and a trip to Canary Islands. It was just a year and half after he spent most of his winning, Pittard got a job of flipping burgers at McDonalds. Reports said the Welsh-born is happy that he still got interest from the amount left from his winnings.

Image 4: Luke Pittard
Image 4: Luke Pittard

Other lottery winners who blew it all had spent most of their winnings in politics and charity, shopping, drinking alcohol and other vices.  Indeed, there are some issues you may face after winning the most coveted lottery prize. It just takes proper money management to make your winnings lasting and worthwhile.


Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4


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