Winning the lottery is something so abstract we cannot even fathom the idea of it happening to us. However, some people are fortunate enough to get struck by this string of good luck and end up becoming millionaires.
Did you ever think you’d hear of someone winning the lottery and regretting the whole thing? That’s what happened to these individuals when their luck drastically ran out and they became victims of the lottery curse.
On Christmas Day in 2002, Jack Whittaker won the Powerball Lottery, bringing home $114 million. It seems like his life took a downward spiral after this and he was arrested for drunk driving. On top of that, someone who broke into his car and stole $545,000 that he happened to have just sitting in his briefcase. Winning the money is only half the battle, you have to hold on to it too!
What’s mine is yours, right? Apparently not for this couple. Denise Rossi won $1.3 million in the California Lottery in 1996, took the money, and divorced her husband. Unfortunately, secrets never stay a secret and he eventually found out about her big win and sued her for not disclosing the information. The judge found her guilty and she was forced to give her everything.
Janite Lee was the owner of a wig shop in St. Louis when she hit gold and won $18 million in the Illinois Lottery. With such a fortune, Janite decided to donate her funds to several organizations and political candidates. It became too much and with the annual-after tax-payments, she ended up with her more debt then she could handle. She filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in 2001, and to top it all off lost $350,000 in one year of gambling.
Evelyn Basehore née Adams
Basehore isn’t your average lotto winner. She is a double winner! The young woman brought home $5.4 million in the New Jersey Lottery. Apparently, her luck was limited to NJ because when she moved to Atlantic City she gambled it all away. In a later interview, she even said that winning the lottery is not as glamorous as people think.
Vivian “Viv” Nicholson
Here we have one of the best examples of what not to do when you become a lottery winner. This British Cake-factory worker won what would be worth $5 million in the U.S today. She soon adopted the catchphrase “Spend, Spend, Spend,” and was left with absolutely nothing. She turned to contraband and spent her days working as a stripper before working in a perfume shop.
In New Jersey, a team of construction workers had a tradition of putting their money together and buying lottery tickets. America Lopes was sent to buy the thickets and in 2009 one of his tickets landed him $17.4 million. He decided not to tell the rest of the members and quit his job, saying he needed to get food surgery.
This lie did not do him any good when one of the workers did some extra checking and found out what really happened. Lopes was ordered by a judge to share the money with the other five workers.
William Post III
William won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery back in 1998. This fortune was very shortlived. Three months later he landed himself into $500,000 worth of debt after he purchased a restaurant and airplane.
Suzanne Mullins was a rather generous lotto winner and decided to share her 20 annual payments of $47,800 with her husband and daughter. This did not work out exactly as she planned and the bills started piling up. She resorted to a financial loan and today owes around $154,146.50 in loan payments.
Marie Holmes, a mother of four, could not believe it when she won $188 million in the Powerball. Unfortunately, she had to bail her boyfriend out for the third time. With all the money she has spent on him Holmes has wasted $21 million. She then had to pay an additional $1,470,000 in fees. We think she should probably change her taste in men and hold on to her money, don’t you?