Have you ever wondered why millions of Americans are secretly addicted to playing the lottery? Even if the chances of anyone actually winning are 1 in 175,223,510? Many of us know at least one person whose religiously dedicated to winning the almighty jackpot--even if they’re aware of the extremely slim odds. Maybe it’s the mere idea of receiving a life changing amount of money which serves as the motivation for them to spend their personal cash, to potentially win more. The fantasy of winning has grown so that many would spend their last dollar purchasing a ticket, rather than saving for a rainy day.
So what would you do if you were that lucky 1 in 175 million who picked a winning ticket and became the sudden inheritor of untold millions? Perhaps a brand new car, fancy new house and lavish vacations; or even providing your family the life you've always dreamed of. That is the hopeful thinking many past winners had before their lives were completely rearranged with issues surrounding their new found riches. Many forget about the impact their win will have on those they love most; threats from friends and strangers, robbery and the classic distant relatives appearing out of the woodwork. Check out our list of the 10 most unlucky lottery winners whose millions tragically changed their lives forever. Seems to us like the old saying, “Money won’t make you happy”, should be changed to, “Winning the lotto won’t make you happy”.
10 Urooj Khan, $1 million
9 Callie Rogers, $3 million
8 Evelyn Adams, $5.4 million
7 Alex and Rhoda Toth, $13 million
6 Michael Carroll, $15 million
One of the youngest lottery winners ever, UK born Michael Carroll won won his fortune at the age of 19 - which many would feel is an extremely young age to become an instant millionaire. Carroll (who was a garbageman before) began using his fortune on his family, purchasing them new homes and gifts.
5 William Post, $16.2 million
4 Janite Lee, $18 million
3 Jeffrey Dampier, $20 million
2 Billie Bob Harrell Jr., $31 million
1 Jack Whittaker, $315 million
When Jack Whittaker won the Powerball in 2002, he went down as the man who one the largest jackpot by a single ticket--a total of $315 million! The 55 year old West Virginia native owned Diversified Enterprises Construction, and was already worth a reported $17 million before his big win. After winning, the devout religious man gave 10 % of his winnings to Christian charities, and used 14 million to create the Jack Whittaker foundation-not sure why he used his own name. The woman who was working the counter when he purchased the ticket was showered with gifts as well; he bought her a $123,000 house, a new Dodge Ram Truck, and gave her $50,000 cash.
Soon after his record-breaking when, trouble began to surround Jack in all ways. Less than a year after winning, a couple of thieves broke into Jack’s car while it was parked at a strip club, and got away with $545,000 in cash which Whittaker carried around in a suitcase. Why have all that cash in one place? We’re still asking the same question. Soon after, two managers of the exact same strip club he was first robbed, were arrested for conspiring to slip drugs into Jack’s drink and then rob him. It seems as if Jack would have learned his lesson of how much cash to carry around, but he didn't. In January of 2004, Jack’s car was once again robbed, this time the thieves managed to take another $200 thousand, which was eventually recovered by the police.
Months later 18 year old Jessie Tribble, who was the boyfriend of Jack’s granddaughter Brandi, was found dead in Whittaker’s West Virginia home. The coroner’s determined that Jessie had died of an overdose on a combination of oxycodone, methadone, meperidine, and cocaine. Only three months later, his own granddaughter Brandi had suffered the same fate as she was found dead at the house of a male friend after being reported missing for a week. Her body was found wrapped in a plastic tarpaulin and dumped behind an abandoned van, yet no one was charged with murder-she also suffered an overdose. Jack was completely devastated after the death of Brandi, whom he had practically raised since birth. “I wish I’d torn that ticket up,” he told reporters at the time.
Sadly the hard and devastating times were far from over for Jack, as he was sued by Caesars Atlantic City casino for bouncing $1.5 million in checks to cover his gambling losses. As he was battling the lawsuit with his very own counter suit, his own daughter Ginger (mother of Brandi) was found dead in Daniels, West Virginia. While foul play was not involved, the actual cause of death is still a mystery. Today, it is said that Jack still lives in West Virginia, but is completely broke. $315 million down the drain.
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