We’ve all dreamed of winning the lottery, but some people have spent their winnings in ways that leave us with a bitter taste in our mouths. Let us take a look at some famous lottery winners and how they spent their fortunes.
Jack Whittaker, who won $315 million in 2002, made some costly errors with his money. He used it to fund demolition derbies – events where cars are intentionally driven into each other – which resulted in injuries to many spectators.
Billie Bob Harrell Jr.
When a lotto winner wins the jackpot, it can be an exhilarating moment. They often hope that it will solve all their problems and make life much simpler for them.
But lottery winners can suffer severe financial strain and become embarrassments to their communities, with some even succumbing to bankruptcy.
Willie Hurt won the Michigan Lottery in 1989 but divorced and broke within two years due to a crack cocaine addiction that sapped away much of his fortune.
In 1997, Billie Bob Harrell Jr. won a whopping $31 million Texas Lottery jackpot. He promptly spent the money on new homes and cars for his family as well as making generous donations to his church.
Lottery winners make headlines, but not every story has a happy ending. Some fail to manage their money well while others become mired in debt that’s difficult to climb out of.
Reports indicate that Ibi Roncaioli, 72, was tragically killed by her husband after she allegedly spent all of her fortune. Reports state that Joseph, 72, administered a cocktail of anesthetics to tranquilize her before injecting her with fatal results.
Ibi and her husband had been living together for 30 years but recently began having financial disagreements. Soon enough, they moved out of one another’s homes and no longer had time for one another, according to Ibi’s son who spoke to media about the situation.
When Urooj Khan won a lottery prize in Illinois, he was overjoyed and wanted to use his funds for those less fortunate than himself. Additionally, he planned on donating some of his winnings to a children’s hospital as well as investing some of the funds into his dry cleaning business.
Before Khan could cash the lottery check, however, he collapsed and passed away. An autopsy conducted a month later revealed that Khan had been poisoned with cyanide.
A family member reported the death to investigators and the case was quickly reopened. Yet it remains shrouded in mystery.
Michael Carroll was only 19 when he won the UK National Lottery. For several years after receiving his prize money, Michael lived a lavish lifestyle.
Reports indicate Michael Carroll used his winnings for prostitutes and drugs, as well as purchasing expensive cars and vacationing on the Costa del Sol.
He then embarked on an unsustainable spending spree that continued until he had exhausted all his funds. By 2012, he had nothing left and had no choice but to turn to unemployment benefits.
He was married to Sandra Aitken for many years until she discovered his indiscretions, including having relations with prostitutes and surrounding himself with “hangers-on.” As part of a settlement agreement, she received PS1.4 million from him in compensation.
Jack Whittaker became an instant celebrity in 2002 when he won a Powerball jackpot. He flew in a private jet for media appearances and donated most of his winnings to charity; however, some of it was also spent on cocaine, gambling and hookers.
He was already a wealthy businessman when he won, but his newfound prosperity left him with many regrets. He began spending money on strip clubs and had his car broken into, among other things.
In the end, he tragically lost both his daughter and granddaughter in tragic incidents. Additionally, he experienced divorce, addiction issues, and substance abuse problems.