Lottery winners who lost it all

Lottery winners who lost it allCan you ever imagine being poor after winning the lottery? I seriously can’t even see how I could even find ways to spend anything over say $2 million but it’s amazingly surprising how many people do blow their winnings and find themselves back on the poverty level. Found money is certainly a different beast form earned money though and it appears to be much easier to spend money that just arrives on the door step one day as it has no personal value associated with it! Still the notion that you could go broke after winning so much completely blows my mind!

5 Lottery winners who lost it all

Here are summaries of 6 lottery winners who made it big with the magic numbers but let it all slide away. More details about each winner and a few more can be found in MSN’s excellent article 8 lottery winners who lost their millions.

  1. Way back in 1988 William “Bud” Post from Pennsylvania won pretty big in the State lottery netting $16.2 million. After misusing the cash just a little bit he now lives on Social Security!
  2. 1993 saw the Virginia lottery award $4.2 million to Suzanne Mullins. She was talked into borrowing more using her winnings as collateral and now she is hugely in debt to them.
  3. Ken Proxmire only won $1 million from the Michigan lottery so it’s a little more understandable that he lost it. A bad business decision involved moving to California and getting into the car business with his brothers resulting in bankruptcy less than 5 years later.
  4. Willie Hurt also won $3.1 million from the Mighigan lottery in 1989. His story is more dramatic than most as in 1991 he was broke and charged with murder. It’s reported the cash was spent on divorce and crack!
  5. Yet another small (well respectively small) Michigan winner. Charles Riddle won  $1 million in 1975. After a divorce, several law suits and an indictment for selling cocaine he was left broke.
  6. Janite Lee is a sad case. She won a huge $18 million in 1993 (Missouri lottery I think) and became very generous with her cash. After giving to politics, community and education programs she filed for bankruptcy 8 years later. It’s hard to say if she spent all her cash on giving but she can have a good conscience if she did, although I am sure she feels a little stupid!

I’m sure the smaller winners go broke far more often due to the feeling that they are a millionaire. A million really is not as much cash as it was when the term millionaire was coined but the feeling of riches still is associated with it. I am sure the minute you win a lottery companies often associated with the lottery itself are on your case telling you what they can do for you. What houses and boats and cars you can get and what you can do to with all those riches. Also if you have any bad habits like drugs it really is an excuse and a free pass to go to excess!

Well hopefully we can all learn from where others went wrong!

8 thoughts on “Lottery winners who lost it all”

  1. I’m sure if one of us PF bloggers won it would be a completely different story :).

    I know for me, i’d first load up on retirement funds, college fund, and pay off any remaining debt. Then, i’d probably spend a year looking at small sustainable investments or businesses that had to invest in. …and maybe buy a beach house.

    Pretty boring huh?
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    1. Of course, looking deeper into some of their stories that sentiment does exists….. Not sure the crack addicts are thinking that right now though!

  2. The couple from Canada that gave it all away (or plans to, I don’t remember exactly) is a noble example of losing a lottery jackpot. I can respect that.

    Personally, I would do whatever I could to protect the principal. Over time, I would give some away, to be sure, but would focus on ensuring my family’s financial security.
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    1. Yeah their story is amazing and very inspirational. Something tells me though they will make a fair bit back in publicity and won’t be going short from now on.

      I am the same I hope, just protect the mass of the cash.

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