This week, California residents Jacki and Gilbert Cisneros won a $266 million jackpot in the lottery, the eighth-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history.We offer them our hearty congratulations!
But the couple better watch out how they spend it and should be careful how they hand out money or they could end up like some of these people.
Which is why we present to you the stories of 10 people who won the lottery and ended up losing everything. Whether it was reckless spending or a tragic death, if anyone wished they could go back in time to change their actions, it would be these people.
Dampier and his wife won the $20 million prize back in 1996 and used the winnings to help his family out by buying them houses and the like. He also started a gourmet popcorn store in Tampa, Florida which performed quite well and provided jobs for his family.
But in July of 2005, Dampier went to visit his sister-in-law and her boyfriend when she claimed she had car troubles. Her boyfriend pulled a pistol on Dampier and the two kidnapped him and killed him. They were ultimately convicted in 2006 and 2006 and received life sentences for their crimes.
45-year-old Barry Shell of Brampton, Ontario was broke as a joke and used one of his last dollars to buy a winning lottery ticket in 2009. He won $4 million Canadian dollars ($3.8m USD).
The thing is, Shell had a warrant out for his arrest on theft and possession of stolen property charges. Police arrested him after this photo of him claiming his prize was taken. He handed the cash off to a relative who later bailed him out.
In the mid-'80s, Adams won the lottery twice; once in 1985 and again in 1986 to defy all odds against her. The New Jersey native won a cool $5.4 million but was a heavy gambler. And with Atlantic City being located in New Jersey, it wasn't long before Adams had lost all her money. Today, she now lives in a trailer park and is flat broke.
Freddy won the seventh-largest jackpot in Michigan state history back in June of 2008. The $57 million prize was obviously long enough to last a lifetime-and-a-half, though he took the $33 million lump sum payment instead.
The problem was, Topous Jr. is a convicted sex offender who was released from prison in 2006. He'll have to register as a sex offender until 2024, but when you can buy a private island like he can, it's certainly not that big of an issue anymore.
In 1988, William 'Bud' Post won a $16.2 million jackpot in the Pennsylvania state lottery. That was the start of his problems.
An ex-girlfriend sued him for a share of winnings and won, his brother hired a hit man to try to kill him hoping to inherit some winnings, and other relatives bugged him constantly for money. Within one year, Post was $1 million in debt and filed for bankruptcy. He now lives on food stamps and a $450 month stipend.
In 1989, Willie won a $3.1 million jackpot in the Michigan Lottery and was on top of the world.
Fast forward to two years later and Hurt was divorced, lost custody of his children, charged with attempted murder, and had one hell of a crack-cocaine addiction. So bad that he blew through his entire fortune.
The NYC-based Rodriguez was working as a parking attendant making less than $30,000 a year and was completely broke. He blew one of his last dollars on a lottery ticket for a Mega Millions drawing that would net him a $149 million prize. He took the $88 million lump sum payment and all was well for a short time.
But soon after, his wife divorced him and filed for half of his lottery winnings. She won but Rodriguez was able to hang on to his half.
Mullins won the lottery back in 1993 and opted for yearly payouts instead of a lump sum. As a result, she quickly found herself in debt and used her future payouts as collateral for a $200,000 loan. Mullins later switched to a lump sum payout but never paid back her debts. The loan company filed suit and won judgment for a $154k settlement but they haven't collected anything because Mullins reportedly has no assets.
$1.9 million may sound like a lot but you can't live off it forever.
Welsh-born Luke Pittard won a £1.3 million jackpot ($1.9m USD) in 2006 but spent it all on a trip to the Canary Islands, a wedding, and a house. A year-and-a-half later, Pittard was forced to take up a job in a McDonald's flipping burgers. He says he's happy though and his leftover winnings still collect interest.
Source: Business Pundit
A Pentecostal preacher working as a stockboy at Home Depot hit the $31 million jackpot back in 1997. At first, life was good with Billy Bob buying a ranch, six other homes, and some new cars. Like many others who win the lottery, he was unable to simply say 'NO!' when people asked him for a handout.
Later in life he divorced his wife and eventually committed suicide, the stress apparently too much to handle for this lottery winner.
Source: Business Pundit
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