These lottery winners lost it all (2024)

These lottery winners lost it all- <p>Is winning the lottery a dream come true or a recipe for disaster? Join us on a rollercoaster ride through the lives of those who struck it rich and learned that <a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/lifestyle/539765/get-better-with-money-by-avoiding-these-financial-no-nos" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fortune doesn't always favor the bold.</a></p>
<p>From lavish spending to shocking betrayals, these lottery winners' stories will make you think twice about buying that lucky ticket. Swipe through our gallery to find out more about those who weren't so lucky.</p>

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Urooj Khan-

Urooj Khan an Indian immigrant to the United States won US$1 million in the Illinois lottery in 2012. His joy was short-lived as he died under mysterious circ*mstances just days after receiving his winnings.

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Urooj Khan-

Initially, it was ruled that he had died from natural causes however after his brother had pushed for the coroner's office to take a closer look at his brother's death the truth came to light. An autopsy revealed he was poisoned with cyanide.

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Jeffrey Dampier-

In 1996, security guard Jeffrey Dampier struck gold with a life-changing US$20 million Illinois lottery win. But his life took a dark turn.

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Jeffrey Dampier-

He divorced his wife, gave her half the winnings, remarried, and even had an affair with his new sister-in-law. Tragically, he was shot to death by her and her new boyfriend, ending his lottery-winning journey in a gruesome way.

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Willie Hurt-

Willie Hurt won US$3.1 million in the Michigan lottery in 1989. Initially, he celebrated his newfound wealth, but his life quickly spiraled out of control.

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Willie Hurt-

Two years after he won Hurt was divorced, had lost custody of his children, and had picked up a very bad addiction to drugs. He spent most of his winnings on this new addiction to drugs, leading to legal issues and a tragic fall from grace.

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Abraham Shakespeare-

Casual laborer Abraham Shakespeare's life took a tragic turn after he won US$30 million in a Florida lottery in 2006. Three years later, he was reported missing by his family. His body was later discovered underneath a concrete slab in 2010 at an acquaintance's house. It came to light that Shakespeare had been murdered by DeeDee Moore, who had befriended him.

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Lisa Arcand-

Massachusetts resident Lisa Arcand won US$1 million in 2004. Despite her newfound fortune, poor financial decisions, including a failed restaurant investment, left her struggling financially.

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Gerald Muswagon-

Gerald Muswagon won the Canadian lottery to the value of US$10 million in 1998, and it seemed like a dream come true. The 42-year-old from Manitoba, Canada, hit the jackpot on a lucky US$2 Super 7 ticket. However, he struggled with the newfound wealth and faced personal demons. Tragically, he ended his own life just a few years after winning.

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Alex Toth-

Alex Toth won a US$13 million lottery jackpot in Florida in 1990. Toth decided to take the winning in annual installments earning him a cool US$666,666 per year.

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Alex Toth-

Toth would go on to live a life of pure luxury with his wife Rhoda. The couple developed a nasty gambling addiction and according to The Sun were living in a US$ 1000-a-night Las Vegas hotel room for nearly 3 months. Toth ended up filing for bankruptcy and living on social benefits before his death in 2008.

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Americo Lopes-

Americo Lopes, a construction worker, won the US$38.5 million in the New Jersey lottery according to The New York Times. Lopes quit his job and initially lied about how he came into such a large amount of cash.

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Americo Lopes-

When he eventually confessed to a former coworker, problems arose. Several coworkers accused Lopes of failing to honor their agreement to share the winnings as they had all pitched in to buy the ticket, resulting in a fraud lawsuit. Ultimately, the court ruled in favor of the coworkers. Lopes had to divide the prize.

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Ibi Roncaioli-

Ibi Roncaioli won US$7.4 million in the Canadian lottery in 1991 which she ended up splitting with a friend. However, her story took a dark turn when she kept her winnings a secret from her husband. After having sent $1.4 million to a child she had secretly had with another man, Dr. Joseph Roncaioli could no longer hold his temper. The gynecologist poisoned his wife with painkillers resulting in her death.

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Jack Whittaker-

In 2002, West Virginia contractor Andrew Jackson Whittaker Jr. won a jaw-dropping US$114 million from a US$315 million multistate Powerball draw. However, luck quickly turned against him.

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Jack Whittaker-

Thieves snatched $545,000 he had stashed in a car in 2003 and another $200,000 a year later in the exact same fashion. Caesar's Atlantic City sued him for $1.5 million in bounced checks. Within four years, his once-massive fortune had vanished.

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Billie Bob Harrell Jr.-

Pentecostal pastor Billie Bob Harrell Jr. won a staggering US$31 million in the Texas lottery in 1997. He quit his job, bought a ranch, traveled to Hawaii, and bought 6 additional houses and a fleet of new cars. Harrell Jr. also bought 480 turkeys to donate to the poor according to Times.

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Billie Bob Harrell Jr.-

However, the pressures of wealth, constant financial demands from friends and family, and the weight of expectations took a toll on him. Tragically, he fell into a deep depression and eventually took his own life.

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Denise Rossi-

In 1997, Denise Rossi won US$1.3 million in the California lottery. Her immediate response was to file for divorce from her husband. However, she didn't disclose her winnings during the divorce proceedings, which led to legal trouble. In the end, the judge awarded every cent of her lottery win to her husband.

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Jay Sommers-

In 1988, Jay Sommers, Michigan's youngest lottery winner at 20, hit the jackpot with US$5 million. He was the poster boy for easy riches. However, poor investments and legal battles drained his fortune. He entrusted US$5 million to a trust fund, which was embezzled by the trustee.

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Jay Sommers-

Sommers ventured into NASCAR, costing him US$200,000 annually. He quit college, sued the trustee, and settled for US$800,000. Legal fees and trial expenses ate up more. Today he regrets the lottery win that ultimately ruined his life.

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Ronnie Music Jr.-

Ronnie Music Jr. won US$3 million in Georgia's 2015 lottery. But instead of investing wisely, he chose a criminal path, investing in 11 pounds of crystal meth. This choice led him straight to prison.

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Evelyn Adams-

Convenience store worker Evelyn Adams had two winning tickets in the 1985 and 1986 New Jersey lottery, totaling US$5.4 million.

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Evelyn Adams-

Like so many other winners before her Adams could not help herself and started the path to her own downfall. She squandered it all on slot machines, gifts, and risky investments. Today, she reportedly lives in a trailer.

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William 'Bud' Post-

In 1988, William 'Bud' Post hit a US$16.2 million Pennsylvania jackpot. But the excitement faded fast. Lawsuits, family disputes, and bankruptcy followed. His ex-girlfriend sued him, his brother hired a hitman according to Forbes, and others demanded money. Post's lavish spending on houses, boats, cars, and even a two-engine plane that didn't have a license to fly was his ultimate downfall.

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Keith Gough-

Keith Gough's GBP£9 million lottery win in 2005 brought luxury but also turmoil. He quit his job, indulged in cars and a VIP box at Aston Villa his dream soccer club, but spiraled into alcoholism. His marriage crumbled, and he checked into rehab. Keith later confessed that the win "ruined his life," feeling bored and distrustful. He died at 58, targeted by a scam artist who bled him dry. Despite the breakup, his ex-wife still supported him financially. The scammer, James Prince, took advantage of Keith's vulnerability. The lottery dream became a nightmare.

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Marva Wilson-

Marva Wilson won US$2 million in the Georgia lottery in 2007. Her story takes a unique twist as she generously helped others financially, including buying houses and cars for friends and family. However, her kindness led to financial troubles, and she ended up declaring bankruptcy.

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Suzanne Mullins-

Suzanne Mullins won US$4.2 million in the Virginia lottery in 1993. Despite her substantial winnings, poor financial decisions and family disputes led to more than US$1 million in debt for Mullins.

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Janite Lee-

Janite Lee, an immigrant from South Korea, won US$18 million in the 1993 Illinois Lottery. At first, she bought a million-dollar home and seemed set for life.

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Janite Lee-

However, Lee made poor financial decisions leading her to sell her annual checks for a lump-sum amount. A decade later, at 60, she filed for bankruptcy, leaving her with US$2.5 million in debt.

Sources: (Times) (Insider) (The New York Times) (The Sun) (Forbes) (Express UK)

See also: Simple ways to make your cash last

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These lottery winners lost it all (2024)
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