Here are lottery winners who went completely broke!
9 – David Lee Edwards Can you guys imagine being on both ends of life? A life where you’ve been in jail, but where also you flew in a private plane between your homes? Well, that basically describes David Lee Edwards, a convicted felon from Ashland, Kentucky, who won a $27 million dollar lottery jackpot back in August 2001.
But his ridiculousness free-spending ways left him and his wife broke and living in a storage unit within just FIVE years of winning 27 million dollars! If you’re wondering how someone can blow 27 million in 5 years, you’re definitely not alone. Let’s do some really quick math here.
In his first year as a millionaire, Edwards spent TWELVE MILLION. SOMEone didn’t do their math right! So yeah there goes almost half his money right there. Edwards bought a $1.6million, 6,000-square-foot house in a private tennis and golf community in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He spend $600,000 on another home nearby. He paid $1.9 million for a LearJet, bought three losing racehorses, and bought a fiber optics installation company and a limo business for $4.5 million.
I’m gonna guess he probably didn’t exactly to do the discounted cash flows for THOSE acquisitions. Oh yeah, he also bought his daughter a $35,000 Hummer golf cart to drive around because she couldn’t actually drive at the time. At one point, he had a million dollars in vehicles parked in front of his house.
His neighbors complained that his house in the upscale community started to look like a car dealership! You guys know the end. Because of his reckless YOLO spending, he lost every last penny of his $27 million fortune and died owing thousands of dollars to friends.
8 – Callie Rogers Callie Rogers was just a 16 years old kid living in foster care when she won 1.9 million pounds in the lottery in 2003. As you guys can expect, her spending spree began prrrretty much immediately! Callie forked out £11,500 pounds on not one, but TWO boob jobs, £300,000 pounds on clothes, make-up and tattoos. Well, at least she only spent £85,000 pounds on sports cars. Buuuuut hold up, she did spend a quarter of a million pounds on uh….nose candy. Callie spent an additional £250,000 pounds on vacations around the world, and get this, she also spent £118,000 pounds on gifts to her former boyfriends!
I mean…..who and what DIDN’T she spend on her money on? Basically, as expected, she spent all her money, and in 13 years, she just has around £2,000 pounds left in the bank. She actually called her win a curse, because she said that she felt the pressure of having to live it up with the expectation of having a party lifestyle after winning the lottery.
More money more problems I guess, because she now lives with her three kids and says she’s “happier than ever”.
7 – William Post Way back in 1988, William “Bud” Post III was the winner of a Pennsylvania Lottery jackpot worth $16.2 million dollars. On the day he won the jackpot, he had just two dollars and forty six cents in his bank account!
I guess when you have that little money in your bank account and play keno games canada, you feel like a little over 16 million In the two weeks after Post collected the first of his 26 annual payments of almost $500 thousand dollars, he spent more than 300,000 dollars on gifts and investments. Those investments included things such as a liquor license, a lease for a restaurant in Florida, and a used-car lot. He also bought an airplane to fly around in, even though he didn’t have a pilot’s license. Well, at least it wasn’t a private jet.
In just three months, his debts totaled $500,000 dollars! That’s a million dollar turnaround in the wrong direction! But listen to this story.
I guess he and his brother weren’t exactly on friendly terms, so his brother actually had it out for him. His brother actually hired someone to go after him and his SIXTH wife! However, his brother’s plan failed and he was arrested. His intentions were to get Post’s winnings as an inheritance.
This pretty much kinda summed up the rest of the time for Post’s payments; each of the checks came just to pay off debts and Post never actually was in the green except the day he got his first check. By the end of his life, Post was a million in the red.
6 – Sharon Tirabassi On Easter weekend back in April 2004, Sharon Tirabassi, a 35 year-old resident of Hamilton cashed a check from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation for a little over 10 and a half million canadian dollars. Well, I’m just gonna make a long story short; she blew threw the 10 mill in less than 10 years.
She gave her parents a million and then split another 1.75 million between her four siblings. She then took friends on wild, all-expenses-paid trips to Cancun, Florida, Las Vegas, California, the Caribbean. Of course, she also bought cars. A Hummer, a Mustang, a Dodge Charger, and a custom Cadillac Escalade.
She also bought houses and rented them out at a low rent for her friends, and she offered loans for things such as bail and business ventures, and obviously the money never came back. Although it doesn’t seem like Sharon spent ridiculously, all that money adds up. Sharon never hired a financial adviser; she didn’t even keep track of her account balance! Suddenly, with just $750,000 left, reality hit her hard, and she had to go back to real life.
However, there is a silver lining. What remained of her winnings when reality hit is in a trust for her six children. That and she actually didn’t go into debt!
5 – Gerald Muswagon You guys still wanna win the lottery yet? I have a feeling that winning the lottery and KEEPING the money is kinda like losing a lotta weight really quickly and then being able to keep the weight off! Gerald Muswagon won a nice even $10 million lottery jackpot back in 1998.
Immediately after his win, he did as pretty much every lottery winner does, and he went on a spending spree. Does anyone NOT spend any of their money and just live normally for a year or anything like that? I think it’d probably help to let things sink in for a little bit.
Muswagon bought new cars for his family and friends, and he also bought a new house that he basically turned into a party house for him and his friends. Making sure his friends were happy seemed to be a big theme because he supposedly also bought eight brand new big screen TVs for his friends in a 24 hour period! He did tried to start a profitable business in the logging industry, but unfortunately for Muswagon, sales were low and his business was really a liability. He easily blew through the lottery winnings in only a few years. Unfortunately, in a tragic and sad turn, Muswagon couldn’t take it anymore and ended everything in his parent’s garage.
4 – Vivian Nicholson Way back in 1961, a British woman named Vivian Nicholson had the opportunity of a lifetime.
Her husband Keith managed to win more than three and a half million pounds, a pretty big amount back then factoring in inflation. She told the press that her plans were to “spend spend spend.” And she wasn’t kidding. For the next few years she bought expensive cars, fur coats, vacations, and whatever else rich people buy. She lived a spectacular lifestyle that quickly caused her and her husband’s fortune to dwindle. However, when her husband Keith passed a in car crash, she was left with an enormous tax bill.
And on the top of that, what remained of her husband’s winnings belonged to his estate…not her! She actually became a Jehovah’s witness and wrote an autobiography entitled “Spend Spend Spend” which was of course about her experience. Somehow it was later adapted into a musical.
3 – Billy Bob Harrell Jr. It took Texas native Billie Bob Harrell Jr. less than two years to undo the good fortune that came with winning 31 million dollars from the lottery. In his case, he was just wayyyyy too nice.
After taking his family on vacation, he quit his job at home depot, gave money to his church, bought cars and homes for his friends and family, and gave away lots of money to charities. For example, he once donated close to 500 turkeys for poor families for Thanksgiving. However big his heart was, his ability to manage his wealth wasn’t all that great. You guys starting to notice a theme here? It seems that the trick is to not change your lifestyle at all, or at least WAIT a few months to really let things sink in.
Anyways, he decided to take a bad deal with a company who paid him a lump sum in exchange for his annual payouts from the lottery. H was obviously left with far less money than he actually won, and it only took 20 months for Billy Bob to blow through all the money. According to TIME magazine, he once told a financial adviser that winning the lottery was the worst thing that ever happened to him.
2 – Michael Carroll In 2002, when 19-year old Michael Carroll won the U.K National Lottery, he became something of a mini celebrity. Carroll won close to 10 million pounds, or just over 14 million US dollars. Carroll was working as a garbage collector for a living when he won the lottery, and Carroll didn’t even have a bank account at the time, so obviously he had no clue about handling any sort of finance whatsoever.
BUT, like a lot of lottery winners, Carroll claimed he planned to spend his money wisely and save most of it. Spoiler alert, obviously that didn’t happen! Instead Carroll became renowned for his partying and gambling habits. Now it’s worth noting that he already had a criminal record when he won and he was actually wearing an ankle monitor when he collected his check.
Carroll went and bought a mansion, one he named “The Grange,” where he threw crazy parties that I’m sure the neighbors loved. Oh yeah, he would also hold amatuer demolition derbies in his backyard! By 2012 he had spent all of his money, was broke, and camping out in the woods! If there’s some sort of a silver lining to somehow blowing through a $14 million fortune, he was able to drop his hug habit after losing all of his money.
He ended up working at a cookie factory making 300 bucks a week. He told the BBC that he appreciated those wages much more than the fortune he won. This dude lost all his money, but gained some perspective, so that counts for something…..I guess! But the last time I checked, perspective doesn’t pay any bills!
1 – Andrew Jackson Whittaker Jr. In 2002, Andrew Jackson Whittaker Jr won the powerball worth a ridiculous amount of money. In fact, at the time, Whittaker’s ticket was the largest single winner in the history of the U.S lottery! After taking the lump sum and taxes from the almost 315 million dollar jackpot, Whittaker Jr was left with a hundred and thirteen million dollars, give or take a few hundred thousand! Whitaker pledged 10 percent of his winnings to Christian charities and he also set up the Jack Whittaker Foundation.
So there’s $14 million right there. Okay, let’s get to the dumb stuff. While visiting a strip club, he left 545 grand in cash in his car. Who are you, Floyd Mayweather?! At least Mayweather has recurring cash flows!!
Obviously his car got broken into, and the money was gone. So that’s over half a mill gone right there. Apparently he didn’t learn his lesson, because months later, his car was broken into again and thieves made off with $200,000 in cash. Sigh. Sadly things only got worse.
He would go on to develop a bit of a gambling habit. He bounced a 1.5 million check at a casino in Atlantic City. And just as icing on the cake, his home caught fire in December of 2016. It turned out that he had never insured the home…so it was a total loss.
Seriously? No Insurance? HOWEVER, Whittaker actually was already a millionaire when he won. Maybe that’s why there actually really aren’t reports of him broke. However, with all the crazy things that’s happened to Whittaker, it may just be a toss-up!
Here’s what’s next!