▼$656 Million Jackpot & Lottery Car Crash Lessons▼
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Building on the 'safeguards' theme from the previous two blogs, the process of creating
this blog alone is itself part of a precautionary measure I am taking having previously,
well, mismanaged a small lottery win shared with me. It happened a few years ago.
Now whether we win again or not is irrelevant. This blog all is about Brad Duke,
the Butlers above (who I'll be watching) and importantly, the excerpted sad &
and somewhat funny stories of people who won the lottery unprepared and,
in most cases, only got stupider by the day. For them, money was the root
of evil. From frittering away their winnings with excessive generosity to
evictions, legal & bankruptcy issues, shady friends & kin, jail time and
even deaths, Brad Duke's ilk emerge as the type to learn from. You'll
find from the predicament of lottery winners turned losers below
only corroborating themes (from my previous blogs), addiction
to, and involvement with narcotics/trafficking, run-ins with
the law & steep fall from grace. Unlike Michael Carroll for
example who hit a £9.7m jackpot in 2002 & squandered
it returning to court over 30 times for drugs-related &
other crimes, Brad Duke invested almost all of what
he won. Out of the $85 million lump sum he chose
from his original $220 million Powerball jackpot
win, he focused the first $80 million on
low-risk & aggressive investments. What I
most like is, he knew he'd win & so he
prepared financially, legally, covering
all bases. You can read more on the
story, his interview with Fortune
Magazine & his team of financial
advisors' work on helping him
become a "billionaire" here.
I'm not a lottery player &
I don't gamble or judge
those who do. But if
optimism is a force
multiplier, then I
say back yours
up with such
wind up a
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Charles Riddle: Won $1 million
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“He quickly got divorced, faced several lawsuits and was eventually indicted for selling cocaine.”
Mark Gardiner: Won £11 million
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“Thirteen miserable years later, he hasn’t lost his money, but he has lost all his friends - even the ones he treated to new £100,000 homes – and lost touch with his family.”
William "Bud" Post: Won $16.2 million
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“...described the experience as a ‘nightmare’ and wishes it had never happened...he was sued by a former girlfriend eager to get her hands on the cash and his brother hired a hitman in the hope of inheriting the winnings. He invested in ill-fated family businesses and within a year was $1m in debt. Today he gets by on social security payments. ”
Willie Hurt: Won $3.1 million
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“Two years later the money was gone and he was on a murder charge. Hurt spent his fortune on a divorce and crack cocaine.
Jack Whittaker (aka, Andrew Jackson): Won $314.9 million (click image for details)
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This one is probably the most instructive in that as Marvin Jones' Blog chronicles, there was a good beginning, bad developments as a result of his new found wealth (and by the way, he was doing just fine prior, financially) that quickly spiraled into an ugly set of circumstances involving association with bad people. And finally, having thrown away $114 million in just four years, an end. “In August of 2003, while spending over one hundred thousand dollars at the Pink Pony strip club in Cross Lanes West Virginia, thieves stole $545,000 in cash from his car. Two strip club employees were later arrested and charged with drugging Whittaker's drinks and arranging the robbery, however the money was never recovered.” Is meaninglessness or misery in spite of enormous wealth or fortune directly related to hedonism and being tired of pleasure? You be the judge. But sometimes, you have to hit rock bottom before you start thinking straight and for that, there is no education like firsthand experience.
Janite Lee: Won $18 million
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“Her generosity in giving money to a variety of political, educational and community causes was commendable – but just eight years later she filed for bankruptcy. ”
Anonymous Sicilian (and still unclaimed): Won £79 million
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“Before he or she could even collect the winnings consumer groups were demanding that the windfall be seized by the government. The winner has since gone into hiding, fearing the Mafia will come calling. ”
David Lee Edwards: Won $42 million
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Like fellow Kentucky native Whittaker, Edwards' sudden wealth only attracted more problems.
Don McNay of the Times Tribune puts it all in perspective:
About a week after Edwards won the lottery, I watched him on television and predicted that he would run through all the money. He had every red flag for disaster. Edwards won a $41 million Powerball and took home $27 million in August of 2001. Six years later, the money was apparently gone. An out-of-work ex-con, Edwards immediately acquired an entourage and went on a buying spree. He was all over the media, and I remember him saying that he was going to meet with financial advisors. Edwards was evicted from his $1.2 million home in Palm Beach Garden, Fla. for not paying his association dues. Shortly thereafter, Edwards was evicted from a storage unit...His wife was arrested for not paying $17,000 in back child support...released and then arrested again; she missed a court date and failed a drug test.
You would think someone who won the lottery would get it right.
It did not happen, and Edwards became another “shake your head” kind of story...Receiving a life-changing amount of money is not a curse as long as the receiver takes steps to keep him or herself under control.
Most people have built-in controls on their finances. They work for a paycheck and pay their bills. They have a budget based on the steady amount of money coming in.
When people get “sudden money” from an inheritance, lottery or other source, they often do not know how to handle it. It makes them easy prey to family and friends wanting a “loan” and prey to the temptation to spend their money on unnecessary items.
There is a whole economy built around people who let money run through their fingers...a ton of advertisements aimed at “helping” people spend their tax refunds.
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