Do you ever dream about winning the lottery? Be careful. Meet ten lottery winners whose dreams became a nightmare.
1Callie Rogers - The teenager girl who spent all her money on clothes, parties and silicone
Callie Rogers was once the world's luckiest teenager. At the tender age of 16, Ms. Rogers won £1.9million lottery. That was, at the time, about $3 million. Now it's all gone. The ecstatic girl spent her winnings on vacations, homes, shopping, friends, and even a couple of breast improvements. Six years and two attempts of suicide later, Rogers is a 22-year-old single mother of two. She now works as a maid to sustain herself and her family. She is paying off debt induced by her spending.
2Janite Lee – The Missourian who gave away her money to politics, education and the community and ended up with nothing left
Sometimes, even good intentions can get wildly out of hand -- as was the case for Janite Lee, the 52-year-old woman, who landed an $18 million payout from the Missouri Lottery back in 1993. The South Korean immigrant immediately began to contribute chunks of her wealth to various educational programs, community services and political organizations. Besides the usual million-dollar house and cars, Lee reportedly donated more than $1 million to Washington University, where her namesake reading room commemorates the occasion. She reportedly donated $277,000 to Democratic political candidates, earning herself meals with Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and even the President of South Korea. She didn't stop there. $30,000 went to the family of a South Korean church pastor who passed away. The St. Louis Korean American Association received a house from her. Another Korean adoption-related association also benefited. Lee's philanthropy was expensive. But combined with her gambling habit—she lost $347,000 in a single year—bank loans, and credit card debt, it harkened disaster. She filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2001.
3"Jack" Whittaker Jr - The once biggest lottery winner who lost $114 million in four years
On December 25, 2002, West Virginia building contractor Andrew Jackson "Jack" Whittaker Jr. won $315 million in the Powerball multi-state lottery, at that time the largest jackpot in history won by a single person. At the time, he was the president of a successful contracting firm called Diversified Enterprises Construction. 55-year-old Whittaker was living a successfully comfortable American life complete with a net worth of over one million dollars, a well rounded family, great job and healthy grandkids. After winning the prize, he famously pledged 10% of his winnings to various Christian charities and created the Jack Whittaker Foundation with another $14 million.
Whittaker did some good, but his bad deeds make his story. He was arrested twice, once for drunk driving and once for threatening a bar manager. A woman sued him after he groped her at a dog racetrack. Thieves took $545,000 in cash from Whittaker's car while he was visiting a strip club. About a year later, thieves again stole $200,000 from his car. Caesars Atlantic City sued him for bouncing $1.5 million in checks. His wife divorced him. Then, there were the dead bodies. In 2003, Whittaker's granddaughter's boyfriend was found dead of an overdose inside Whittaker's home. His 17-year-old granddaughter, whom he had been giving a $2,100 weekly allowance, fatally overdosed months later, at a different location. His daughter—mother of the dead granddaughter—died this year of as-yet-undetermined causes. When reached for comment, Whittaker, now with no family and no fortune, said "I wish I'd torn that ticket up."
4Ken Proxmire – The machinist who won $1 million, went into car business and bankrupt in 4 years
Ken Proxmire was a machinist when he won $1 million in the Michigan lottery. He moved to California and went into the car business with his brothers. Within five years, he had filed for bankruptcy. "He was just a poor boy who got lucky and wanted to take care of everybody," explains Ken's son Rick. "It was a hell of a good ride for three or four years, but now he lives more simply. There's no more talk of owning a helicopter or riding in limos. We're just everyday folks. Dad's now back to work as a machinist," says his son.
5Evelyn Adams – The woman won the lottery twice and now lives in a trailer
Everyone knows the odds of winning the lottery once are astronomical. But Evelyn Adams beat those odds -- twice. The New Jersey resident hit the jackpot in 1985 and 1986 to the sum of $5.4 million. But Adams was a heavy gambler. And with Atlantic City being located in New Jersey, it wasn't long before Adams had lost all her money. Twenty years later, Adams is broke and living in a trailer.
6Jeffrey Dampier – The man who won 20 million in the lottery and was murdered by his greedy in-laws
Think your in-laws are a pain in the ass? Consider the case of Jeffrey Dampier who won $20 million in the Illinois Lottery in 1986. Upon receiving his prize, the generous winner immediately began showering friends and family with expensive gifts, including cars, houses and trips to exotic places. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough for Dampier's sister-in-law, Victoria Jackson. On the night of July 26, 2005, Jackson and her boyfriend, Nathaniel Jackson (not related), kidnapped the millionaire and shot him once in the back of the head, killing him instantly -- jealousy was deemed the motive. Both were charged with Dampier's murder and sentenced to life in prison.
7Suzanne Mullins – The woman who won $4.2 million and yet needed a loan to pay her bills
Mullins won the lottery back in 1993 and opted for yearly payouts instead of a lump sum. She planned on splitting the 20 annual payments of $47,800 with her husband and daughter. However, within five years, she 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. She blamed the debt on the lengthy illness of her uninsured son-in-law, who needed $1 million for medical bills.
8Billy Bob Harrell Jr. - The preacher who won $31 million, lent it all, lost his money and wife and later committed suicide
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 was apparently too much to handle for this lottery winner.
9Michael Carroll –The garbage man who won the lottery, lost it all with party and prostitutes and now is applying for his old job
Want to know how to fritter away a multi-million lottery fortune? Ask Michael Carroll: The unemployed 26-year-old Brit has blown a £9.7 million jackpot he won in 2002 (approximately $15 million at the time) and is currently hoping to get his old job back as a garbageman. At first, Carroll lavished gifts on friends and family, but soon started spending on less admirable causes: Cocaine, parties, cars, and, at one point, up to four prostitutes a day. Only a year after his winning, he was smoking £2,000 of crack cocaine every day and hosting drug and drink fuelled parties at his £325,000 home, the notorious Grange in Downham, Norfolk. After his wife left him, Carroll turned to prostitutes. He boasted about sleeping with four a day - a total of 2,000 at a cost of £100,000 over eight years - in order to sate his sexual appetite. He also lost £1million on the dogs and horses and even injected £1million into his favourite football team, Rangers. He was down to his last £500,000 cash in 2008 and last year sold his £400,000 fleet of luxury cars and spent the proceeds.
Now he is collecting a £42 a week in jobseeker's allowance. According to him it's easier to live off £42 dole than a million."
10Vivian Nicholson – The famous lottery winner who said she would ‘spend, spend, spend' and so she did
Vivian Nicholson famously claimed she would “spend, spend, spend” after winning £152,300 (worth about £3 million in today's money) when playing the Castleford football pools in 1961.
And Viv Nicholson was as good as her word, blowing her massive jackpot in less than five years. Since then she has been widowed, married five times, suffered from a stroke and has been treated for alcoholism, deported from Malta, became a Jehovah's Witnesses, tried to commit suicide and spent time in a mental institution. She spent her winnings on Harrods dresses, luxury cars and holidays and was the subject of the West End production of her life, aptly called “Spend, Spend, Spend”, with Barbara Dickenson playing her role. She is now living on a week pension of £87.