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10. Roger and Lara Griffiths had a great marriage, as they and their two daughters enjoyed life in their $800,000 home in West Yorkshire, England. There was a $30,000 Porsche and $25,000 Lexus in their garage… and life was good. Then, life got incredible, as the couple won $1.8 million pounds in the lottery. They both quit their jobs — he as an IT specialist making $38,000 a year, and she as a performing arts teacher, making about the same amount. It was time for the good life to become a great life. But it didn’t take long for that fortune to disappear, after buying new cars, going on extravagant vacations, private school fees for the daughters and making some bad financial decisions. And as the money dried up, their marriage went bad. Now, Roger lives alone in a small, cold house, with a second-hand couch and remembers all the good times… before everything went bad.
9. Jane Park was 17 in 2013 when she bought her very first lottery ticket… and she won, to the tune of a million pounds. She was Britain’s youngest EuroMillions winner. Now, she is considering suing the lottery for allowing her to win at such a young age, claiming her life has turned out horrible because of the money. Jane is 21 now and says she has been stressed out by buying so much and worries that the only reason men go out with her is because of her fortune. She has also been charged with assaulting a nightclub worker and driving 3 times over the legal limit in her BMW. Last November, she was in a nightclub’s photo booth and flashed her surgically enhanced 36FF breasts, which cost close to $5,000.
8. If you lost a $3 million winning lottery ticket, would you turn your house upside down looking for it. Ha! Yeah, me too. And that’s exactly what happened to 33-year-old Britain Martyn Tott. He recognized the numbers as his own for the unclaimed $3 million lottery prize. He went crazy trying to find it, and tried to persuade lottery officials that those were his winning numbers. But since 30 days had passed on the announcement of the numbers, lottery officials were not responsible any longer. The drive to find that winning ticket cost Martyn his marriage. He also joined an evangelical organization he now likens to a cult. But Martyn now says he’s glad he did not win the money because he completely lost sight of who he was and what he believed in. Meanwhile, I’m still looking for my winning ticket.
7. Juan Rodriguez just wanted to be one of the regular, hard-working Southern Texas guys. Unfortunately, he won $9 million in the state lottery and his life changed dramatically. Soon after winning, his wife filed for divorce and got half of the money. Now Juan lives in a small trailer home with four dogs. He’s lost all of his buddies, his girlfriends and the good life he once knew. He has no idea how much money he’s invested, how much he’s spent or how much he has left. He just basically wants to wake up from the nightmare of being rich.
6. Abraham Shakespeare won $17 million in 2006 in the Florida lottery. In early 2010, he was shot to death and buried. DeeDee Moore, a woman who had befriended Abraham to scam him out of his money, was found guilty in connection with his murder in 2012 and is now serving a life sentence. Abraham’s brother, Robert Brown, said often his brother would say that he wished he had never won. Abraham had also commented that he thought he had real friends but he realized they were only after his money.
5. Now this one’s a little different, because something good DID come of it. In mid-2013, in Alberta, Canada, Tom Crist was golfing with his buddies and was eating lunch when he received a phone call. The caller told him he had just won the $40 million Lotto Max jackpot. Tom then finished his lunch and went back to golfing with his buddies. For seven months, he didn’t tell a soul, trying to decide what he wanted to do with the money and how to avoid the press in doing so. Finally, when he realized he couldn’t avoid the press for such a jackpot, he collected the fortune and told the media that his wife of 33 years had died from cancer, and he and his children were going to decide which charities the money should go to in her memory. Says Tom: “I’ve been fortunate enough, through my career, 44 years with a company. I did very well for myself. I’ve done enough that I can look after myself, for my kids, so they can get looked after into the future. I don’t really need that money.”
4. Gillian Bayford won the 148 million pounds jackpot from Euro Millions. It made her life miserable. She split from her husband months after winning the prize and is on very bad terms with what she calls her “greedy” family, even after giving each of them 20 million pounds. She said the money has made her mother, father and brother very demanding and greedy, and that her father has tried to take control of her money. Says Gillian: ‘If they come back and knock at my door I won’t be bailing them out again.’
3. In 1988, William Post bought a winning ticket for the Pennsylvania lottery. It was worth $16.2 million. He was to collect 26 annual payments of about $498,000. During the first three months of winning, he bought lavish gifts, a restaurant in Florida, a used car lot, and a twin-engine airplane. The next year, he bought a mansion in Oil City, Pennsylvania. His brother tried to kill William for the inheritance, paying a hit man to carry out the job. It failed, and the brother was arrested. 10 years after winning, William was arrested for shooting at a man who came to his mansion to collect a debt. Eventually, William was in debt for more than a million dollars. He then survived mostly on food stamps and a $450 a month stipend. He later said that he wished he had never won. William died of respirotory failure on Jan. 15, 2006.
2. Jack Whittaker, who was already a millionaire, hit the second highest Powerball jackpot on Christmas Day in 2002. It was worth $315 million. Less than a year after winning, he said he was robbed of $545,000 that he had in his car, which he had parked next to a strip joint. (which leads me … or probably millions of others…to ask… why did he have that much money in his car… and next to a strip joint, no less). Soon after that, his wife divorced him, his granddaughter was found dead and his daughter died. And his bank accounts were empty. He blamed it all on the massive Powerball win. Says Jack: “I wish that we had torn up that ticket.”
1. Adam Osmond of Farmington, Connecticut, had a convenience store, but spent more than a million dollars buying its lottery tickets. He even printed off more than 54,000 tickets for himself. Whenever he would win a little, he used it to buy more and more tickets. Says Adam: ‘When I had my own store it was like having your own casino, it was me and the machine all the time.” He finally had to close his business and admit to his family about his gambling addiction. He has since kicked the gambling habit and works as an accountant, using his data analysis skills to show others the dark side of gambling.