Lottery winners who went bankrupt


According to a study by wolf street. After significant tax liabilities, lavish spending decisions, and previous monetary commitments to friends, family, or the liquor store clerk, winning the lotto is often more of a curse than a blessing.

After a winner from South Carolina purchased a winning ticket to last Tuesday’s $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot, here’s a look at some of the people who found themselves worse off than before after hit the jackpot, according to Discount rate data:

  • William Post III, $16.2 million. Just three months after winning the Pennsylvania Lottery in 1988, Post struggled with crime, bankruptcy and poor spending decisions, such as buying a restaurant and an airplane. Post was $500,000 in debt and filed for bankruptcy in the early 1990s, according to Bankrate.

  • Evelyn Marie Adams, $5.4 million. Adams won the New Jersey Lottery twice in 1985 and 1986 and admitted to being broke in an interview with the New York Post in 2012. Adams allegedly gambled binge and lost the majority of his money in Atlantic City.

  • Andrew “Jack” Whittaker, $315 million. Whittaker’s $170.5 million lump sum payment in 2002 supplemented his existing net worth of approximately $17 million. The millionaire donated a good percentage of his earnings to various charities and foundations until his divorce and the death of his granddaughter. From there, he suffered numerous robberies and began to drink heavily.

  • Alex and Rhoda Toth, $13 million. The couple agreed to payouts of $666,666 over 20 years in 1990 but filed for bankruptcy in 2006 after living a lavish Vegas lifestyle and enduring detective legal fees stemming from family drama. The couple were later charged with tax evasion. Rhoda was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $1.1 million.

  • Billie Bob Harrell Jr., $31 million. Invented as “Santa Claus”, Harrell paid bills and bought new cars and houses for his family before buying around 500 turkeys for the poor. Less than two years after winning the lotto, Harrell committed suicide, according to Bankrate.

  • Janite Lee, $18 million. A St. Louis entrepreneur, Lee has donated wads of cash to the Democratic National Committee, as well as individual political candidates. She also donated to the University of Washington and its law school, according to Bankrate. In 2001, after major expenses, Lee filed for bankruptcy with only $700 to his name. She reportedly lost around $350,000 gambling.

  • Suzanne Mullins, $4.2 million. Mullins won the Virginia Lottery in 1993, a prize that amounted to 20 annual payments of $50,000. In 1998, Mullins took out a loan from the People’s Lottery Foundation, but was later sued in 2004 for owing the foundation more than $150,000 on the loan.

  • Denise Rossi, $1.3 million. After winning the lottery, Rossi’s first attempt was to divorce her husband, who had no knowledge of the win. In 1999, the ex-husband sued and the judge said Rossi violated state asset disclosure laws. As a result, the ex-husband received all of the winnings, according to Bankrate.

Click on here to learn more about the biggest lottery wins of all time.

Related links:

10 youngest billionaires on the Forbes 400 list

Scrooges Of The Forbes 400: The Least Philanthropic American Billionaires

Photo courtesy of Mega Millions.

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