With the $1.5 billion Powerball draw tonight, everyone is frantically collecting their tickets and crossing their fingers.
According to Wall Street Journal, the odds of winning are 1 in 292 million. Essentially, you have a better chance of being struck by lightning, attacked by a shark or crushed by a vending machine.
Now, here are some words. Betrayal, murder, drugs, suicide, hookers, bankruptcy. What do they all have in common? The lottery.
If you happen to win, you could learn a lesson from these previous winners:
Jack Whittaker – $315 million
First of all, this guy was already a millionaire and then he goes and wins himself the Powerball in 2002. Soon to follow would be legal troubles, and a love of alcohol and strippers. There was one incident where his car was broken into and stole half a million in cash. Not to mention in the years to follow his daughter and granddaughter died, the latter of drug overdose.
In this case, the ticket was more of a bad luck charm. He later says himself that he should have just torn up the ticket.
Callie Rogers – $3 million
In 2003, at just 16, this UK teen won more money than she could even possibly dream of. She soon would get sucked into the life of luxury, spending her money on designer clothes, drugs, vacations and breast implants. After developing a drug habit and facing bankruptcy, she attempted suicide (more than once).
Today, she is much happier and credits that to living a normal life.
Lara and Roger Griffiths – $2.76 million
This (formerly) married couple bought a million dollar house, a Porsche, put their daughters in Private school and tried to live like the famous… alcohol, vacations and botox. It all came crashing down in 2010 when their house caught on fire. Later, Lara found out Roger was cheating and soon after all their financial problems began to unfold. After reckless spending and bad investments, they were left with nothing.
Now divorced, they live separate lives and supposedly depend on their parents for financial support.
Ibi Roncaioli – $5 million
When Thornhill woman Ibi Roncaioli won the lottery in 1995, she would have never imagined she’d wind up dead. The murderer-her own husband, gynecologist Dr. Joseph Roncaioli. She was already a heavy drinker, smoker and gambler, so at first her death was assumed for those reasons. She was found with needle marks in her legs and feet, and upon further investigation Joseph was found guilty of poisoning her.
The kicker is that he wouldn’t see a single penny of her winnings. She gave it all to her three children (one of which Joseph didn’t know about).
Abraham Shakespeare – $30 million
Abraham was just a nice guy who got taken advantage of. Instead of blowing his fortune, he was very charitable and often gave back to the homeless. He was swindled by a woman named Dee Dee Moore who was claiming to write a book about him, but instead gained control of his money. Shakespeare went missing, and his body was soon found underneath a home connected to Moore.
Long story short, she went to jail for murder and he was punished for being a nice guy. The money? All gone.
So, the moral of the story here is that winning the lottery seems to be more of a curse than a blessing.
With all that money comes great responsibility. Be careful who you befriend, perhaps just go live in isolation.