Lotteries are not only a form of entertainment but they are also an opportunity to expand your horizons.
Whether your passions include gardening, photography or constantly polishing your toy collectables, winning a lottery jackpot gives you the opportunity to enjoy the services of a private landscaper, take that photography course you have always dreamt of or buy every collectable you’ve ever wanted. Lottery jackpots = ticking off every item on your wishlist. But does it really end there? Here are five lottery winners who went from ordinary to millionaire and whose lives went from average to drama-filled overnight.
The Soap Operas
In 2002 U.K.'s National Lottery sat at £9.7 million, and Michael Carroll held the winning numbers. Needless to say the former garbage collector was over the moon about his win and spent the jackpot on everything and anything he desired. Winning the national lottery didn’t only make Carroll a millionaire, he also turned himself into a real-life Jay Gatsby. From buying a mansion to throwing lavish parties for his friends, Carroll dedicated his winnings to having a good time. When the parties weren't enough he then bought expensive cars to race around the self-made race-track circling his mansion. Sadly for Carroll, a few years later the car dealership had more of his winnings that he did and he needed to sell his mansion at a loss to help cover his costs.
You would assume that winning a lottery jackpot is the ultimate sign of being touched by lady luck, but William Post would not agree. After losing his mother at the age of 8, growing up in an orphanage and making a living through odd jobs, William Post thought his fortune changed when he won an impressive $16.2 million in the Pennsylvanian lottery. But things didn’t go the way he imagined. After giving his landlady/girlfriend one-third of his winnings, buying his siblings businesses and cars, and then an airplane and mansion for himself, his girlfriend left him, his brother hired an assassin to kill him and due to debt he needed to live off a $450 disability payment until he died at the age of 66, only eight years after becoming a millionaire. Sorry Mr. Post.
When the Powerball sat at $315 million in 2002, the largest jackpot at the time, no one expected an existing millionaire to walk away with the jackpot, but that’s exactly what happened. After spending years establishing a successful business, everyone expected Jack Whittaker to be wise with his money. However the fame and money became too much for his family and cost them all dearly. After the public knew about his winnings, he was robbed multiple times and employees started embezzling money from his company. Within a few years his wife of 45 years left him, his 17 year old granddaughter was found dead and not too long after that his own daughter. Being a multi-millionaire isn’t for everyone.
Sometimes things take such a turn that your only reaction is “but that only happens in movies”. For Alex Toth, drama became his life after winning $13 million in a lottery. With a family living off of rice, beans and canned soup, their new millionaire status turned them into instant celebrities. From fine dining, gambling, couture shopping and expensive show tickets, the Toth’s lived their best lives. Not too long after winning, the novelty of their new status and lifestyle wore off and the drama within the family began; family pets went missing, cars were set alight and Alex himself was arrested multiple times. Being millionaires didn’t really agree with the Toth’s.
We all have dreams for ourselves, but when Lisa Arcand won $1 million in a lottery, she turned all her dreams into a reality. From vacations, to new homes, private schools for her son and finally buying the restaurant she always wanted, Lisa only went after the best. However, not even six months into her millionaire status she closed her business because of financial issues and later admitted to regretting not saving any of it. Turns out saving a penny a day really does keep the worries away.
Money can buy you a lot but you should always be wise with the way you spend it. Comment below and let us know how you would spend a jackpot if you won. Or want to try your luck? Pick, click and play the game of your choice.