Powerball Winners Then And Now

By Aaron Love 10 months ago

Andrew Jackson Whittaker Jr

Image Source: Reddit
Often when you win the lottery you assume that your life is going to become instantly 100 times better, but that is not always the case. Andrew Whittaker Jr won $114 million in 2002 on the multistate Powerball. But between 2003 and 2004 Whittaker was victim to two robberies where they stole around $1 million and was also sued by Caesar's Atlantic City and lost his fortune soon after.

Lara and Roger Griffiths

Image Source: The Mirror
We have all heard the saying that money changes you and for this couple from England that is true. Lara and Roger Griffiths were a happily married couple known for never arguing and living a joyful life but when they won the lottery their whole lives changed. They won $2.76 million and through a serious of terrible incidents including a house fire and rumours of an affair ended their fortune and their 14 year marriage.

William 'Bud' Post

Image Source: Daily Star
There are a lot of terrible stories of lottery winners losing their fortunes quite quickly but fewer did it quicker than William Post. William won $16.2 million through the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 and found himself in drastic financial troubles sitting in $1 million worth of debt in less than a year. He was sued by a ex-girlfriend and was arrested for firing a gun at a debt collector before his death in 2006

Sharon Tirabassi

Image Source: Reddit
It is well documented that the lottery can really change peoples lives and a great example of this is when Sharon Tirabassi won $10 million Canadian dollars on the Ontario Lottery. Sharon was a single mother living on welfare and struggling to feed her kids. But after spending her money on parties, trips and loans to friends she was back to a part-time job and renting a house within a decade.

Evelyn Adams

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What could be better than winning the lottery? Well it must be winning the lottery twice! This is exactly what happened to very lucky Evelyn Adams. Not only did she win it twice but she did it in consecutive years, first in 1985 and then again in 1986 winning $5.4 million. But this fortune was short lived as she gambled it all away in the infamous Atlantic city and filed for financial assistance in 1993.

Tonda Lynn Dickerson

Image Source: Reddit
Imagine winning the lottery and then being told that you must pay $1.119,347.90 to the US government because of how you chose to split your litter winnings. Will that is exactly what happened to Tonda Lynn Dickerson. Many that knew Ronda viewed this as a big hit of Karma as when she gained her winnings she refused to split it with her co-workers attempting to keep the fortune to herself.

Martyn and Kay Tott

Image Source: The Mirror
Winning the lottery is a great feeling but imagine if the win was taken away from you. Martin and Kay Tott thought they had won $5 million in the UK lottery, but unfortunately for them they lost their ticket. The Kay family went through an intense trial where they tried to claim their $5 million reward but because they did not report their missing ticket within the 30-day deadline they lost their chance at a fortune.

Gerald Muskegon

Image Source: Lotto Analysis
It can be a life changing or life destroying experience winning the lottery as people either use it to build a life and others use it for holidays and parties. The later is exactly what the Canadian Gerald Muswagon did when he won $10 million on the Super 7 jackpot. in 1998 Gerald won this fortune and instantly started to spend without thought and was renowned for his endless and expensive parties resulting in him losing his fortune and committing suicide.

Suzanne Mullins

Image Source: Listverse
When you imagine winning the lottery you always think about the sensible things to do such as splitting your winnings over a long period of time and sharing it with friends and family. Well that is exactly Suzanne Mullins tried to do with her $4.2 million win on the Virginia lotto in 1993. She tried to spread her payments and split it with her husband and daughter but it left her with an insufficient amount leaving her in debt.

Americo Lopez

Image Source: Daily Express
We always dream of winning the lottery and disappearing without a trace and not informing anyone of your win in fears that they will want to take some of your profits. Well Americo Lopez attempted this. After winning his fortune he quit his job and told people he was in need of surgery to hide his win. But his colleagues figured this out and sued him as all of his co-workers pitched in to by the ticket.

Ibi Roncaioli

Image Source: The Mirror
It would be truly horrific to find out a persons secrets let alone the secrets of your partner and how you choose to spend your lottery winnings. Well in the tragic case of Abi Roncaioli's $5 million 1991 lotto win as she did not tell her husband that she sent $2 million to a secret child that she had with another man. This resulted in her husband poisoning her and making her family pay for the funeral.

Michael Carroll

Image Source: The Mirror
Picture this you are a young 19 year old fresh out of education and you have just won $15 million on the national lottery. Well Michael Carroll did not have to imagine this as he won the mighty jackpot at the age of 19 in 2002. However, his youth got the better of him as he instantly spent the money on drugs, prostitutes and cars which within five years put him back to square one.

Billy Bob Harrell Jr

Image Source: Daily Star
We always like to think that we would all give back to the poor and our friends and family when we win the lottery and it will be easy because of the mass amounts you can win. But as Billy Bob found out when he won his $31 million in 1997. He thought he could help everyone by giving Turkeys to the poor and helping out his friends and family but ultimately it resulted in him losing his fortune.

Willie Hurt

Image Source: Lotto Analysis
Now there are some great stories about people turning their lives around after winning the lottery but unfortunately there are more stories of people ruining their lives. This is exactly what happened to Willie Hurt. After winning $3.1 million in 1989 Willie became addicted to class A drugs. Because of this he lost custody of his two children and was even charged with attempted murder.

Denise Rossi

Image Source: Daily Mail
You would think that there would be no better time to win the lottery than when you are going through a divorce. Well that exactly what Denise Rossi thought and unfortunately she was wrong. When she won her $1.3 million she was going through a divorce and decided not to declare the fortune in the settlement. But because of her winnings she was ordered to pay her husband $48,000 a year.

Janice Lee

Image Source: Reddit
There are many silly and ridiculous ways to blow your lottery winnings such as drugs, holidays and parties but there are also great deeds that can be done with them. Well Janice Lee proved this as when she won her $18 million jackpot in 1993 she spent most of it on charity which resulted in a reading room at Washington University law school being named after her for her donations.

Luke Pittard

Image Source: The Sun
Many people view winning the lottery as a way to quit their jobs and try to live a new lavish lifestyle but some people prefer the simple life. When Luke Pittard won his $1.9 million jackpot in 2006, he quit his job at McDonald's and used the money on a wedding and a house as well as a trip to the Canary Islands. But only a year and a half later he was back to serving Big Macs to make a living.

Rhoda and Alex Toth

Image Source: The US Sun
Many lottery winners suffer to the hands of the law after winning their fortunes. This was no different fro Alex and Rhoda Toth as they were accused of tax evasion by the IRS and were said to owe them 2.5 million. This case went to court and Rhoda was sentenced to two-years in prison whilst Alex died before the trial took place. But it wasn't all doom and gloom they did enjoy a lot of holidays in penthouse suites.

Vivian Nicholson

Image Source: The Independant
When you think of winning the lottery you instantly picture winning millions but sometimes it can be a lower amount that tempts people into a spending beyond their control. This is what happened when Vivian Nicholson famously won £152,300 in 1961 and promised the media that she was going to "Spend, Spend, Spend". Her story was so famous that it was turned into a West End musical.

Callie Rogers

Image Source: Daily Star
There have been many young winners of the lottery and they all tend to indulge in holidays, luxury items and partying and this was no different for Callie Rogers. In 2003 a 16 year old Callie won $3 million and without hesitation she started spending the money on luxuries such as cars and clothing, but mainly the money was used for breast implants and to vast amount of drugs.

John And Lisa Robinson

Image Source: The Today Show
On January 13, 2016 the biggest ever recorded jackpot of $1.58 billion was won by three different people. One of those winners was Lisa and John Robinson. The couple use their fortune to purchase a ten bedroom house which is situated on a private lake and includes eight bathrooms and a built I theatre. The couple are still living happily together in this house to this day.

Maureen Smith And David Kaltschmidt

Image Source: NBC News
Could you picture winning over $327.8 million and still playing the Powerball every week! Well that is the case for Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt. The couple were the second part of the thirding of the January 2016 draw. The couple however did not splurge with the cash and rather just use it to live their lives as normal and still follow the same routines and visit the same restaurants.

Marvin And Mae Acosta

Image Source: Lottery Critic
The final third of the 13th January 2016 winnings went to a very modest and humble family. Marvin and Mae Acosta did not want to be brought into the public eye and wanted to keep their activities private. It is known that they set out to use their fortune to help the less fortunate and help many different charities. But some people tried to produce scams when these plans were announced so the family went back to privacy.

Manuel Franco

Image Source: Reddit
When you win the lottery there is always a lot of attention placed on the winner and sends the media and journalists into a frenzy to try and figure out who these winners are what they do with their fortunes. But luckily for Manuel Franco he was able to remain under the radar and avoid any media attention after winning $326 million in 2019 after purchasing his ticket from a speedway store.

Mavis Wanczyk

Image Source: The Boston Globe
When Mavis Wanczyk won her $336 million on the US Powerball lottery on august 27th 2017 she became one of the biggest lottery winners on the planet. She is a single mom now reaching her late fifties residing from Massachusetts. After receiving her winnings she quit her job at the Mercy Medical Centre in Springfield and vanished without a trance to live a happy life.

Robert Bailey

Image Source: NBC News
Whenever you think about winning the lottery you always plan to spend sensibly and try to be logical in how you use your funds. Well one of the lucky winners that was able to do this was Robert Bailey. However Bailey could not do this by himself so he very wisely enlisted the help of a lawyer and financial adviser so that he did not blow his fortune on useless things and so that he didn't go broke.

Lerynne West

Image Source: CNBC
It is very wise when you win a large amount of money to come up with a way to help others and create your own company and not just retire and wait for your fortune to run out. Well this is what Lerynne West did. Upon winning her fortune she set up a charitable organisation, The Callum Foundation, in honour of her grandson. She also made an appearance on the Ellen show.

Gloria MacKenzie

Image Source: New York Post
What would you think an 84 year old woman would do if she won the lottery? You would think that you would put the money to quick use and enjoy your remaining years in luxury. Well that is exactly what Gloria Mackenzie thought to do. She traded in her $30,00 apartment for a glamorous seaside mansion in sunny Florida. She also donated the money to fix the roof on a local high school.

Cindy And Mark Hill

Image Source: CNN
The beautiful story of Cindy and Mark Hill's is simply wonderful and not what you expect from a couple that had just won $587.5 million. In November 2012 Mark and Cindy came into their fortune and instantly decided that they did not want to change their lifestyles and still go to the same local shops. They have used their winnings to pay for many civic projects in their home town and help out their community.

Marie Holmes

Image Source: Yahoo News
Just like the Hill family when Marie Holmes won the Powerball jackpot on February 11th 2015 for a staggering $564.1 million her first instinct was to use the money to help her family and get treatment and support for her child who suffered from cerebral palsy. But she did not stop there, she also supported many charities, bought a house for her mother and went back to college.

Ken Proxmire

image source: dailyexpress.co.uk
After winning the Michigan State Lottery jackpot and taking away one million dollars, Ken decided to be a little bit responsible (at first) and ask for yearly instalments instead of the full deal. That didn't stop him from overspending, though, and he went too far after buying a house, car, a pool parlour... the works. He ended up in debt, and then bankrupt, with nothing left of his winnings.

Marva Wilson

image source: fox4.com
One grandmother in Missouri was very lucky when she went away with 2 million dollars, but unfortunately, she didn't get to keep hold of a single penny. On this occasion, this wasn't actually down to her overspending, but rather being victim to a heartless scam in which she was conned out of all her winnings. Wilson was left with nothing, while the scammer was sent to five years in prison.

Ronnie Music Jr

image source: nbcnews.com
There are a lot of sensible things you can do when you win such a huge lottery sum in terms of investment, like put it into real estate or a nice savings account. What Ronnie Music Jr decided to do was instead fuel all his money into a dr*g business, and in the end, not only did he lose his empire and all his lottery winnings, but he was then also given 21 years in prison.

Daniel Carley

image source: theprovince.com
There seems to be a trend here for lottery winners eventually ended up going to prison, and here we are with Daniel Carley, who ended up winning around 4.4 million dollars on the lottery and then spent it all with mounting debt. To try to make ends meet, he ended up turning to attempting to deal dr*gs and was later caught and sentenced to a few years behind bars!

Lou Eisenberg

image source: newyorkpost.com
This man won a whopping 5 million dollars on the lottery, which should have well and truly set him up for life. What he did instead was decide to use the bulk of his money to gamble it away - and losing - while then having to give hefty lump sums to his ex wives. In the end, he was left with nothing and he was even living in a mobile home instead of a lavish mansion!

John Roberts

image source: edinburghlive.com
After winning around 5.1 million dollars on the lottery, John Roberts decided to blow his cash on buying a ton of supercars (when really one nice one would have been enough!) as well as making some rather poor investment choices. He even ended up buying a pub that resulted in his money going down the drain. Only a few years later, he'd lost it all and ended up living in a mobile home - just like Lou!

Evelyn Basehore

image source: dailymail.co.uk
Evelyn won around 5.4 million dollars in total, which would have been a whopping amount of money to stick in a nice investment account, but nope - she ended up gambling most of it away in the hope of making even MORE money (why would you need more?) and she ended up with nothing, living in a trailer park and even having to work two jobs to make ends meet.

Francisco Guerrero

image source: thesun.co.uk
Winning 8.6 million dollars should have meant that bricklayer Guerrero could quit laying those bricks and be set by the beach with a cocktail for life! Instead, he took the very bad advice of a bank employee - unfortunately for Francisco, who was actually trying to do the right then - and it turned out the investment choices he'd made were the wrong ones, and he lost it all!

Lawrence Candlish

image source: themirror.co.uk
After winning 9 million dollars on his huge lottery payout, Lawrence decided to treat his family - as he should - to a life of luxury, that included expensive gifts, cars and of course property. Nothing wrong with that if you can afford it! Except next he made a move abroad where he made some very bad business decisions and then was later convicted for fraud!

Peter Kyle

image source: themirror.co.uk
When his numbers ended up being chosen for the lottery, Peter Kyle cashed in a big win of 9.8 million dollars - but unfortunately, he went down the route that so many lottery winners have on here by ploughing it all into very bad investment choices. In the end, he lost it all, and not only that: he had to claim unemployment benefits to have money coming in.

Lee Ryan

image source: dailymail.co.uk
Lee Ryan was actually already waiting for charges on a criminal offence when he won the lottery! He was on trial for stealing vehicles when he won 10.3 million dollars. He had to wait until he got out of prison until he could start spending his winnings, which he did - first leaving his wife for a new girlfriend, the moving country and then being cheated out of all his money!

Bryan Magee

image source: belfastlive.com
Bryan ended up winning 12.7 million dollars on the lottery, which is a huge amount of money for a young guy, too! Instead of setting him up with a great, luxurious future like it should have done, instead it was all lost when the business he'd made completely crashed and he then had a ton of credit to pay off, resulting in him having to sell his home to pay his debt.

John McGuiness

image source: thesun.co.uk
John was lucky enough to pop the champagne cork over a win of 16.3 million on the lottery, and he quit his normal job to go on and buy his favorite football club! Seems like an understandable way to spend the money if you're a sports fan and you have a few million to spare - only problem was, his ownership meant he took on the debts, too, and in the end he was left with nothing.

Keith Gough

image source: thesun.co.uk
Keith's story is seriously tragic, after he won 17.3 million dollars on the lottery. He did what any family man would do and treated his nearest and dearest to a little luxury, but then he did what a lot of winners do, and went a little too far with his spending. His wife ended up divorcing him, and Keith turned to alcohol to help him get through before he passed away of a heart attack.

Janite Lee

image source: freshedits.com
Janite Lee took away 18 million dollars when she won the big cash prize on the lottery, and she started out strong by being generous enough to give a large chunk of it to charity - millions, in fact. She then went on to financially support the Democrat Party in the US, and buying a ton of stuff on credit. This inevitably led to a serious amount of debt and in the end, she was bankrupt.

David Lee Edwards

image source: dailystar.co.uk
David Lee Edwards from Kentucky took away a Powerball winning of 27 million dollars back in the early 2000's and he - of course - went on quite a bit of a spending spree. This included buying a huge mansion, not just one luxury car but a huge number of them, as well as quite a lot of substances he decided to splash his cash on. His wife distanced herself from him and he eventually passed away with no money left.

Edwin Castro

image source: the-sun.com
Edwin won a whopping 2.04 BILLION dollars on the Powerball lottery, and rather than keeping it secret, US law meant his name had to be revealed! Instead of asking for it in instalments over time, he went for a huge cash lump sum that he could have all at once. Speaking about his win, he said he was 'ecstatic' to have won the money and as of yet we've no news that Castro has been irresponsibly spending with it!

Some of the biggest unclaimed jackpots in history: $77 million Powerball

image source: abcnews.com
One person in Georgia in the USA made the biggest mistake of their financial life when they failed to cash in the winning ticket for the 77 million dollar Powerball prize! The winning ticket was bought at a truck stop, and it unfortunately passed the claim expiration date and went unclaimed. We hope whoever bought the ticket was doing okay and didn't have a bad reason for not going for the money!

The Mega Millions $68 million

image source: cnbc.com
In New York City, a huge 68 million dollar winning ticket for the Mega Millions tragically went unclaimed! The ticket was bought in Queens, but sadly nobody went to claim the prize money that would have made a huge ton of difference to someone's life. The funny story with this one is a year later, one man claimed he was the guy who had won and went on to sure the lottery, claiming that his ticket had been "non-retrievable" at the time...

SuperLotto Plus $63 million

image source: fox5sandiego.com
Another unclaimed ticket in the US left to gather dust was the $63 million winning ticket on the SuperLotto Plus, in California. The deadline for claiming the money had long since passed, when a man came forward claiming he had the winning ticket. At first it was believed but after closer analysis of the ticket it was found it was the incorrect one, though the man still claims the money is rightfully his!