Everybody dreams of what their life could become if they hit that big Lottery jackpot … But not everybody who strikes it rich ends up a winner!
While some people do end up set for life after a major lottery win, others end up seeming to be cursed by their winnings. In this article we’re going to tell you the happy stories of a couple of lottery winners, and the tragic tales of some of those less fortunate lottery winners.
Lottery Winner: Richard Lustig
No discussions of well known lottery winners would be complete without a mention of Richard Lustig. This well known Orlando resident has hit 7 lottery jackpots and grand prizes so far. Yes, you read that correctly – seven jackpot wins. Considering that the average person will never see a jackpot ticket in their life, to have one person win it seven times over is simply odds-defying and amazing.
With so many high profile wins under his belt, it’s not surprise that Richard Lustig has become somewhat of an authority on winning the lottery. He’s offered a fair bit of strategy advice to the public, and has even written a book on lottery strategies and methods. Lustig’s pearls of wisdom are discussed at greater length in our Lottery Strategies write up.
Lottery Loser: Evelyn Adams
Richard Lustig is not the only person in the world fortunate enough to have won more than one lottery jackpot, but sometimes even 2 jackpot wins isn’t enough to make for a happy tale.
Evelyn Adams won her first jackpot in 1985, and her second in 1986. So what did she do with her $5.5 million windfall? Apparently, a whole lot more gambling. A frequent visitor in Atlantic City, Evelyn Adams is a living testament to the potentially destructive nature of gambling addiction. At last report, she was living in a trailer park and has nothing left of her two jackpot wins.
Lottery Winner: Lesley Vickars
Lesley Vickars is not just any ordinary lottery player – she’s actually a book keeper. So when she won a $25 million dollar lottery prize while on vacation, she was in a better position than most to know exactly what to do with the money.
Today Lesley Vickars remains a multi-millionaire, happily and quietly living off the investments that she made with her grand prize. If only our Lottery Losers had taken a page from her book, they would be in a much better place today!
Lottery Loser: Suzanne Mullins
Suzanne Mullins is one of those lottery winners that could have greatly benefited from Lesley Vickars wisdom. When Suzanne Mullins one $1 million in the 1993 US Lottery, she opted to receive the prize in annual payments rather than a lump sum.
That did not stop her from spending all that money at once! In anticipation of the prize money that she would be receiving on a regular basis, Suzanne took out loans and began piling up debt faster than she could pay it off. Eventually, as the debts piled up, she opted to take the remaining prize money as a lump sum.
But when she received that money, she didn’t put it towards her ever mounting debt – she simply spent it as well. In the end, she was sued by the financing company which won a whopping $154 million dollar judgement against her! Unfortunately for the financers, she had already gone through the entirety of her winnings and they never collected a single cent of that judgement.
The Lottery Winner that Almost Wasn’t: Melvin Milligan
Believe it or not, Melvin Milligan nearly failed to claim a $46 million Jackpot that he had won. The winning ticket spent nearly a full year just sitting in a drawer!
As luck would have it, Melvin just happened to be watching TV one night when it was announced that New Jersey lottery officials were about to forfeit the previous year’s unclaimed jackpot. Remembering that he had some old tickets he’d never checked, Melvin dug them up and took them to his local convenience store to have them checked.
Now you would think that once you’d discovered you have a $46 million dollar ticket in your hands that is about to expire, you would waste no time rushing to the Lottery office to claim the prize immediately. But Melvin wasn’t about to let himself get into a rush over a mere $46 million – he simply dropped the ticket in the mail to be sent to Lottery officials.
The ticket arrived – 2 days after the deadline for claiming the prize had passed. Melvin’s saving grace was the post mark, which technically meant that he had submitted the winning ticket before the deadline and thus allowing him to claim the nearly forfeited grand prize.