Several people are known to have been ruined after winning lottery jackpots. They spent money recklessly, gave away their winnings, and gambled away their fortunes.
Jack Whittaker, for example, was a West Virginia construction worker who donated his money to a strip club and to strangers. He reportedly spent more than three million dollars in one year.
Willie Hurt, who won a $3.1 million Michigan Super Lotto jackpot in 1989, was deeply involved in the crack epidemic. After his victory, he and his wife squandered their winnings on luxury goods and a new car. Later, they spiraled into drug addiction.
Evelyn Basehore, who won a $3.9 million lottery prize in 1985, lost her entire fortune by 2000. She then moved into a trailer and gambled away her winnings.
David Lee Edwards, who won a $27 million lottery jackpot in 1996, was also a gambler. After he and his wife squandered much of their winnings, they were left with less than $10 when they were five years old.
Keith Gough, who won a $11 million jackpot in the British lottery in 2010, drank himself to death. Alex Toth, who won a $13 million jackpot in the California Lottery in 2011, was broke in 2008. Similarly, William “Bud” Post, who won a $16.2 million prize in the Pennsylvania Lottery in 1988, was known for spending his winnings on cars and homes.
When it comes to the Powerball, the largest lottery prize in history, the odds of winning are incredibly slim. The jackpot is calculated based on the sum of the prize pool that has been invested over the last three decades.