Jackpot to Jack Squat

If you think winning the lottery is the best thing that could ever happen to you, you’re wrong.

I’m about to make you feel a lot better when you lose tonight.

Sure, most lottery winners pocket the cash and live their lives. But for those who win the big jackpot, it can be a NIGHTMARE!

So as you sit and wait for the Powerball numbers to fall into place, just remember, all the money in the world isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Jackpot to Jack Squat: the 13 Unluckiest Lottery Winners Ever:

  • 1. Evelyn Adams

    Where: New Jersey

    Win:$5.4 million

    When:  1985, 1986

    Adams won the New Jersey lottery not just once, but twice. In fact, Adams won twice in just four months, which is about a 1 in 17 trillion chance.

    Her combined lottery winnings were paid out in annuities. But she was a compulsive gambler and also gave large sums to family and friends.

    By 2001, Adams had run out of money and was living in a trailer.

    “Winning the lottery isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

    “I won the American dream, but I lost it, too. It was a very hard fall. It’s called rock bottom.

    “Everybody wanted my money. Everybody had their hand out. I never learned one simple word in the English language: ‘no.’ I wish I had the chance to do it all over again,” she told the New York Post.

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    Jackpot to Jack Squat


  • 2. William ‘Bud’ Post III

    Where: Pennsylvania

    Win: $16.2 million

    When: 1988

    Post didn’t know how to handle money.

    His $16.2 million Pennsylvania lottery winnings were paid in annual installments of $500,000 a time. Within two weeks, he had spent $300,000 of it and within three months, he was $500,000 in debt.

    He bought weird stuff: a car lot, a restaurant and an airplane, though he did not fly. 

    His brother tried to have him and his sixth wife killed.

    In 1993, Post said, “Everybody dreams of winning money, but nobody realizes the nightmares that come out of the woodwork, or the problems.”

    Post was found guilty of firing a shotgun at a man who had come to his Oil City mansion to collect a car-repair debt. After he served the sentence, he was reportedly living on a $450-per-month disability check. 

    Post died of respiratory failure at 66, according to Wikipedia.

    Post’s obituary warned that “a huge financial win does not guarantee happiness.”

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    SAN LORENZO, CA – Jackpot to Jack Squat

  • 3. Willie Hurt

    Where: Michigan

    Win: $3.1 million

    When: 1989 w

    Within two years of winning the Michigan lottery, Hurt was divorced, broke and charged with murder in the death of a 30-year-old woman in an alleged fight over crack cocaine. Witnesses said the couple had been drinking and doing drugs for two days before Hurt killed her.

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

  • 4. Janite Lee

    Where: Illinois 

    Win: $18 million 

    When: 1993

    Lee immigrated from South Korea.

    When she won, she moved her family into a million-dollar home and was generous to a variety of causes, giving to politics, education and the community.

    But according to published reports, Lee filed for bankruptcy in 2001 with only $700 left in two bank accounts and no cash on hand.

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

  • 5. Billie Bob Harrell Jr.

    Where: Texas

    Win: $31 million 

    When: 1997

    Harrell bought a ranch and homes and cars for several family members and made sizeable donations to his church with his Texas lottery winnings.

    But Harrell spent and loaned money at a rate that put a strain on his marriage, and he and his wife separated.

    Just 20 months after winning the lottery, Harrell committed suicide.

    According to Time magazine, that family members disputed the idea that Harrell could have committed suicide, even if he clearly wasn’t happy with his life.

    Harrell told a financial adviser shortly before his death that “Winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me,” Time reported.

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

  • 6. Victoria Zell

    Where: Minnesota 

    Win: $11 million

    When:  2001

    Zell won the Minnesota Powerball jackpot with her husband. At the time, she was in the MIDDLE of divorcing him.

    From 2001 to 2004, Zell was charged with the possession of methamphetamines twice. In 2005, she spent a day drinking and using cocaine, and told passengers in her SUV should would show them “how to drive crazy.”

    THEN She ran two stop signs and rolled the SUV, killing one passenger and paralyzing the other.

    She was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, and settled a civil lawsuit for far more money than she had left.

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

  • 7. Michael Carroll

    Where: England

    Win: $15.5 million

    When: 2002

    Carroll was 19 when he won the lottery in England.

    By 2012, labeled the “Lotto Lout” in tabloids, he was broke, living on unemployment benefits and admittedly suicidal following a spending spree on cocaine, gambling and “thousands” of hookers.

    His wife left him, taking their daughter with her. Carroll told the Daily Mail that he “didn’t have two pennies to rub together.”

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

  • 8. Jack Whittaker

    Where: West Virginia

    Won: $314 million

    When: 2002

    This one is a doozy. Whittaker was already a wealthy businessman in West Virginia when he won the jackpot.

    He gave lots to charity. But after a while, he couldn’t resist the siren calls of strip joints.

    His car was broken into while he was at a strip club and $545,000 in cash was stolen.

    His granddaughter’s boyfriend was found dead from an overdose in Whittaker’s home and his granddaughter was found dead of an overdose at a friend’s house with drugs she bought with his money.

    Then his daughter died of an overdose.

    Whittaker was charged with DUI.

    He was sued by Caesars Atlantic City casino for bouncing $1.5 million worth of checks to cover gambling losses.

    He was also sued by a woman who had previously sued him for not paying her money.

    By 2006, Whittaker said he was broke.

    “I wish I’d torn that ticket up,” Whittaker told reporters at the time.

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    Jackpot to Jack Squat *

  • 9. Lisa Arcand

    Where: Massachusetts

    Win: $1 million

    When: 2004

    Lisa Arcand won $1 million when she hit the lottery in 2004. It was all gone in less than four years. Arcand bought a furnished house and several vacations, but the biggest hit came in the form of a failed investment.

    Arcand opened a restaurant in her hometown of Lawrence, which she was forced to close within a few years.

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

  • 10. Alex Toth

    Where: Florida

    Win: $13 million 

    When: 1990

    Toth won $13 million in the lottery. Then, as if to SATAN had a hand in all of this, chose to receive his winnings in annual installments, which were paid in the ominous amount of $666,666 each.

    He squandered it all on an excessive lifestyle.

    He checked into a mental institution after splitting with his wife and getting charged with tax fraud by the IRS.

    Toth died broke in 2008 at the age of 60. 

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

  • 11. Gerald Muswagon

    Where: Canada

    Win: $10 million

    When: 2011

    Gerald Muswagon bought a $2 lotto ticket and won a $10 million jackpot.

    He blew through it in just a few short years with crazy parties, sycophant hangers-on, cars, gifts, legal entanglements and who knows else.

    After losing it all, he was doing manual labor on a farm to support his girlfriend and six young children.

    Seven years after his big win, he hanged himself in his parents’ garage.

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

  • 12. Keith Gough

    Where: England

    Win: $11 million

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    When: 2010

    In 2010, a 58-year-old former baker named Keith Gough drank himself to death. He was alone and penniless just five years after winning the equivalent of nearly $11 million with a lucky British lottery ticket.

    Soon after winning, his once-stable life devolved into a blur of exotic cars, racehorses and luxuries like stadium box seats. Con men swindled him out of nearly $1 million, and he split from his wife of 25 years just two years after he won.

  • 13. Ibi Roncaioli

    Where: Canada

    Win: $5 million

    When: 1991

    Ibi Roncaioli won a $5 million lottery jackpot in 1991 and died in 2003.

    Five years later, her husband, Dr. Joseph Roncaioli was convicted of poisoning her.

    Ibi Roncaioli had squandered not only the lottery fortune but also the hefty salary her gynecologist husband earned.

    Police say she was an alcoholic and reckless gambler, the Toronto Star reported.

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

    Jackpot to Jack Squat

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