Lottery jackpots are one of today’s express ways to become a millionaire, but not everyone is fit to live the dream. The jackpot amounts range from the record-breaking Powerball jackpot of $1.6 billion to lower-scale sums, which is why some people simply couldn’t handle the pressure.
Everyone can learn something from the way jackpot winners handled their wealth. Even if you’re not preparing to hit the next draw and get the main prize, these stories are a good example of the effects of instant money on their owners.
$319 million – Mega Millions jackpot
This Mega Millions prize was awarded to the lucky ticket-holder John Kutey back in 2011. Although it seemed like a lot at the time, he and his wife, Linda, managed to find several fitting causes to invest their wealth. Namely, they dedicated a fair share of their time and money into building a water park in honor of their parents, called Spray Park.
Although it might not seem like a worthy cause, seeing what other jackpot winners did with their “instant treasure” might make you reconsider your judgement.
$5.4 million – 1985 & 1986 Lottery Jackpots
Evelyn Adams got lucky back in the ’80s – twice in a row. She managed to win the lottery in 1985 and 1986 for a total of $5.4 million. Seeing how fortune favored her bets, she decided to test her luck in other games, which is why she decided to take her wealth to Atlantic City.
Considering the fact that her luck had been pushed to the brink, it’s not surprising to hear that she managed to lose everything at the tables and slot machines and end up in a trailer park with no capital whatsoever.
$336.4 million – Powerball jackpot
The 81-year-old Louise White from Newport, R.I., managed to guess the winning combination of numbers for the third-greatest Powerball jackpot in the history of the game. Back in 2012, this woman was greatly rejuvenated by her instant millionaire status.
What’s interesting about her winnings is that a dessert called rainbow sherbet prompted her to buy the ticket. White named her trust after it in order to pay her respects. This trust ultimately even saved her from squandering her wealth like the next winner on the list.
$16.2 million – Pennsylvania Lottery
The story of William Bud Post is one of great rise and fall. William III started off at an orphanage, which is why everyone were thrilled about his rise to fortune when he won the lottery with less than $3 in his bank account at the time. However, shortly after he hit the jackpot, William claimed that his life had been much better when he was poor.
Bad business investments recommended by his “friends” and close relatives and horrible money management skills were to blame. William’s brother even hired a hitman to kill him and his wife. Although he survived, things ended pretty badly as he had to go to jail for firing a gun at a bill collector.