Winning the lottery is something most people only dream about. However, for these few lucky people, it actually happened. These lotto winners seemed to have it all until their worlds came crashing down around them. Find out how they went from millionaires to bankrupt—or worse— following the luckiest day of their lives.
20. Lara And Roger Griffiths Won $2.76 Million In 2005
After winning almost $3 million, the couple bought a million-dollar home and a Porsche. However, the pair went their separate ways just six years later after Roger was caught sending questionable emails to another woman. Then, a devastating fire destroyed their dream home, which left the estranged couple penniless.
19. William Post Won $16.2 Million In 1988 Before Having A Hit Put On His Life
William lost part of the money to his ex-wife, who sued him after he won. He spent the rest of his winnings on houses, boats, and cars. Then, his own brother hired a hit-man to kill him in hopes of gaining the rest of the lottery winnings. Just as the hit failed, so did the seven marriages William went through after winning. He died $1 million in debt in 2006.
18. Michael Carroll Won More Than $11 Million At Age 19
Michael won the British lottery at just age 19. Instead of spending the money “wisely” as he told press, Michael spent it all on drugs, jewelry, cars. After spending nine months in jail for fighting, having five of his dogs killed in his home, and paying blackmailers who were threatening his family, Michael finally had to get a job working in a slaughterhouse.
17. Ryan Magee Won Almost $8 Million In The Euro Millions Lottery
In 2008, Ryan won almost $8 million. He bought a $200,000 Ferrari and spent even more on a luxury home. Since then, Ryan has crashed his Ferrari and was ordered to community service. He was also banned from driving for five years. He was forced to sell his home as his business crashed and burned. This, all on top of splitting from his wife after winning the lotto.
16. Callie Rogers Won The UK’s National Lottery At Age 16
Callie Rogers was the youngest lottery winner in the UK. She spent her winnings on vacations, boob jobs, and partying. Callie reportedly estimates she spent $360,000 on cocaine alone before blowing through all of her money.
15. Jose Cua-Toc Was An Undocumented Immigrant When He Won The US Lottery In 2010
Jose asked his boss to claim the prize money for him in fear he would be deported. Of course, the boss kept the money as he claimed the ticket was his. However, he was forced to give the money back following a 2012 court case, and Cua-Toc was arrested for threatening his boss and his family over the lost winnings.
14. Janite Lee Gambled Away $18 Million In 1993
After winning $18 million from the Illinois lottery, Janite became on of the biggest donors of “soft money” to the Democratic National Party Committee. However, Janite also suffered from a gambling addiction. She filed for bankruptcy in 2001, just eight years after hitting the jackpot.
13. Willie Hurt Supported His Crack Habit With A $3 Million Winning
Willie Hurt won $3.1 million in 1998 from the Michigan lottery. He spent part of the winnings on his crack habit before going through a divorce. He was later charged with the attempted murder of a girlfriend after losing all his money.
12. Ken Proxmire’s Business Went Bankrupt After Winning $1 Million
Ken won $1 million in 1977, but opted to receive yearly payments of $50,000 instead. He moved from Michigan to California where he took out loans to open a pool hall. The business went under and he filed for bankruptcy.
11. John McGuinness Won Almost $14 Million And Had His Home Repossessed
John invested millions in a Scottish football team and guaranteed the team’s loans with his personal bank account. This decision cost him when the club went under, leaving him penniless.
10. Michael Antonucci Spent $3.5 Million On Living A Lavish Life Before Getting Arrested
Michael won almost $3.5 million in the UK National Lottery in 1995. He spent the money on houses, cars, and speedboats. After going through a divorce, he was arrested for assaulting his plumber.
9. Evelyn Adams Won The Lottery Twice, But Is Now Broke And Living In A Trailer
Evelyn Adams won the New Jersey lottery twice— amounting to $5.4 million— in 1985 and 1986. She spent her winnings on gambling and bad investments, and is now living in a trailer after having lost all the money.
8. Timothy Elliot Won $1 Million While On Probation
Timothy, a schizophrenic on probation for robbery, won $1 million in 2007. However, part of his probation terms was to not gamble. After an anonymous tip alerted police to the violation, Timothy went through a long court case to determine if he could keep his winnings. He won.
7. Amanda Clayton Won $1 Million And Continued To Collect Food Stamps
The 24-year-old failed to tell welfare authorities of her winnings, which resulted in her being forced to repay over $5,000. She seemingly spent the rest on drugs after she was found dead from an apparent overdose.
6. David Lee Edwards Spent $27 Million On Drugs And Race Horses
After spending years in prison for robbery, David found his luck had changed when he won $27 million. However, he proceeded to spend the money on luxury homes, drugs, sports cars, and race horses. In just five years, David had spent all his winnings. He died 12 years after winning, having struggled with his drug addiction.
5. Suzanne Mullins Won $4.2 Million And Used The Winnings As Security On Loans
Suzanne used her annual lottery checks as collateral on a loan for almost $200,000. When the rules changed and she was issued a lump sum, Suzanne blew through the money instead of paying off her loans. She is said to currently have no assets and still be in debt to the loan company.
4. Abraham Lee Shakespeare Was Found Dead After Winning $30 Million
After winning millions, Abraham took his money and disappeared. His family filed a missing persons report, and police found him buried under a concrete slab in the backyard of a house bought by his financial advisor.
3. Lou Eisenberg Won $5 Million But Ended Up Living Off Pension Checks
After spending his winnings on the “glam life,” Lou ended up broke and living in mobile home in Florida. He lives off social security and pension checks after having blew through the annual lottery earnings.
2. Americo Lopes Cheated Five Colleagues Out Of $38.5 Million
After winning the jackpot with five colleagues, Americo lied about needing surgery and took the money. Once his co-workers found out, they filed a lawsuit against him to divide the winnings.