By Albert Whitestaff

We all dream about winning the lottery and every time we watch those balls spin we think about what we would do with the money – buy big house, flashy cars, exotic holidays, expensive jewellery designer clothes and a range of other luxuries, not to mention never having to work again. However some lottery winners found it hard to keep hold of their winnings and the dream turned into a nightmare.

One classic example is Evelyn Adams, who actually won the New Jersey lottery on two separate occasions and receiving a total $5.4 million. However she went on to lose it all after developing a serious gambling problem and today she lives in a trailer.

Another lottery winner turned loser was William Post, who won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his Social Security. He was successfully sued by a former girlfriend for share of his winnings, his brother was arrested for hiring a hit man to kill him and he was emotionally blackmailed by other relatives into investing a series of failed business ventures.


Ken Proxmire was a machinist that won $1 million in the Michigan lottery but within just five years he had filed for bankruptcy. He burned through the money living the high life and is now back in his old job.

Willie Hurt won $3.1 million in 1989 but two years later he had nothing and charged with murder, having spent the entire fortune on a messy divorce and a bad drugs habit. Another lottery winner turned criminal was Charles Riddle, who won $1 million in 1975 but then got divorced, faced several lawsuits and was convicted for selling cocaine.

Financial planner Susan Bradley, who wrote a book, entitled “Sudden Money: Managing a Financial Windfall,” believes that the emotional stress of a big lottery win is what can turn good fortune into disaster. She said that, “There are two sides to money. The interior side is the psychology of money and the family relationship to money. The exterior side is the tax codes, the money allocation, etc. The goal is to integrate the two. People who can’t integrate their interior relationship with money appropriately are more likely to crash and burn. Often they can keep the money and lose family and friends — or lose the money and keep the family and friends — or even lose the money and lose the family and friends.”

What is most common about these lottery winners that lost huge sums of money is that they did not really understand how to manage their spending. It seem inconceivable that in a matter of years people could spend millions but an excessive luxury lifestyle is hard to maintain for long and bad investments on a big scale can go horribly wrong.

So if you are lucky enough to win the lottery, make sure you take care of your money and adopt a sensible approach to life or you could lose everything and find yourself being another cautionary tale.

About the Author: Albert is an expert debt consultant who specializes in helping people to remove their debts from their lives, whether it by via an IVA,

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, Albert has the experience to help


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