Winning the lottery might seem like a dream come true, but to some lotto winners, the money is simply a nightmare. In honor of Friday the 13th we’ve compiled a list of the 13 Unluckiest Lotto Winners.
1) Denise Rossi won $1.3 Million after playing the California lottery and kept it a secret from her husband, divorcing him 2 days later. Her husband was shocked as he says that they had a very happy and loving marriage. Still, he agreed to the divorce. Denise told no one in her divorce case about the big win, but it wouldn’t remain a secret forever. When her ex-husband, Thomas Rossi, learned about her secret, he filed a lawsuit and won! A family court judge ruled that she had violated disclosure laws and awarded every penny to her ex-husband. Denise was left with nothing!
2) Andrew Jack Whitaker, a millionaire and owner of a successful construction company, Andrew won a $315 Million Powerball Jackpot in West Virginia. He donated 10 percent of his fortune to Christian charities, $14 million to his Jack Whittaker Foundation, and even gave a house, a new Truck, and $50,000 in cash to the woman who sold him the winning ticket. Unfortunately, Jack’s fortune didn’t last. Beset by legal difficulties and personal problems, he began drinking heavily and frequenting strip clubs. A string of robberies took place where thieves stole cash from his car and even his bank accounts. Later his granddaughter and her boyfriend died from a drug overdose. His own daughter also passed away 5 years after. Whitaker is allegedly broke now and faces several lawsuits. He says he wishes he had just torn up that winning ticket.
3) Abraham Shakespeare won the $30 Million Jackpot in Florida. He was generous with his winnings and gave money away to anyone who asked for it. He was quickly losing money as a result, but his newfound friend Dee Dee Moore promised to help him manage what was left of it. Moore felt like the fortune would be better handled without Shakespeare altogether and killed him. She is currently serving a sentence of life in prison without parole.
4) Michael Carroll won 9.7 Million euros (about $15.5 Million) in the “Lotto Lout” in England. At the age of 19, he quite literally spent his money on hookers and cocaine. He was allegedly smoking more than $3,000 worth of crack cocaine daily, hiring thousands of hookers, and regularly throwing indulgent parties at his $500,000 home. His bad habits drove away his wife and daughter. His fortune also ended 8 years later and although he said he doesn’t have a dime to his name, he claims to prefer it. A year after claiming that he was content without the money, Carroll attempted suicide.
5) Evelyn Basehore won the $3.9 Million Pick Six Jackpot and just 5 months later won $1.4 Million in the same game! With her incredible luck, she gave away a chunk of her money to friends and family, but lost much of it due to uncontrollable spending and a bad gambling addiction. She said winning the lottery wasn’t as great as she’d imagined because everyone wanted something from her. Evelyn has her fortune and now resides in a trailer park in New Jersey. She admits to still playing. Can luck strike a 3rd time?
6) Tonda Lynn won $10 Million in Alabama after a customer gave her a lottery ticket as a tip. This regular customer often tipped the waiters at his local Waffle House with lottery tickets, hoping that one of them might win. All of Tonda’s coworkers promised to share their winnings if they scored big. When she finally won, greed got the better of her, and she decided not to share. Her coworkers sued her in hopes of getting their share, but they lost the lawsuit and Tonda was allowed to keep her fortune. Despite this, she still squandered her money on a bad corporation and was forced to pay $1 Million in taxes. She has no money now and reportedly works at a Waffle House.
7) Jeffrey Dampier won $20 Million in the Illinois lottery and was generous enough to share it with his family and friends by giving them gifts and lavish vacations. Unfortunately, greed got the better of his sister-in-law and her boyfriend who wanted a little more. They murdered Jeffrey in pursuit of his money. Jeffrey’s widow says she’s afraid to go near the lottery ever since.
8) Billie Bob Harrell Jr finally felt lucky after winning $31 Million in the Texas Lotto. His family was poor and prior to winning the lotto, he moved around minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. After the win, things started out well enough when Harell took his family on vacation to Hawaii, donated thousands of dollars to charity, purchased houses and cars for loved ones, and even gave 500 turkeys to the poor. All seemed well, but his wife left him less than a year after winning and he started to receive phone calls threatening his life. He says he wishes he’d never won.
9) Urooj Khan won $1 Million from a scratch-off in Chicago. As an immigrant from India, it seemed that he would finally start living the American Dream. He immediately gave the cashier who sold him the lucky ticket $100 and promised him more after he cashed in his winnings. Khan celebrated the lucky win over dinner with his family. Unfortunately, he died that same night before cashing in the win. At first it was believed that he died of natural causes, hardening of the arteries, but his brother pressed for an autopsy which revealed that he actually died from cyanide poisoning. No one knows who is responsible for his death. His wife and daughter received the $1 Million instead.
10) Hung Nguyen purchased a winning $1 Million Powerball ticket in California. Nguyen, a hardworking car mechanic and father, traveled to Vietnam after purchasing his ticket. Unaware of his good fortune, he stayed in Vietnam for several months. Video footage of Nguyen at a convenience store was even released in an attempt to locate him, but to no avail. After returning to the United States and with little time to claim the money he desperately searched for the ticket but didn’t find it in time. The money was donated to California schools instead.
11) Callie Rogers, a 16-year-old from Britain won $3 Million! Although she indulged in purchasing designer clothes and breast implants for herself, she was also generous with her fortune. She showered her friends and family with gifts by buying them homes, cars, and taking them on vacations. A drug-addiction, bankruptcy and poverty struck too soon. Rogers has attempted suicide twice, works 3 jobs and lives with her mother. She says she only wanted to do nice things for people, but people were only interested in her for her money.
12) Iby Roncaioli and husband Joseph Rancaioli won $5 Million. Since her husband was a doctor, they already lived comfortably and it was assumed that the money would be well-handled. Iby managed the family’s finances, so surely she could manage the lotto winnings. Unfortunately, Iby’s husband poisoned her with a drug-cocktail in hopes of keeping the money himself. He later realized that Iby had her own dirty secrets and had forged documents to transfer ownership of the home to her name. Even more shocking is the fact that there was no lottery money left. After killing Iby, her husband learned that she gave some away to family and squandered the rest on gambling.
13) David Lee Edwards won the $27 Million jackpot in Florida and spent his winnings lavishly. Edwards, a former drug addict and felon, purchased many great things: a $1.6 million house in Palm Beach Gardens, three race horses, a fiber optics company, a Lear Jet, a limo business, and a $200,000 Lamborghini. Unfortunately, his spending didn’t stop there. He also spent his wealth on heroin and cocaine which led to a deep drug addiction. He was charged multiple times for drugs and quickly lost his fortune. He died in poverty several years later when his body was discovered in a storage unit, covered in his own feces.