How the Luck

Biggest Lottery Fails of All Time – What Went Wrong?

Imagine winning it all just to end up losing everything by making mistakes you could have easily avoided. That’s what happened to the lottery “losers” below. Their tragic stories contain important lessons if you pay enough attention.

A Woman Learns the Meaning of Karma

When Denise Rossi won $1.3 million from the California Lottery in 1996, she decided to give her husband of 25 years the boot instead of telling him about her winnings. Her husband was left blindsided when she asked for a divorce, as he had thought they were happily married.

He soon discovered the real reason she wanted out of the marriage, and in 1999, a judge awarded him every penny of her winnings after he determined that she’d broken asset disclosure laws.

From Mansion to Slaughterhouse

When a garbage man won $14.4 million when he was just 19 years old, you’d think that he was set for life! That sadly wasn’t the case for Michael Carroll, who quickly used up all of his winnings by splurging on a mansion, jewelry, and drugs.

Ten years later, and he makes about $511 a week working in a slaughterhouse. At least he has good stories to tell?

Man Blows Through $12 Million in One Year

Just imagine the kind of life you’d live if you were able to spend $12 million in a single year! That’s what David Lee Edwards, an ex-felon, did after winning $27 million thanks to the Powerball jackpot.

He really lived it up, marrying a girl 19 years his junior, splurging on a $600,000 house, a fleet of cars worth $1 million, 200 swords, a $1.9 million dollar jet, and a $78,000 watch.

He managed to spend his entire fortune within five years, and ended up dying broke and alone at the age of 58 after contracting hepatitis from his repeated drug use. His daughter wrote on Facebook, “There is NO MONEY anywhere!!!” after learning that her father had left her absolutely nothing, not even a life insurance policy.

A Three-Year Millionaire

When Lisa Arcand won $1 million dollars back in 2004, she truly tried to live her life to the fullest. However, she didn’t keep in mind that even $1 million, especially after taxes are taken out, can eventually run out. And run out it did, within just three years’ time.

Living Only for the Moment

Lou Eisenberg fared a little better than the prior lottery fails we’ve mentioned. He won $5 million in 1981 and chose to receive payments of $120,000 each year for 20 years. He enjoyed life to the fullest during those 20 years, having bought himself a condo, going on luxury vacations and giving out money to those he felt could really use it.

After he cashed in his last check, that was the end of it because he didn’t bother to save any of his winnings. He now lives in a trailer park at the age of 81 and scrapes by on about $1000 a month thanks to his pension and Social Security.

Marion Prince

Marion Prince

If Marion Price ever won the lottery, she’d accept the winnings anonymously, hire a lawyer right away, and live modestly on the interest payments from her lump-sum payment. Not that she has a plan or anything…

She finds the stories of lotto winners fascinating—especially those rags-to-riches-to-rags again stories of winners who had it all and then lost everything.

When she’s not researching tales of winners and losers for HowTheLuck, Marion enjoys horseback riding and hiking.

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