It’s undeniable that most of us hope to win in the lottery, especially when we see someone in the news who has won the jackpot. Some of us tried to have our luck, guessing those special numbers that could one day win us a significant amount of fortune. You have probably been asked before, “What would you do with the money if you win the lottery?”, it’s certainly a pretty huge amount of money, which makes it all the more confusing to really pinpoint what to use it for. There are endless possibilities and options to choose from. You can buy a simple house, a mansion, a car, go on expensive vacations—the whole shebang.
You can also put up a business investment, create something you have always wanted, or set it aside and allow your money to grow in the bank. The sky is the limit! However, where it is good, there is also bound to be some bad. Not every lottery winner got a happy ending. Here are some examples of what life was like after the jackpot.
Evelyn Adams from New Jersey is one lucky duck! It is hard enough to win the lottery once, but she managed to do it twice in a row. No, she did not have a lucky rabbit’s foot nor did she keep a four-leaf clover. She won in 1985 and then again in 1986. Her total winnings? $5.4 million! It’s certainly a lot of money and most people would immediately think about investing it. Perhaps pay off a debt, like their student loans, so they can be financially freer. In Evelyn‘s case, however, she ended up gambling everything away in Atlantic City. Her loss is the city’s gain, so there is at least one winner in this story. We do hope she didn’t end up bankrupt after it, though!
Merle and Patricia Butler
This couple from Red Bud, Illinois, are both lucky in terms of winning lotteries and being good at making decisions. They were one of the winners of the Mega Millions Jackpot back in 2012, which was worth $656 million. They won the part of the jackpot with just a $3 quick-pick ticket! Imagine that? You get millions in exchange for your $3 what a deal! Merle was the one to discover that they had won and when he told his wife, she didn’t believe him at first.
Their total winnings amounted to $157.8 million from the grand prize pool. With that huge sum of money, Merle and Patricia decided to hire financial advisors to help them manage their fortune properly.
Denise and Paul Hardware
The 51-year-old chef from Cardiff just found out that he was going to get laid off from his job when they decided to get lottery tickets. It might have been a last-ditch effort to save their finances and not resort to taking out huge loans. Fortunately for the husband and wife, they placed their hope on the right numbers. They became millionaires overnight! The first thing they did was quit their jobs and went on a Mediterranean cruise. This is a well-deserved rest, after all the stress they have been through. They also bought their dream home and replaced their son’s car. The couple even bought properties for him and their other relatives! With the money, they sent their son Matthew to finish school at Oxford Brookes University.
Before winning, Vivian and Keith Nicholson only earned about 9 pounds, about $250 today, a week between the two of them. But after correctly guessing the outcome of eight different football matches, they were able to win a whopping £150,000, which is about $4.5 million today. What happened next was a short glimpse of happiness and luxury, followed by a lifetime of misery. They bought a house in an upscale community and lived a lavish lifestyle. The couple bought numerous indulgences, such as designer clothes and cars. They gave away money to friends who were down on their luck like it was nothing. Unfortunately, Keith passed away in the car crash. Vivian went on to marry again but ended up bankrupt due to a lack of money management.
George and Beryl Keates
With the tenth ticket he bought, George Keates certainly did not expect he would win a £3.5m lottery jackpot. At the age of 77 with four sons, nine grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter, George only decided to buy a lottery ticket due to the £7 million rollover. What could he possibly lose, right? With the prize money, the entire family flew first class all the way to Perth, Australia to visit a friend of theirs. They also made plans to purchase a new Toyota Avensis car, and a bungalow. After this stroke of luck, the great-grandfather continued to play the lottery. Despite the newfound wealth, they don’t plan on contacting a moving company to relocate away from Southport, where they have lived their whole lives.
The 1993 Illinois lottery was worth $18 million and you’d expect its winner to spend it all on themselves and their family. While this is true for Janite Lee, a South Korean immigrant working in a local wig shop, she chose to donate to charity. After she moved with her family to a community in St. Louise where other millionaires lived, she spent most of her $620,000 a year on charity. Her philanthropic efforts included a generous donation to the Washington University’s School of law and several hundred thousand to presidential political campaigns. She had dinner with Al Gore and Bill Clinton and was honored with a plaque in a Washington University School of Law reading room. Unfortunately, she didn’t practice money management, and eventually ended up in debt.
A teen from the province of Quebec bought a bottle of champagne along with a $4 scratch ticket to celebrate her entry into adulthood. Little did she know that she just bought the winning ticket for the Gagnant à vie. For her win, Charlie Lagarde got to decide whether to receive C$1,000 per week or receive the C$1 million lump sum in one go. Despite being one of the youngest winners, she opted for the C$1,000 per week after consulting with a financial advisor. This is because the weekly option was not taxed. She went on to invest the money toward her education, as well as traveling. Charlie wanted to study Photography and in the future, perhaps work for National Geographic.
December 17, 1996 marks the day Denise Rossi’s life turned around. Together with five other co-workers, they gathered enough resources to bet on the lottery. Luck was on their side that day for they ended up winning the jackpot worth $6.6 million. After dividing the multi-million dollar prize by six, they each got a total of $1.3 million dollars! 11 days after though, Denise Rossi reportedly called up her lawyer to legally separate from her husband of 25 years, and disclosed her winnings from the lottery. A few years later, her husband found out about it and had her investigated. The two of them went to court and in a plot twist, the judge decided to give all of Denise’s lottery winnings to her ex-husband.
It was a normal August day for the then 26-year-old Dean Allen when he won the jackpot prize in the lottery, putting nearly £14 million straight into his bank account. He immediately traded his Ford Fiesta for a Porsche and put in a great deal of investment money into luxury cars, something he had been so passionate about. From a Ferrari 550 to a Porsche GT3, Audi RS4, Range Roger Evoque, and a Bentley GT Speed, he went all out. He also took his wife on many luxurious holidays without worrying about the costs. Aside from all the lavish spending, Allen and his family never forgot to give back. They made donations toward the Princess Alexandra Hospital, the London Chest Hospital, and the Little Haven Hospice.
Niki Otterburn was your average fitness coach until her fate turned for the best. Think of it as the stars conspiring, giving her the exact combination needed to win the lottery. With that, she was roughly £2 million richer. Thanks to this, Niki was able to revive her love for horse-riding. Her investments included a smallholding close to Thirsk that comes with seven acres of land. This is where she built a stable and ménage for her four horses. She now spends most of her days riding her horses, not only as a pastime but also to prep for competitions. She also donates money to aspiring riders at her own riding school. How cool is that? Niki certainly had everything planned well!