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The day-to-day Mail

Before they won a $2.76 million lottery jackpot in 2005, Lara and also Roger Griffiths, of England, reportedly never argued.

You are watching: Big lottery winners who went broke

Then lock won and also bought a million-dollar barn-converted house and a Porsche, not to mention luxurious trips come Dubai, Monaco, and new York City.

Media story say their fortune ended in 2010 once a freak fire gutted your house, which to be underinsured, forcing lock to shell out because that repairs and also seven months of temporary accommodations.

Shortly after, there were claims that roger drove away in the Porsche after ~ Lara confronted him over emails arguing that he to be interested in one more woman. That finished their 14-year marriage.

Bud article lost $16.2 million within a nightmarish year — and also his very own brother allegedly put out a fight on him.


Flickr / Alex

William "Bud" post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988, yet he was $1 million in debt within a year.

"I great it never happened," article said. "It was totally a nightmare."

A previous girlfriend efficiently sued him for a 3rd of his winnings, and also his brothers was arrested because that allegedly hiring a hit male to kill him in the really hopes he"d inherit a re-publishing of the winnings.

After sinking money into family businesses, post sank right into debt and also spent time in jail because that firing a gun over the head the a invoice collector.

"I was lot happier as soon as I was broke," he said, according to The Washington Post.

Bud live quietly on $450 a month and also food stamps until his death in 2006.

Martyn and also Kay Tott won a $5 million jackpot, yet lost the ticket


REUTERS/Mike Segar

Martyn Tott, 33, and his 24-year-old mam Kay, indigenous the UK, missed the end on a $5 million lottery happiness after losing their ticket.

A seven-week investigation by Camelot Group, the firm that runs the UK"s national lottery, encouraged officials their claim to the to win ticket to be legitimate. But due to the fact that there is a 30-day time limit on reporting shed tickets, the firm was not compelled to pay up, and also the jackpot became the biggest unclaimed amount since the lottery started in 1994.

"Thinking you"re walk to have actually all that money is really liberating. Having actually it taken away has the the contrary effect," Kay Tott said The daily Mail. "It drains the life from you and puts a terrible strain on her marriage. It to be the cruelest torture imaginable."

Sharon Tirabassi won $10 million, yet eventually went back to her old life.



In 2004, Sharon Tirabassi, a solitary mother who had been on welfare, cashed a examine from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. For an ext than $10 million Canadian dollars.

She invested her winnings ~ above a "big house, an intricate cars, designer clothes, lavish parties, exotic trips, handouts come family, loans to friends," and in less than a te she was back "riding the bus, working part-time, and living in a rented house."

"All the that other stuff was fun in the beginning, now it"s like, back to life," she told The Hamilton Spectator.

Luckily, Tirabassi placed some of her windfall in trusts because that her six children, who would have the ability to claim the money as soon as they rotate 26.

Evelyn Adams gambled it every away in Atlantic City.

Flickr / Jamie McCaffrey

Against every odds, Adams won the lottery twice, when in 1985 and also again in 1986.

The new Jersey native won $5.4 million, however reports that she gambled it away in Atlantic City.

Adams likewise told The brand-new York time in 1993 that the publicity she received brought about a bombardment that requests because that financial assistance.

"I was known," she said, "and i couldn"t go almost everywhere without gift recognized."

Tonda Lynn Dickerson was compelled to salary gift tax.

Flickr/Steve Snodgrass

Tonda Lynn Dickerson, a previous Waffle house waitress, acquired served a large plate the karma as soon as she supposedly refused to break-up her winnings through colleagues and also was required to salary the taxman $1,119,347.90.

How did it happen? Dickerson placed her winnings in a corporation and granted her family members 51% of the stock, qualifying her for the tax.

Gerald Muswagon ended up emotion sorry for partying.

Radyukov Dima /

In 1998, Gerald Muswagon winner the $10 million super 7 jackpot in Canada.

But the couldn"t manage the immediate fame that came with winning the grand prize, follow to Canada"s Globe and also Mail.

"He bought several brand-new vehicles for himself and friends, purchased a house that turned right into a nightly "party pad" and often commemorated his new lifestyle v copious quantities of drugs and alcohol," The Globe and Mail reported. "In a solitary day, that bought eight big-screen televisions because that friends."

Muswagon likewise poured money into a logging organization that failed due to the fact that of short sales.

He was at some point forced to take a job doing hefty lifting ~ above a friend"s farm just to do ends meet, follow to The Globe and Mail. According to media reports, Muswagon hanged self in his parents" garage in 2005.

Suzanne Mullins couldn't destruction herself out of debt.

Flickr/NZ Defence force

Suzanne Mullins won $4.2 million in the Virginia lotto in 1993.

She break-up the yearly payments three means with her husband and daughter, leaving Mullins with around $47,000 a year. She quickly uncovered herself in blame — her lawyer stated she shelled the end $1 million for she uninsured son-in-law"s medical bills.

"It"s to be a tough road," Mullins" lawyer Michael Hart told the associated Press in 2004. "It"s no been jet airplane trips come the Bahamas."

She offered future payouts come take the end a $200,000 loan through a firm that offered a certain market — lottery winners who need their money faster.

Mullins later on switched come a lump-sum payout, but never paid back the debt. The loan company filed suit and also won a $154,000 negotiation that was all yet worthless. Mullins had actually no assets.

Americo Lopes stop his job, lied around winning, and then got sued.

AP images

Construction worker Americo Lopes won the brand-new Jersey lottery, battered his job, and also lied about it, claiming that he needed foot surgery, according to reports from The brand-new York Times.

After coming clean come a former coworker, he and a few others ganged up on Lopes because that not separating the winnings together promised. In a fraud suit, thecoworkers asserted they had all pitched in for the to win ticket.

The court ordered Lopes to break-up the prize.

Ibi Roncaioli to be murdered by she husband after ~ she squandered she winnings.

Tim Boyle/Getty pictures

Ontario resident Ibi Roncaioli to walk away v $5 million in a 1991 Lotto/649 drawing, but she didn"t tell her husband how she determined to invest it.

When Joseph Roncaioli, a gynecologist, discovered out Ibi offered $2 million of her fortune come a secret child she"d had actually with one more man, he poisoned her with painkillers, according to reports from the Toronto Star.

He to be convicted top top manslaughter charges and also reportedly request Ibi"s family to help foot the invoice for her funeral.

Michael Carroll stayed in the quick lane and blew it all.


Michael Carroll was just 19 when he winner Britain"s £9.7 million ($15 million) jackpot in 2002, the day-to-day Mail reports.

But follow to media reports from the time, supposed penchant because that crack, parties, prostitutes, and also cars put him back at square one in 5 years.

Last us heard, the former garbageman was hoping to get his old project back.

Andrew Jackson Whittaker Jr. To be undone through robberies and also a casino lawsuit.


In 2002, West Virginia building contractor Andrew Jackson Whittaker Jr. Walked away through $114 million, after taxes, top top a $315 million multistate Powerball draw.

That was just about his critical stroke of good fortune.

Thieves ran off v $545,000 that Whittaker had actually stashed in his auto in 2003. And he lost $200,000 the same means a year later. That was likewise sued by Caesar"s Atlantic City, which stated Whittaker had bounced $1.5 million in checks.

Within 4 years, his fortune was reportedly gone.

Billy Bob Harrell Jr. Had his prayers answered, yet his luck ran out after that couldn't to speak no.

Flickr / Mike Mozart

A Pentecostal preacher working as a stock young at residence Depot got his prayers answered as soon as he hit the $31 million Texas jackpot in 1997.

At first life was good, with Billy Bob reportedly quitting his job, travel to Hawaii, and also buying a ranch, six other homes, and new cars. He donated 480 turkeys to the poor, follow to Time.

But like numerous others that win the lottery, he simply couldn"t speak no when world asked for a handout. He likewise ran into financial trouble v a agency that provided lottery winners bump sums in exchange for their yearly checks, yet it left the with much less than what he"d won.

Media reports from the time say he eventually divorced and died by suicide. Shortly prior to his death, he told a financial torture that "winning the lottery is the worst point that ever happened come me."

Willie Hurt's alleged crack seeks did him in.

Flickr / Nicoletta Ciunci

In 1989, Willie winner a $3.1 million jackpot in the Michigan Lottery.

Two year later, Hurt to be divorced, shed custody that his children, and also was charged through attempted killing — and according come media reports, choose up a crack-cocaine addiction.

Stories from the moment say the habit sucked away his whole fortune.

Denise Rossi didn't disclose the jackpot in her divorce filing.

Reuters/Mark Blinch

When Denise Rossi winner $1.3 million in the California lotto, she preserved the news come herself and abruptly inquiry a divorce from she husband cutting board without a word, follow to The Los Angeles Times.

Thomas was shocked however agreed to divorce she anyway. During the proceedings, Denise continued to keep her good fortune a secret.

Two years later, cutting board intercepted a letter at his brand-new Los Angeles residence revealing the truth.

He sue Denise for not disclosing she winnings in the divorce, and the referee awarded thomas every cent.

Even Denise"s lawyer admitted to human being that Denise could have kept fifty percent her winnings if she had been ethical with she then husband. "Her failure to disclose to be a fraud," the lawyer said.

Meanwhile, thomas Rossi is enjoy it his $48,000-a-year payouts.

"If it wasn’t because that the lotto, Denise and I would probably still it is in together. Things worked out for the best," that said.

Janite Lee spent it all on charity and also political donations.


After to win an $18 million lottery jackpot in 1993, Janite Lee experienced her winnings unable to do within a decade.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Lee, a wigmaker from southern Korea, go out it ~ above charity.

A analysis room was called after she at Washington University"s legislation school, and she to be a significant donor because that the democratic Party.

But her giving hand, coupled v a tiny gambling and also a many credit-card debt, supposedly did her in. She filed because that bankruptcy in 2001.

Luke Pittard wound up flipping burgers in ~ McDonald's.

Daniel Goodman / business Insider

Welsh-born Luke Pittard winner a £1.3 million jackpot ($1.9 million) in 2006, however spent almost every one of it on a expedition to the Canary Islands, a wedding, and a house.

A year and also a fifty percent later, Pittard was required to return to his job at McDonald"s.

"They every think I"m a bit mad yet I tell castle there"s an ext to life than money," Pittard told the Telegraph in 2008. "I loved working at McDonald"s prior to I came to be a millionaire and also I"m really enjoying being back there again."

Rhoda and Alex Toth both landing in court for taxation evasion.

Wikimedia Commons

Alex and also Rhoda Toth hit the $13 million jackpot in Florida in 1990. In ~ 15 years, they to be destitute.

According come the Tampa only Times, the pair spent greatly on a three-month trip to ras Vegas, which consisted of stays in a $1,000-a-night penthouse suite at the Mirage. Earlier home, lock bought 10 acres of land.

The 2 were at some point accused of taxation evasion by the IRS after the was found they filed because that bankruptcy protections and falsely reported gambling losses. At the moment of their indictment, they were stated to owe the IRS $2.5 million.

Alex died before his situation went to trial; Rhoda served two year in prison.

Vivian Nicholson to be a clotheshorse that couldn't avoid shopping.

Vivian Nicholson is no pictured. Spencer Platt / Getty pictures

Daily mail UK reports the Vivian Nicholson gained a taste of the an excellent life once her husband Keith won a fortune — £152,300 — in Britain"s football pools in 1961.

She famously promised the media she would "spend, spend, spend" adhering to the windfall — and also she kept her word.

The pair blew lot of Keith"s winnings ~ above haute couture, sporting activities cars, and a brand-new home, your extravagant lifestyle ending up being the stuff of headlines. When Keith passed away in 1965, Vivian was hit through a vast tax bill and declared bankruptcy.

She struggled through alcohol and depression prior to her fatality in 2011 — two years after ~ a West end musical commemorated her life in the beat "Spend, Spend, Spend."

Teen mommy Callie Rogers was also young to spend her money wisely.


Callie Rogers was simply 16 once she winner £1.9 million (about $3 million) in the UK"s lottery in 2003, and also she was also young come know how to manage her money or wherein it would lead her, follow to Gawker.

After summary vowing to regulate her winnings responsibly, Rogers made fast work of her fortune. She apparently spent millions top top vacations, clothing, cars, breast implants, and also (according come British tabloid The Sun) an ext than $300,000 on cocaine.

She additionally reportedly spent more than a quarter of a million dollars ~ above a bungalow and also house for she mother.

Rogers eventually became a mom of three, and also has claimed on the document she"s teaching them to be careful with money.

"I’m happy they’ll prosper up understanding the value of money," she called The Sun.

See more: Brooke And Marcus Love And Hip Hop, Dr Blvck (@Mvrcusblvck)

"I was too young to success the lottery. It practically broke me, however thankfully, I’m currently stronger than ever."

This is one updated variation of an write-up including reporting from Pamela Engel, Mandi Woodruff, and Michael B. Kelley.

Mark Abadi
Editor, organization Insider Today
note Abadi is an editor for BI"s everyday news show business Insider Today. He formerly was editor of service Insider"s freelance program. That has likewise covered careers, break news, and also politics for the company. Prior to joining company Insider, note completed a two-year Fulbright provide in Malaysia. That has likewise written for The everyday Tar hoe in Chapel Hill, phibìc Carolina, and The Skagway News in Skagway, Alaska.
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