10 Lottery Winners Who Lost It All

Posted by By Justin at 25 April, at 17 : 33 PM Print

About a third of all the people who win the lottery for more than a million dollars have quickly squandered all their money. This is not surprising at all, considering that true millionaires have gained their riches through hard work and an understanding of money, while lottery winners tend to be people who don’t have an understanding of money. The running joke is that the lottery is the tax on people who are bad at math, after all. People who don’t know how to manage money before winning it don’t manage it well after winning those millions either.

John McGuiness


John won ten million British Pounds in the U.K. Lottery. He immediately began to blow it all on whatever fit his fancy, from high-end sports cars, to lavish gifts to friends (including his ex-wife, ironically) to exotic trips and exclusive clubs. Before long, John had not only spend all of his £10,000,000, but incurred a total of over £2.1 million in debt to the bank of Scotland. So much for those quick and easy winnings!


Jake Whittacker

This West Virginian native won a whopping 315 million U.S. dollars. He actually started out by starting a charity to help the poor people of his home state, and donating massive amounts to charity. Unfortunately, his money soon got the better of him, and he began spending it on booze, girls, and other worldly amusements. He ended up racking up a whopping $100,000 bill at a local strip club, and getting arrested for drunk driving. He gave his granddaughter an allowance of an insane 2,100 dollars per week, which she then proceeded to use to become a drug addict. She eventually overdosed on the drugs, killing herself in the process. Whittacker has been sued by countless people, and has lost over $700,000 to multiple cash thefts due to seemingly mindless mistakes such as leaving half a million dollars in cash in his car.

Rhoda Toth

Mrs. Toth won the Florida Lottery in the amount of 13 million dollars. She and her husband immediately spent all of it, refusing to pay anything in taxes to the IRS.  The couple ended up on the run, and were eventually arrested while living off the electricity from a car battery. Her husband died in a stunt related to pretending to have Multiple Sclerosis in order to fool the government into giving him disability benefits. Mrs. Toth is now living in poverty, has been convicted to 2 years in prison, and owes the IRS 1.1 million dollars in unpaid taxes. Oops.

Billie Bob Harrell

This man’s story may be the saddest of them all. He won 31 million dollars in the U.S. Lottery. Before he knew it, he was met with letters from strangers begging for money, and his wife left him. He gave freely to those in need, but soon found himself facing more pressures than he knew what to do with. Billie soon disappeared, along with his millions. His body was found two years later, and an autopsy showed that he’d committed suicide. No one knows what became of his millions.

Vivian Nicholson

This woman claimed she would spend her winnings without regard, before she even won. Upon winning, she quickly lived up to her own prediction, spending her winnings so fast that she even had a television documentary made about her.

Willie Hurt

Willie, then a happily married man with an active social life, won 3.1 million dollars in the Michigan Lottery. Within a few years, he’d become a Cocaine addict, lost his wife, been charged with murder, and lost it all. To this day, Willie doesn’t even know where his family lives.

Shelfik Tallmadge

Shelfik was feeling down when he spend his last five dollars on an Arizona state lottery ticket. He was shocked to find that he won nearly 7 million dollars. Tallmadge spent his millions on sports cars and exotic vacations, quickly watching it dwindle down to nothing. He has since declared bankruptcy, and is now broke.

Lawrence Candlish


Candlish is a Scottish man who won £5.5 mililon in the U.K. lottery. Remember, this is more like $10 million in U.S.  dollars. He spent it all on houses for his numerous relatives, buying them all nice houses on the same street. Unfortunately, he soon tired of the attention he was getting, and ran out of money, fleeing to somewhere in Spain to get away from it all.

Peter Kyle

Mr. Kyle is an ex-British soldier who won £5 million pounds in the British lottery. Unfortunately, he readily took advice from nearly anyone who talked to him, and ended up squandering his money in countless bad investments. He ended up bankrupt, living on welfare and staying in a house where he earns his room and board by doing chores for the owner.

Evelyn Adams


This woman actually won the New Jersey lottery, not once, but twice. This is in spite of the odds of this happening, which are 17 trillion to one. Evelyn proceeded to gamble away all of her winnings, and is now living in a trailer home.

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One Comment

  1. Muffy, 4 years ago Reply

    Many people who made their money through hard work also went broke, so I don’t agree with that statement. Are the children of wealthy people not “true millionaires,” because their parents or grandparents made the money, and not them? There are plenty of lottery winners who never went broke. Hell, I would love to prove you curse believers wrong too.

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