Even if you win the Mega Millions or Powerball, there's a strong chance that your life will fall apart.
The frequent elements of lottery-winning fantasies are luxury goods like boats and lobster tails, large gifts, flashy vehicles, an extravagant lifestyle, and a home for the mother. Eventually, becoming instantly wealthy often leads to broken relationships, divorce, financial ruin, or worse.
Even though some lottery winners may be unable to cope with their unexpected wealth, some still utilize their prize money to better themselves and their communities.
Here are some people who won the lotto and benefited and suffered from their good fortune.
These lotto success stories will encourage you to purchase a ticket.
After a drunk driver slew her brother, Cynthia P. Stafford stepped in and raised his five kids independently. She still helped her family by working to support her father.
Funds were scarce in January of 2007. She had a big family to support, but her home was just a thousand square feet. She was often stressed about making ends meet and hoped to win the lottery one day. And not just any lotto; one with an exact $112,000,000 jackpot. This is precisely what she achieved.
While thinking about money in 2004, the figure "$112 million" came into Stafford's brain. She made it her goal to win exactly that sum.
She tried numerous strategies, including keeping a note with the lottery number beneath her pillows. At the same time, she slept, imagining herself collecting a $112 million prize, and concentrating on the feeling of success.
Three years later, through some incredible twist of fate, Stafford won the prize she had always hoped to win.
Cynthia Stafford attributes her success to the law of attraction and prayer, which allowed her to alleviate her family's financial stress and launch a film production firm to pursue her passion.
Stafford only bought tickets once or twice per month, and she randomly chose the numbers. Although she hasn't won the lottery in years, she still regularly buys tickets on the off chance that she will be an extremely lucky lottery winner and win many jackpots.
John and Linda Kutey honored their parents by giving back to the neighborhood after their workplace lottery pool scored one of the largest payouts in Mega Millions history. They thus headed to the Green Island town hall to inquire about volunteer opportunities.
The Kuteys could support themselves and those who surrounded them with their winnings, even though they received "just" $19 million after taxes.
Before winning the lotto, Les Robins was a high school educator. He often expressed disappointment that today's youth don't have the opportunity to grow up camping, swimming, participating in sports, and experiencing the outdoors as he did.
Robins chose to utilize his winnings from the $111 million Powerball prize he received to build a camp where he could offer happiness to children.
Using his lottery winnings, he purchased 226 acres and opened what would become Camp Winnegator, which would remain in operation for almost a decade. It was a cheap summer destination for kids, allowing them to ride horses, do handicrafts, swim, and frolic on the lake. The best part was that the kids could put down their smartphones and video game controllers and reconnect with nature and real-world peers.
After being one of the largest lottery winners with a total winning of 181.2 million in the 2008 Powerball lottery, Paul and Sue Rosenau had a clear plan for their fortune. These lucky lottery winners' winning ticket was bought five years before their grandchild Makayla passed away from a rare, untreatable sickness.
Because it affects relatively few people (approximately 1 in 100,000 births), Krabbe Disease is not a high priority for research funding. This neurodegenerative disease affects the protective covering of nerve fibers, and it almost always proves fatal within the initial two years of diagnosis.
For this reason, Paul and Sue Rosenau started the nonprofit organization The Legacy of Angels to raise money for breakthrough studies into treatments and eventual remedies for the disease. They're both on the organization's board of directors because they want to help other people avoid what they went through.
Some people believe that winning the lottery brings bad luck and point to numerous historical cases of victors whose fortunes declined after their windfall. Look at these examples of the lottery winner's curse who didn't exactly strike it rich following their big win.
Only about ten years after Lara and Roger Griffiths of the United Kingdom won $2.19 million in a lottery win, the couple's union resulted in a divorce. Roger spent a ton of money on helping his band put out an album so he could live out his megastar fantasies. They gave Lara a taste of the good life by buying her a fleet of luxury automobiles, a mansion, a wardrobe full of branded apparel and accessories, and enrolling their daughter in a premium private school.
They invested a large sum of money into building a salon, and Lara eventually found employment there. By the end, the couple had less than ten dollars to their name.
David Lee Edwards, a citizen of Kentucky, had won a lottery for $27 million five years before he was forced to move into a storage shed with his wife because they had no money. The couple spent their riches on the usual luxuries that brought many lucky lottery winners to their financial ruin. They purchased a large number of luxury automobiles, as well as houses and a plane.
In 2011, Gerald Muswagon, a Canadian, spent only two dollars on a lottery ticket that would make him an overnight millionaire. He hit the jackpot of $10 million, but he spent it all only a few short years after he got it.
He purchased a home that served as a nightly partying venue for his ever-growing army of lackeys and parasites and hosted the parties there. According to The Globe and Mail, he wasted money on things such as partying, buying vehicles, and giving presents, all while getting himself into various legal messes.
Ultimately, he helped out on a farm as a laborer to provide for his partner and their six small children. Seven years after winning the significant prize, he took his own life by hanging himself in the garage of his parent's home.
Marva Wilson is one of the few who understand the reality that fraudsters, scam artists, and grifters consider lottery winners as targets. After her great-grandmother received $2 million in the Missouri lottery in 2008, she was promptly targeted by a con artist named Freya Pearson.
Pearson used charm and wit to manipulate her way into Wilson's life and financial accounts. Pearson pretended to assist Wilson in filing a lien, settling her affairs, and forming a nonprofit organization on her behalf. Instead, Pearson took Wilson's earnings and spent them all on herself. In the end, the judge decided to give Pearson a jail term of five years.
Evidently, many lucky lottery winners can better their lives and the lives of others around them with the money they earn. No one's saying that hitting the lottery automatically makes you a curse's next victim.
But remember that the danger of losing your money is much more important than the lottery winner's curse as an excuse not to buy a ticket. Purchasing lottery tickets is a fun hobby, but it shouldn't be seen as a practical means to earn money or prepare for retirement. You shouldn't gamble if you cannot afford to forfeit the amount you plan to spend on tickets.