A resident of Illinois hit the jackpot of $ 1.28 billion: how winning the lottery can ruin your life

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On Friday, July 29, an Illinois resident hit the $1.28 billion MegaMillions jackpot. And while everyone wants to win the lottery, history shows that such luck does not always end well. Fox News published 10 stories of people for whom big money turned into big problems.

Illinois resident hit $1.28 billion jackpot: how winning the lottery can ruin your life

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Win MegaMillions

According to the lottery website, 29 July, the single winning ticket for the $1.28 billion MegaMillions jackpot was sold in Illinois, according to The New York Times.

This was the second largest jackpot since the lottery began in 1996. The winning numbers were 67, 45, 57, 36, 13 and the mega ball 14.

The identity of the winner has not been released. MegaMillions also reported that there were multiple small prize winners in more than a dozen other states.

The odds of winning the jackpot were 1 in 303 million.

Why winning isn't always good

Andrew “Jack” Whittaker Jr became an instant celebrity after winning the record-breaking Powerball jackpot in the amount of $315 million on Christmas Eve 2002 and even flew off in a private jet with his family to appear on New York morning TV shows after winning the jackpot.

Whittaker's life quickly took a tumultuous turn. He began to struggle with drinking and gambling, his wife left him, several family members died tragically, and he was charged twice with drunk driving, as well as assault by three casino employees.

Whittaker, who was already a wealthy businessman when he won the lottery, was also robbed multiple times, with thieves stealing more than $100,000 from him on separate occasions, and was thought to have gone broke in the years before his death in 2020.

“I wish I could rip that ticket,” a weeping Whittaker told reporters after his daughter's death.

David Lee Edwards, convicted a criminal from Kentucky, won $27 million from a record $280 million jackpot in 2001 and quickly began to spend money. He bought a mansion, dozens of luxury cars and a private jet with a personal pilot.

Five years later, the money ran out and Edwards lived with his wife in a house contaminated with human feces. Edwards' wife left him and he died penniless in a hospice in 2013 at the age of 58.

52-year-old Michael Todd Hill won $10 million in Ultimate Millions in North Carolina in 2007. In 2020, 13 years later, Hill was charged with murder and told the court that he was poor and could not afford a lawyer. He was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 23-year-old Keonna Graham.

Uruj Khanowned a successful small business in Chicago, Illinois, when he won $1 million in June 2012. A month later, Khan died of cyanide poisoning. The case was classified as murder, but no one was ever charged, and Khan's winnings were split between his widow and daughter.

Floridan Abraham Shakespearewas illiterate and constantly unable to find a job when he suddenly won the $17 million jackpot in 2006. By 2009, Shakespeare had spent most of his money, and his girlfriend convinced him to give her a share of the winnings and received $1.3 million.

The same friend, Doris Moore, shot Shakespeare shortly after in his backyard and was found guilty of murder in 2012. She received a life sentence.

Mac Metcalfe and his ex-wife Virginia Meridashared a $34 million jackpot in 2000 and quickly spent a fortune on drugs, a mansion and exotic pets. Three years later, the couple died – Metcalfe died from complications of alcoholism, and Merida from an alleged drug overdose.

“If he hadn't won, he would have worked like normal people and probably would have lived longer,” she said. in 2005 Metcalfe's first wife Marilyn Collins. – If the person with problems wins, it just helps them kill themselves faster.”

Janita Lee, a South Korean immigrant, was working in a wig shop in Illinois when hit the $18 million jackpot in 1993.

Lie's bank account quickly dried up after she donated large sums of money to educational, political and social causes.

Eight years later, Li filed for bankruptcy , and had less than $700 in her bank account and $2.5 million in debt.

In May 1990, Alex and Rhoda Tothwas $24 when they won the $13 million Florida Lottery jackpot. Until 2010, the couple withdrew their money in recurring payments for an ominous $666,666.

Over the next few years of Tota went through various family feuds and were accused of filing fraudulent IRS tax returns, which eventually led to bankruptcy filings in 2001 and 2002.

Rhoda Toth said the money “ripped us apart” and led to the loss of friends and family members.

“Sometimes I wish we could return the ticket,” she said.

Alex Toth faced federal charges in 2008 at the age of 60 and died aground.

Evelyn Adams made lottery history by winning two multi-million dollar prizes in New Jersey in the mid-80s, totaling $5.4 million. Over the next few years, Adams began gambling, giving gifts to family members, and losing money on bad investments.

By 2012, Adams had spent all her winnings and was living in a trailer.

“Winning the lottery isn't always what you dream of,” Adams said.

William “Bud” Post went bankrupt in 1988 when he won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery and began to spend money, buying houses, boats and even a plane that he did not have a license to fly.

A year later Post not only again went bankrupt, but also owed $1 million. In addition, Post's brother was arrested for hiring a hitman to kill him.

In the end, Post filed for bankruptcy, served time in prison for shooting a cashier with a pistol, and the landlady tricked him into forking out a third of his cash. , Post said in 1993.

Post was living on disability benefits when he died in 2006 at age 66, leaving behind nine children.

Almost 70% of lottery jackpot winners play their winnings for seven years.

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