Biggest Lottery Winners But Biggest Losers

Imagine you’ve won a lottery of Rs.100 Crore. What would you do with that money? Buy a big house, beautiful car, buy your spouse an expensive gift or go on a world tour?

How beautiful could your life be when all your money worries are fixed overnight. You won’t have to work at your boring job. No need to wake up at 8am when you don’t feel like it. No need to travel for an hour and go to your work place that you hate the most. No need to attend meetings with your co-workers whom you don’t feel like talking. And no need to take orders from your boss whom you’d like punch on the face.

After winning a lottery of Rs.100 crores, not only your money worry would be fixed, but you can literally buy almost anything that middle-class people think as “rich-people-stuff”. From expensive jewelries to a luxury car. You can buy anything you want. A beautiful house in any part of India. No need to worry about finding a job, career, or time management because your time will be your OWN time.  What a beautiful life would that be?

However.. the people who win lotteries say something else. For ex. some of the lottery winners say “I wish I hadn’t bought that lottery ticket”, or “I wish I could just restart my life and live a normal life.” Why would someone winning a lottery would say this? When millions of people buy lottery tickets in the hope that it’d change their life for good?

The answer is very simple. But not easy for many people to understand. If we look at the stats, more than 70% lottery winners go bankrupt within the first 10 years of winning the lottery. The remaining 30% also go bankrupt but a little later in their lifetime. Wait what? What’s happening here?

Unfortunately, that’s the truth and statistics does not lie.

Today, in this post, I’m going to talk about 3 big lottery winners who became lucky by winning huge, very huge jackpot but soon encountered big life problems they weren’t prepared for. And hence, we’re going to learn some important lessons. So keep reading.

3: Jack Whittaker: Winner of lottery worth US$ 31,49,00,000 in 2002.

(US$314.9 million) which is equal to approx. Rs.22 Thousand Cores (difficult to understand? Just think of it as Rs.1 Crore multiplied by 22 Thousand times) in INR, that too back in 2002. 

Few years later when he was interviewed, he said “I Wish I’d Torn That Ticket Up”.

Why would someone winning such a huge lottery say that? 

Let me tell you the story.

After winning lottery in 2002, he donated 10% of it to a church and a lot more to various NGOs. (Beautiful! Seems like he bought tickets to heaven for sure!). In fact, he even gifted a nice bungalow, a new car and a lot of cash to the supermarket receptionist from whom he bought that lottery ticket.

Everything seemed awesome so far but things started to become interesting..

Soon after winning the lottery, some thieves stole a suitcase full of cash from his car which was parked outside a strip club. Wait! What was he doing at a strip club? Oh, maybe when you don’t need to worry about going to work, where do you spend your free time? The thieves stole $545,000 (approx. Rs.4 crore) that Whittaker carried in a suitcase. This money was just sitting idle inside his car which he parked outside that club.

When he was asked why would he carry so much money with him, Whittaker responded, “Because I can”.

Then later on, his wife divorced and took away 50% of his wealth. Soon after, he lost his young granddaughter who was shown in the national TV along him (as famous lottery winners) in a mysterious murder case. He loved her a lot and couldn’t handle the emotional stress after that. As he had already been divorced and lost his only granddaughter. Hence, he got addicted to alcohol. He would many a times be robbed with lot of cash that he carried with himself and soon, he started  receiving death threats from unknown people. Hundreds of strangers started visiting his doorstep seeking for financial help and many of his friends and acquaintance who didn’t like him started demanding money from him. 

He said that, once he had more than 400 legal case running against him for no reason which he had to fight.

So because of this lottery, he lost his loved ones, his family and peace of mind. In return, he got several legal cases and became popular amongst habitual borrowers. Well, not a happy life as you’d imagine.

2. Gerald Muswagon: Winner of lottery worth US $1,00,00,000 in 1998.

After winning this bumper jackpot, it felt like the whole world was under his feet. He would never have to worry about money in his entire life. But something else happened.

Soon after getting the money, he started spending it like there is no tomorrow. He even went on to a long 24 hour shopping spree where he purchased beautiful cars, expensive electronic goods for friends.

His bungalow was turned into a party palace where his friends would enjoy every night and guess what? He lost all the money in just under 4 years.

His cousin once said in an interview that he tried to make him understand several times but Gerald was in a different world. He had no money management or financial knowledge before winning the lottery which continued after getting the money.

After going bankrupt, he was forced to do the same labor work again that he did before winning the lottery and no friend came to rescue. Finally, in 2002, he committed suicide in his father’s garage where he was living due to severe regret.

1. Suzanne Mullins: Winner of US$ 4.2 Million in 1993

She made only one wise decision after getting lucky to split the lottery payment into 20 annual installments. However, only within 5 years, she realized her expenses were exceeding the annual lottery payment.

Then she made it worst by taking a loan against her lottery fund and now she is in complete debt and banks own her millions of dollars. The worst part – she don’t even have any source of income now to clear that huge loan.

Moral of the Stories: We learn two simple yet important lessons from these real life cases.

1. More Money ≠ More Happiness

People fail to realize that more money doesn’t mean more happiness.

“Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.”

Bob Marley

According to me, having enough money invested and diversified in different field to have financial freedom should be the goal. So you can give more time to things you love.

2. Financial IQ

If we have poor financial IQ or knowledge in our day to day life then our lives will not change even when we start getting more money.

“If we don’t start taking initiatives to manage our finances when we have little, we automatically become less conscious about money when we have more. “

Moreover, it becomes difficult to manage when we have more.

Think of it this way, a person who learns driving will start with empty road and slow speed to minimize risk. Once he becomes an expert, he drives on highway in full speed. What would happen if he does it vice versa? Accidents, right?

Similarly, it is mandatory to understand the different options available for an individual to earn, save and invest money for financial stability and freedom to avoid bigger financial accidents in future.

2 Comments

  1. Perfect representation of finding happiness without having tons of bucks ..Thanks Mr.Mohsin Mansuri

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