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 bungalow, beautiful car, world tour?

If we look at the stats, more than 70% lottery winners go bankrupt within 10 years of winning the lottery. Probably the remaining 30% also go bankrupt but little later. Why?

I’m going to talk about 3 big lottery winners who became lucky by winning huge, very huge jackpot but soon encountered huge, very huge problems. We’re going to learn an important lesson at the end of the post 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 into 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?  I’m going to tell you the story.

After winning lottery in 2002, he paid 10% of the winning amount to the church and much more to NGO (beautiful).  In fact, he even gave a nice bungalow, a new car and a lot of cash to the supermarket receptionist from whom he bought this ticket.

Everything looks fine till here but things become interesting now..

Soon after winning the lottery thieves stole a suitcase full of cash from his car which was parked outside a strip club. Thieves stole $545,000 (approx Rs.4 crore) in cash that Whittaker carried in a suitcase.

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

His wife divorced and took away 50% of his property.

He lost his young granddaughter who was shown in a national TV show after winning lottery in a mysterious murder case.

Then he got addicted to alcohol, he was often robbed with lot of cash or received death threats from unknown people.

Once he also said he had more than 400 legal case running against him for no reason which he has to fight.

Well, not a happy life as you can 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.

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