Most of us have dreamt of winning the lottery. Many would buy or upgrade their home, invest in a new car or maybe take a few expensive holidays abroad. Heck, we would even probably go on the odd crazy shopping spree every once in a while – all the while knowing that there is an end to the supply of cash. Others might simply lose their marbles and blow the whole lot.
You’ll probably sit there thinking “idiots!” – but who knows how much winning the lottery could change you. It could turn you into an absolute fool over night – just like the following 10 people The Big Money Guide will soon tell you all about.
Here are the 10 silliest lottery winners in history – and trust us, these stories are pretty stupid!
1. Hooked on Hookers – Michael Carroll
Michael Carroll thought all his Christmases had come at once when he won £9.7 million ($15 million) in the UK’s lottery back in 2002. An overnight millionaire, Michael was quick to lap up the life of luxury, developing a penchant for flash cars, crazy parties, cocaine and hookers.
The crazy lifestyle soon came to an end in 2007, as Michael had blew all of his lottery winnings and was back to square one working as a bin man.
2. Karma Kindness – Tonda Lynn Dickerson
Karma came back to bite Tonda Lynn Dickerson, who refused to split her $10 million lottery win with her Waffle House colleagues and Mr Steward, a customer who bought the ticket for the Waffle House employees.
Not only did she refuse to share the cash with her colleagues, but she did not give Mr Steward the gift of a pick-up truck that was always promised to him if the staff ever won. So, he sued.
In the middle of the lawsuit, Tonda Lynn Dickerson decided to embark on a little tax planning with her family, forming the S corporation in Florida to safely store her winnings. This entity therefore protected the cash from potential creditors. She therefore retained 49% of the money, whilst her parents and siblings had a share of 51%. Little did she know she would receive a large tax bill of $771,570, which was given to her by Toye Sue Washington, an attorney with the Estates Division if the IRS, for unpaid federal gift tax.
Tonda, not wanting to part with her winnings, challenged the IRS, claiming the amount was not a gift as she had agreed with her family that she would share her money if she ever won the lottery. Yeah, that’s still a gift, Tonda!
Thirteen years later, it was confirmed it was a gift. She was therefore ordered to pay $1,119,347.90.
3. Marriage Crack – Willie Hurt
Winning the lottery would be a dream come true for most families, but not for Willie Hurt and his loved ones. Two years after winning $3.1 million in the Michigan Lottery, Willie Hurt divorced his wife, lost custody of his children, developed a crack-cocaine addiction and was charged with attempted murder.
His drug addiction became so bad that he lost his entire fortune, as well as his whole life.
4. Bad Blood – William “Bud” Post
You would think your family would be happy for you if you bagged $16.2 million lottery jackpot, but not William “Bud” Post’s family. Not only did his ex-girlfriend sue him for a share and win, but his brother hired a hit-man to inherit the winnings but the attempt was, thankfully, unsuccessful. His family would also continually harass him for cash and offered advice on some bad investments.
Within a year, he was left with a $1 million debt and was forced to file for bankruptcy.
5. Construction Calamity
Americo Lopes, a construction worker, won the lottery, quit his job and claimed he was leaving for foot surgery. He later admitted to an ex-colleague that he had won the lottery, failing to share the prize with his colleagues – who were all owed a cut. His ex-colleague and the rest of his workmates got together to confront Lopes, and the court ordered him to split the cash.
6. Dumb Debt – Suzanne Mullins
Suzanne Mullins won the US lottery in 1993 and smartly opted to receive yearly payouts instead of a full cash lump sum. She was, however, a little bit silly with her money, using future payouts as collateral for a $200,000 loan.
She later decided to take the full lump sum to pay the debt, but was never able to pay back the full amount. As she failed to make the loan repayments, the company filed a law suit and won for $154,000 settlement. Unfortunately for the loan company, Suzanne had no assets to her name and so the lawsuit was absolutely worthless.
7. Two-Time Millionaire – Evelyn Adams
Few people can claim they have won the lottery once, and so it is rare that a person can win the lottery a second time around – but that’s just what Evelyn Adams did back in 1985 and 1986.
She won a reported $5.4 million but blew all that cold, hard cash in Atlantic City, according to AskMen.com. She now lives in a trailer park.
8. Silly Smarts – Alex and Rhoda Toth
Back in 1990, Alex and Rhoda Toth won $13 million on the lottery when they were penniless. Not wanting to splash the cash too soon, they chose to receive $666,666 per year for the next twenty years. A smart move for a couple who have just won the lottery.
The couple decided to live the high life in Las Vegas for a while, but eventually chose to return home to Florida to buy some land and set-up a home. Family members, however, came out of the woodwork wanting a share of the cash, and so Alex and Rhoda were faced with crippling court fees and legal dramas.
Between 2002 to 2005, Alex was arrested for growing marijuana and writing bad cheques. They lost everything, and eventually had to live in a tiny trailer on half an acre of land, with their electricity source coming from their car’s engine.
In 2006, the couple were arrested for tax evasion. Unfortunately Alex passed away whilst awaiting trial, whilst Rhoda claimed she was too ill to stand trial. It later turned out that Rhoda was lying, as a video emerged of her moving with ease, and so she was sentenced to two years in prison and was forced to pay $1.1 million to the IRS.
9. Illegal Lotto
Jose Antonio Cua-Toc, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, put his trust in the wrong person when he won the lottery in Georgia, USA. Knowing he couldn’t legally claim the cash, he asked Erick Cervantes, his employer, to claim the prize for him. Unfortunately for Jose, his boss claimed the cash as his own, and so they two men headed to court to resolve the argument. Jose Antonio luckily won the money back, minus his attorney and tax fees.
10. Spending Spree – Vivian Nicholson
Way back in 1961, Vivian and Keith Nicholson won the pools, Vivian stated she planned on shopping away all the cash. True to her word, Vivian spent all the money on haute couture and just a few years later there was nothing left of her lump sum.