Exactly How Many Lottery Winners Go Broke?

We’ve read about lottery winners going broke and in some strange way they, unfortunately, make for some good reading, but can there really be as many as it seems, or is it all just media hype?

Sad piggy bank, lotto winners going broke

The fact that people play the lottery and win the millions of dollars does happen of course. These winners spend very little and in return win enough money to literally set themselves up for life. But on occasion, they also lose everything. Here’s a couple of those unlucky lottery winners who lost their entire lotto jackpot prizes:

William Post

Willian Post shared a dream that every single online lottery player has, and that’s to win the lottery. It was back in 1988 in Pennsylvania that Williams dream finally became reality when his lucky lottery numbers fell out of the lotto machine. The prize? A sizeable $16.2 million.

What transpired after he claimed his win sounds like a movie however and it just goes to show you that the people you inform about your lotto win can have a huge impact on your lucky lotto win.

For one thing, his ex-girlfriend sued him for some of the winnings, and if you thought that was pretty bad, his own brother actually hired a hitman in the hope of inheriting a share of the winnings. What’s more is, his other brothers and sisters pushed him into investing in two businesses which literally gave him zero return.

It took Willian less than a year to end up $1 million in debt, and living on Social Security payments.

Williams’s case is a prime example of why you should ALWAYS speak to a financial advisor immediately after realising that you have won a huge sum of money playing the lottery. You might think you know it all, and in fact if you do think this way, then we most definitely suggest that you speak to someone, as dealing with all the ins and outs of such a huge sum of money comes with a whole host of things to consider that you have never dreamt could crop up before. 

Callie Rogers

Callie Rogers made history when she became the youngest ever lottery jackpot winner at the tender age of 16! Although a person needs to be 18 to play the lottery online, in the UK you are allowed to purchase lottery tickets from a lottery vendor at the age of 16. So it comes as no surprise that poor Callie has made the list of lottery winners who went broke.

Callie won £1.8 Million in 2003 and like any teenager she blew the lot, buying expensive holidays, houses for her family, designer clothes and cars. She also admits to spending £250,000 on drugs, and in just six years, she found herself living with her mother again and totally broke.

1% Of Lottery Winners Go Broke

Based on a study done by MarketWatch, as many as 1% of Florida lottery players go bankrupt. Compare this to the normal rate of people going broke, its double!

The fact that this trend increases amongst lottery winners makes us wonder if it’s because they did not have to work for it. As the saying goes, ‘easy come, easy go”. In saying so, this is likely to be down to the type of people who lost it all.

And whilst all classes and economic statuses do play the lottery there is, unsurprisingly, a higher percentage of players amongst low-income families. It’s unfortunate, low-income lottery players that tend to have below average education and may, therefore, struggle more with financial planning and understanding their money.

When these people, therefore, win the lottery, they don’t see their prizes as a life-changing gift to better their futures. Instead, they live for the moment and spend far too much. Even the fairly modest lottery wins seem likely to trigger spending that just wouldn’t happen if the money had been earned.

1 in 3 Winners Go Bust

According to the study, 1 in 3 lottery winners goes bust. That’s huge!
But thankfully, there are lottery winners who are as discreet as possible about their wins. These winners fall into the category of playing the lottery online! That’s YOU. By playing the lottery online, you not only are more computer savvy, you can also keep track of your transaction history, and you are privy to amazing discounts which enable you to play more for a lot less. Over and above all this, you are constantly reminded of articles like this, that the minute you win, you should seek financial advice and plan for the future.

Piggy bank wins the lottery, lottery winners who go broke,

The Reality Check

If you look at the fact that there are hundreds of lottery games worldwide, and that these amazing lotteries pay out prizes in excess of a million every week or so, hundreds of new millionaires are made every month.

Then factor in that most of these lotteries have been in existence for decades, or even longer, tens of thousands lottery jackpot winners have been created over that time.

So the point we are making is that these random studies are rather biased, as a handful for lottery jackpot winners who have lost it all, ends up being totally insignificant, and that the reality is the vast majority of winners do not lose their money.

So, by all means, enjoy the stories of lottery winners going crazy. And maybe take some tips from them on what not to do.
But don’t let anyone tell you that most winners lose it all because it simply isn’t true.

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Here’s to you scooping a seriously huge jackpot!

This post was written by
Jason L - who has written 2333 articles
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