Big Gains and Horrible Losses: How The Lives of Lottery Winners Changed Forever

We all dream of being millionaires, but sadly, for most of us, this a distant reality. If you’re not the next Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos, chances are, your only crack at a fortune like that is actually winning the lottery. While the probability of winning is low, after every draw, some lucky Joe Schmoe out there actually hits the jackpot.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to handle all that cash, and many winners fall victim to lavish lifestyles that they can’t maintain, or worse, greedy friends and family members who pop out of the woodwork. Still, there a lucky few who have managed to stay anonymous and hold onto their newfound wealth. If you’re curious to know just who sunk and who is still swimming in the green, then keep reading!

Cindy and Mark Hill ($293.7M)

The Dearborn, MI couple won half of an enormous $587 million Powerball payout. But in a surprising move, they hit the road in pursuit of a fancier neighborhood – they chose to remain in Dearborn!

Getty Images David Eulitt/Kansas City Star

But what happened to the rest of their millions? Philanthropists at heart, the Hills have put their money into their local community, paying for a new fire station, baseball field and donating $50,000 towards the town’s sewage treatment plant. Fun fact, residents in Camden Point, Missouri, have long used septic tanks, which may seem a bit on the nose, but moving forward, these will be removed, and they probably won’t be missed!

Callie Rogers ($2.3M)

What started as a dream win saw a decade of highs and lows and a Callie Rogers sitting with a mere £2,000 by the end of it. Winning £1.9m at the tender age of 16, Callie spent her winnings in a way that was befitting to a young teenager with no proper guidance.

Alamy Stock Photo

Ms. Rogers spent £11,000 on two cosmetic surgeries, £300,000 on clothes (hello, Designer lane!), makeup and tattoos, £85,000 on sports cars, and most shockingly… £250,000 on some illegal substances. Callie reflected, “It was too much money for someone so young. Even if you say your life won’t change, it does and often not for the better.”

Mickey Carroll ($11.8M)

At just 19, Mickey Carroll, a garbage man from Swaffham Norfolk, won £9.8m and earned himself a nickname in the British tabloids as a “Lotto lout.” Mr. Carroll, who anointed himself the “King of Chavs” (Google that and be amazed or amused), would be sitting in a jail cell just a few years after winning big.

Initially, the “King of Chavs” gave £1m to his mother and aunt and also set up a £3.9m investment bond. However, he already had begun dipping into this fund which had some high fees! Over time he had spent most of his money on parties, jewelry, and cars. In a twist of fate, he later re-applied for his old job as a garbage man!

Lisa Arcand ($1M)

With dollars comes madness, that’s a saying, isn’t it? Lisa Arcand took to spending straight away, with the Massachusetts resident spending the lot within a few years. Perhaps it started with a $3,000 splurge on a party?


Following the initial rush, Ms. Arcand bought a furnished house, whisked herself away on several vacations, and also invested in a restaurant in her home zip code. Sadly, her failed investment in the restaurant caused her to shut shop. So it seems that even if you get lucky and win big, that luck doesn’t always last!

Anonymous (170M Pound Euros)

2019 saw the richest ever lottery winner in the United Kingdom. The anonymous ticket-holder (or holders, who knows!) collected the full  £170,221,000.00 jackpot. The reason the jackpot was so big was that this particular Euromillions lottery had rolled over 22 times previously!

Getty Images Photo by HAUN CURRY/AFP

Tickets for the draw were sold in the UK, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Irish Republic, Portugal, and Switzerland! With this sort of prize money, it bumps up this individual on the Sunday Times Rich List of the 1,000 wealthiest people living in the UK. To give you an idea of just how much money this is, Adele is worth £150m!

Robert Bailey ($343.8M)

New York, the town that dreams are made of! Mr. Robert Bailey, an ex-government worker, collected over $343m in the Powerball. This sort of wealth won’t just look after Mr. Bailey, but it will take care of the next generation of his family and beyond (provided it’s managed well!).

His winnings of the largest-ever lottery jackpot in the city came to around $125m after taxes – still, no one would be complaining if they won that much in one go! Mr. Bailey told the press that he wouldn’t become a victim of the instant millionaire curse and said that his first items of business were to go to the experts who could help him manage that cash.

Amanda Clayton ($1M)

Amanda Clayton’s lottery-winning story is one that ended in tragedy. The Detroit native won the state lottery’s Make Me Rich! Game show, collecting $1m. Previously, Ms. Clayton had been on assistance programs for two years. Clearly, she has it rough, and the million dollars would’ve been a big help! Central

But her winnings and media attention were brought into focus again when it was revealed that Ms. Clayton continued to take food stamps and use government assistance even AFTER she’d won! Following this, things seemed to take a turn.  She was then charged with felony welfare fraud, and ultimately, at the bitter end, Clayton lost her life from complications with harmful substances.

Evelyn Basehore ($3.9 and then $1.4M)

You know you’re really, really, really lucky when you beat one in 15 trillion odds, huh? Ms. Basehore won two amounts within five months, totaling $5.3m in winnings! And how did she do it? By playing the Pick Six lottery! Sadly, Ms. Basehore couldn’t quite control her spending habits.

Alamy Stock Photo

Between giving money away to her friends and supporting her gambling addiction, she was left bust in just over a decade. “Everybody had their hand out,” Ms. Basehore said to the media. She ended up moving into a trailer park in New Jersey – but we hear she still plays the lottery every now and again!

Anonymous Family from NH ($487M)

These wise winners didn’t actually collect their huge winnings in person but rather employed a lawyer to do the job and get the media attention for them! The family from New Hampshire immediately hired attorneys to set up a trust after purchasing a ticket from a supermarket in Raymond – a town with just 10,000 residents!


Following taxes, their fortune amounted to around $260m, with plans to donate to charity. Fun fact – some places allow lottery winners to remain anonymous, including Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina. But New Hampshire allows winners to claim through a trust to shield their identities!

Gerald Muswagon ($10M)

After buying a $2 Lotto ticket, Gerald Muswagon was none the wiser that he was about to become an instant millionaire! Bagging $10m, the Canadian native sadly spent the lot in just a few years. His “investments” included a luxury house which saw many a sycophant partying there nightly.

Getty Images Photo by mixetto

The growing number of leeches would shortly suck him dry as he hosted lavish parties. Additionally, Muswagon spent on cars, partying, and gifts, as well as amassing a number of legal tangles, which left him searching for dollars. At the end of his hedonistic rampage, Muswagon was reported to be doing manual labor on a  farm to support his girlfriend and six kids! Less than a decade after winning,

David Lee Edwards ($27M)

Kentucky native David Lee Edwards had a lucky break, but just five years after winning, he was reported to be living penniless in a storage shed with his wife. The $27 million wins signaled disaster for the couple, who spent over $3 million in the first three months of securing the prize.

Their story is a common one among lottery winners – money going to their head and purchasing high-end cars, mansions, and of course, a plane. By the end of the first year, together, they had spent $12 million. It seems absolutely outrageous, but when you get accustomed to the high life, you seem to just want more! The couple’s health then deteriorated. Just over a decade later, Edwards died alone and without a penny to his name at 58 years of age.

Jack Whittaker ($314.9M)

At the time, Whittaker won $314 million; it was the biggest lottery win in history for a single person. Hailing from West Virginia, the former construction worker hung up his work boots and donned more cowboy hats. Known for his personality, the money simply inflated it – and his ego. Whittaker’s tale is a cautionary one – greed and wealth can lead to such a crazed state that often, the winner ends up worse off than where they started. Killer

Whittaker enjoyed being able to squander his money and hand out money here, there, and everywhere! He’d walk around waving wads of cash, handing out to churches, waitresses, family, random strangers, and as any party boy would, the local strip club. While his family held some of the earnings when he passed, his life didn’t get easier after the windfall win.

Gloria Mackenzie ($590.5M/ $278M)

Florida resident Gloria Mackenzie came into her fortune later in life than some of the winners on this list- so maybe with age comes wisdom in spending? Winning a staggering $278 million (after taxes) at the age of 84, Ms. Mackenzie put her faith in her son and the advisors he’d selected.


But this story is an example of why big winners need to choose the right people to manage their money! Six years after the win, Mackenzie sued her son and his financial advisor, with the suit claiming they mismanaged her winnings! Her son asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed, but feisty Gloria insisted that she lost millions and should be compensated. What do you think should be done?

Syndicate of 70 (177.7M Euros)

The big Italian lottery, SuperEnalotto, is definitely the one you want to win if you live in Italy! The record win of 177.7m euros didn’t go to just one individual person but was shared among a syndicate of 70 people. For each person, that’s around two and a half million euros – honestly, a life-changing amount!


There isn’t much more known about the identities of the syndicate, just that there were a number of entrants who had a stake in the spoils and were able to enjoy a few more bottles of wine and plates of pasta!

Neil Trotter (107.9M Pound Euros)

Mr. Neil Trotter won the massive draw in the Euromillions jackpot, taking home a whopping £108 million! The car mechanic, who also moonlights as a racing car driver, was revealed as the lucky person who was transformed into a multi-millionaire overnight.

Getty Images Photo by Steve Parsons/PA

A resident of Coulsdon, South London, was in fact very cheeky with his colleagues, telling staff at his father’s office the day before that he would be a multi-millionaire “this time tomorrow.” He must also be psychic! His plans include retiring and following his passion for British touring car racing. Not a bad plan at all!

Stuart and Elizabeth Hodgson (800K)

“I entered because my wife told me to” – and who said it was ever a bad idea to listen to your better half? In the case of Stuart and Elizabeth Hodgson, it was definitely the right choice, with the pair scooping up a life-changing sum of money, amounting to £800,000!


The pair, who ran a Bed and Breakfast for thirteen years, were the winners of the postcode CF72 8FG lottery. Mr. Hodgson remarked to the press about how his wife had been urging him to sign up. Luckily, he finally relented.

Janite Lee ($18M)

Working in a wig shop in Illinois, South Korean immigrant Janite Lee could hardly believe it when she got $18 million in the state’s lottery. We also were disbelieving when we saw Ms. Lee go from being a multi-millionaire who schmoozed with politicians to filing for bankruptcy!

Getty Images Photo by PierreDesrosiers

Ms. Lee chose to receive her win in the form of an annuity rather than a lump sum. This enabled her to receive $620,000 a year for well.. a while. She moved into a nicer home and then went quiet. But apparently, she was busy – leasing luxury cars, borrowing from banks, and spending money before it was dropped into her account. Less than a decade after winning, she was in $2.5 million debt and had less than $700 in her account!

Denise Rossi ($1.3M)

Poor Mr. Rossi – a faithful husband of over 25 years, got the call that his wife wanted a divorce. A shock, right? She also wanted it ASAP. Sound fishy? You bet! 11 days before, it was found that Mrs. Denise Rossi had hit the jackpot with $1.3 million in the California state lottery!


Once her little secret became a big issue, a Los Angeles family court judge then passed down the ruling that she had intentionally broken asset-disclosure laws to hide her winnings. In spite of her efforts, the lottery winnings were, in the end, awarded to her now ex-husband. Attorney for Mr. Rossi, Marc Lerner, told the press “Moral of the story: It pays to be honest from the beginning.”

John and Lisa Robinson ($327.8M)

Winning a part of the $1.8 billion jackpot, John and Lisa Robinson made the smart first choice of receiving advice from a Memphis-based attorney. Okay, found the attorney, check. Step two – hire a financial advisor. But seriously, it’s not a bad gameplay.


While they are now living the higher life, they have faced some scrutiny, with one neighbor saying that Mrs. Robinson went to work the day after they won. Gotta stay humble.

Shane Missler ($282M)

The 20-year-old was the sole winner of over $450 million! Mr. Shane Missler purchased five Quick Pick tickets at a 7-Eleven in Florida, with one of them matching all six Mega Millions numbers! Missler started out with good intentions, hoping to spend his net earnings of $280 million on his family.

Missler said that he’d enjoy his winnings but, at the same time, lay down a path for financial security. The good news is, there’s no news on how he’s doing. So all we can think is that he’s definitely paving his way with good financial habits and smart spending!

Manuel Franco ($768.4M)

Wisconsinite Manuel Franco was just 24 years old when he won the $768 million Powerball. He decided to donate a part of the money but also opted to get a lump sum, which amounted to $477 million. The 24-year-old admitted that he “screamed for about 5 or 10 minutes.”

After winning, he went to work for just a day before not showing up again. We’re hopeful that Mr. Franco can keep it together – he did tell the press that he won’t end up like so many of those unlucky cases. Good luck, Manuel, we hope so too!

Alex Toth ($13M)

There isn’t a new story here, folks – it seems that wealth goes to the heads of anyone and everyone, young or old, wise or plain goofy. Alex Toth, a Florida native, won $13 million in the lottery. He and his wife Rhoda literally spent their last dollars on the ticket, which had left them with just $24 and some change.


Opting for the annuity payments, the pair were entitled to a lump sum of $666,666 for 20 years. A couple of years later, the couple filed for bankruptcy protection after squandering their dollars before the IRS charged them with tax fraud. While his wife Rhoda served two years in prison for her crimes, her husband Alex had died before having to stand trial.

David Kaltschmidt and Maureen Smith ($327.8M)

Residents of Florida, Maureen Smith, and David Kaltschmidt took home a part of the biggest jackpot in US Powerball history. The grand prize amounted to over $1.5 billion – yes, that’s right, BILLION. The couple won $528 million, receiving their win after announcing their names. After-tax, they took home a crazy $328 million.

But what did they do with their winnings? The pensioners chose a lump sum and then went on to stay “low-key” with their winnings, choosing to invest and design tax strategies, as well as donating to charity. Their main “splurges” were minuscule in comparison to their winnings; a new SUV (in the same color) and a Tesla for Maureen!

Lerynne West ($343.9M)

Just imagine waking up to the news that you won’t ever need to go to work again! That’s exactly the call Lerynne West got when she got the news from the Iowa lottery. Ms. West won a wild $349.9 million jackpot, with the net total coming out at just under $200 million.

What we love about this story is that Ms. West was moving out of Iowa and had moved over to Dallas County City and purchased the ticket at a Casey’s in Redfield! Whilst Ms. West hasn’t really been heard of since her win, there have been a plethora of scammers out there offering a share of her winnings – so watch out!

Patrick and Frances Connolly ( £115m)

Hailing from Northern Ireland, Frances and Patrick Connolly listed 50 friends and family members that they wanted to help with their windfall lottery win. Since winning  £115m, the couple has handed out  £60m to their loved ones, charity, and those in need during the recent pandemic.

Getty Images Photo by Liam McBurney/PA Images

Wow, how beautiful that these lottery winners took to helping others out rather than simply helping themselves. Mrs. Connolly told the press that the last two years were an absolute whirlwind. And how they celebrated their win? With a cup of tea!

Curtis Sharp ($5M)

Curtis Sharp won a life-changing $5 million in 1982, the equivalent of about $14 million today. Mr. Sharp, who was a resident of New Jersey at the time, became famous with his wife AND girlfriend by his side when he collected his check. He even got a gig doing the NY State Lottery commercial – “don’t be stingy on the mustard.”

The press caught up with Mr. Sharp a number of years later and found him to be living in Antioch, Tennessee as a Baptist minister. On reflection, he admitted to spending on family, cars, real estate, and women.

Steve Tran ($120M)

It took Steve Tran a month to realize he’d won very big, and he had literally been sitting on a pile of treasure! After a trip to San Jose for a short vacation where he purchased the ticket, Mr. Tran later reflected that the winning ticket was “just sitting in my house, on top of my drawer.”

Alamy Stock Photo

Taking the cash option, Mr. Tran won $173m before federal taxes. Calling his boss, Mr. Tran said, “I’m really sorry…I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever.” What a way to quit your job!

Sharon Tirabassi ($10.5M)

You’d think that with all the stories of how people blew through their money, that lottery winners would take heed and proceed with caution. Apparently not. Sharon Tirabassi won $10.5 million in a Canadian Lotto jackpot. Less than a decade later, she was found riding a bus to the part-time job she was working to ensure she could put food on the table for her children. & doctordavee

Yep, all that cash gone. Ms. Tirabassi was under the impression her winnings were endless and spent excessively on vacations, cars, houses, and handouts. Moral of the story: invest for your future and be more conservative with your spending, period!

Evelyn Adams ($5.4M)

Evelyn Adams beat the odds in winning two multi-million dollars New Jersey prizes in consecutive years. In total, she won $5.4 million. But just like many other winners before her, Adams was the cause of her own demise. Her first order of business was to increase her weekly ticket purchases of $25 to $100 per week.


Unfortunately, what followed was a loss of privacy and some resentment from people in having won the lottery twice. Eventually, a gambling habit, excessive gift-giving, and poor investment choices led to Adams becoming broke and living in a trailer park.

Unknown ($1.53 Billion)

So here’s a question – if you won big, like $1.5 billion big, would you tell everyone? Based on the track record of our past lottery winners, you’d probably say no. That amount of money is insane. The lucky (or unlucky?) winner came forward as a resident of South Carolina to claim the largest sum to a single prizewinner in the history of the lottery in the US.

The winner has wisely chosen to remain anonymous – can you imagine all the money-grabbers and charities wanting a donation? You wouldn’t have a moment’s peace! Rich Ramassini, a financial planner, remarks that newfound wealth, especially when won, can ruin relationships.

Tracie Barry, (£666,666)

43-year old Tracie Barry played two tickets in the Postcode Lottery and was shocked to find that she had won £666,666! Ms. Barry, who worked as a welfare officer at a local housing association, said that the first thing she wanted to do was give her father a gift for his 90th birthday.


She said, “It was my Dad’s 90th birthday… and he’s always wanted a bungalow, so I am so happy that we’ll be able to help.” We love these stories about families getting a nice amount of money to give them some comfort and help them to help their family and friends!

Marva Wilson ($2M)

When you win money, you really need to be careful with who you tell and who you help out! A Kansas City winner was swindled out of her $2 million wins. Ms. Marva Wilson purchased two tickets in the draw before she left the grocery store. But though she won big from her favorite little hobby of playing the lottery, she was soon scammed out of her winnings!


Within two years, a woman named Freya Pearson conducted an elaborate scheme in which she convinced Marva Wilson to transfer over $400,000 of her winnings into a bank account for a non-profit Ms. Pearson had initially set up. Eventually, Pearson was caught up with and did 5 years in prison, but the story still stands – you can’t trust just anybody!

Hugh and Isobel Lundy (£800,000)

You know what sounds like a plan? Booking a luxury ride along Route 66 in America, in style! The couple, who’d previously only ever won the grand total of 10 pounds, were astounded when they found they’d won £800,000. Winning the Postcode lottery was something of an early anniversary gift, with the pair just about to celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary!


Their one comment was that “we missed bowling today to come to this but, I’m glad we did.” We’re sure they’ll have a good story for their bowling teammates, and maybe they’ll buy them a drink to say sorry!

Anonymous (€163.5 Million) 

The SuperEnalotto in 2016 was Italy’s biggest lottery ever for just one grand prize winner! The southern Italian winner smartly decided to remain anonymous after correctly selecting all 6 winning numbers! The jackpot? A staggering €163.5 million.

Alamy Stock Photo

The winner also matched the SuperStar, which gave them an additional cool €2 million. The majority of financial advisors say that keeping a low profile and not announcing your win is the best way to enjoying your newfound financial freedom safely. Living in Italy is a pipe dream for many – so this winner is already halfway there!

Christine and Colin Weir (£161.6 Million Euros)

Upgrading to multi-million dollar homes, investing in football clubs, and establishing a family trust – these were all things that two Scots Christine and Colin Weir put some of their winnings into. The couple, who won £161.6 million, bought and renovated a number of properties as well as investing in Partick Thistle, a Glasgow-based FC.

Getty Images Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images

Additionally, they engaged in some philanthropy, funding small Scottish community groups and charities. Not to mention their donations to politics, in particular the Scottish National Party. Talk about busy bees! But sadly, the pair announced their decision to divorce, just eight years after their astounding win.

Anonymous Couple from Indiana ($271M )

Indiana saw the largest ever prize won by a single ticket holder in the Mega Millions industry! An anonymous couple with two kids won the jackpot, going with the cash option of $378 million – which amounted to a whopping $271 million after taxes!


The humbled couple said that whilst this amount of money would be life-changing, they wanted to “maintain a sense of normalcy” for their elementary-school-age children. The best part of this story is that when the couple realized they’d won, they restarted their computer, as they were in disbelief about actually winning!

Anonymous (€209.1 Million) 

Ah anonymity, it’s a necessity for any big lottery winner, just like our Italian winner who bought their ticket in Lodi, Lombardy. The prize pool of 209.1 million euros was the largest jackpot paid out by any lottery in the whole of Europe and even bigger as it went to just one individual.

The SuperEnalotto had a previous record of 177.7 million euros, which was divvied up between 70 Milanese players. So goodness, imagine how it would feel to win over 200 million euros! That’s the equivalent of  $236 million US!

John and Barbara Washington (£666,666)

John and Barbara Washington landed a nice sum of £666,666 when they realized they had the winning postcode of L35 9LQ. When the press managed to speak to Mr. Washington, he remarked, “we have been through a tough time in the last couple of months…I was made redundant in March but have recently started work as a warehouse operative, so everything is finally working out” (Liverpool Echo.)


Mr. Washington plans to buy his own home and take a holiday to Australia and New Zealand as they had never previously been able to afford it. Lovely.

Marie Holmes ($188M)

We’d call in sick if we won $188 million. And promptly tender a letter of resignation. Marie Holmes was one of three winners who split half a billion in the Powerball jackpot in 2015. One winner was from Puerto Rico, and another claimed it through trust in Texas. But the story we’re looking at is that of single mother, Marie Holmes, from North Carolina.

Instead of spending on herself, Holmes selflessly donated to her workplace and to children, bought her mom a new home, and promised 10% of the sum to the Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church (even though the church got a little greedy and claimed she could donate more).

Mae and Marvin Acosta ($327.8M)

Boom! California’s $327.8 million winners, Marvin and Mae Acosta, certainly were buzzing after that fateful call! At the time of their win, the US Powerball had surmounted to an unprecedented jackpot of $1.5 BILLION. The reason for this insane amount? Nineteen draws without any jackpot winner.

Getty Images Photo by Ringo Chiu

The first two winners came forward, but the third mysterious couple waited to claim their winning check. Six months after their win, the couple came into the office to claim their prize with a security detail! They meant business. Since their win, they’d assembled a team of lawyers and advisors to manage their wealth. Pretty clever, huh? The pair told the press they’d create trust and donate to charities.

William Post ($16.2 Million)

By the time of his death in 2006, William Post didn’t have a dollar to his name! The Pennsylvania resident won $16.2m in the lottery. However, he was hounded by people he knew for a share in his fortune. Less than a year after winning, his ex-girlfriend sued him for part of his winnings!


Then the other shocking blow came when his brother reportedly hired a hitman to take him out (Forbes.) While he combatted these attacks, he was also engaging in his own self-defeat, spending lavishly on houses, boats, and cars. Not to mention splurging on a twin-engine plane that he didn’t even have a license for!

Dave and Angela Dawes (£101.2 Million Euros)

Would you have a hard time deciding how to spend your winnings if it was in excess of £101.2 million? What would you buy first? Or would you invest? EuroMillions Lottery winners Dave and Angela Dawes decided to spend and bought a £9 million mansion.

Getty Images Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP

And surprise, surprise, relatives came out of the woodwork to ask for a slice of the pie. But just two years down the track, the couple filed for divorce. After winning their millions and millions, the pair’s relationship struggled with pressures of what to do with their money.

Suzanne Mullins ($4.3 Million)

Winning the Virginia Lottery Jackpot, Suzanne Mullins agreed to divide the winnings between herself, her husband, and her daughter. Split three ways over a foreseen two decades, the trio would receive just under $50,000 each annually. But Ms. Mullins also had a heart and paid for a relative’s illness treatment – to the point where she was made to borrow from her future annual payments.


This didn’t end well, with Suzanne Mullins plunging herself into debt. By trying to take advantage of changed lottery rules, she stopped making payments on the illness loan. In the end, she had to pay $154,147 to the lender – so that’s another 3 years of her payments gone!

Patricia and Merle and Butler ($157.8M)

The winnings of the $656 Mega Millions Jackpot, the second-largest in history, were won by three winners – the first was couple Merle and Patricia Butler. The second was a group called “The Three Amigos,” who donned red suits with black gloves whilst they hid behind their check to maintain anonymity (hilarious, right?) and a third anonymous winner.

Alamy Stock Photo

Anyway, Merle and Patricia had lived in Red Bud their entire lives and found they had won on a $3 quick-pick ticket. Patricia apparently “giggled for about four hours.” Heck, we’d be giggling too if we won $150 million!

Ira Curry ($120M Won)

Georgian resident Ira Curry stepped forward to claim half of the $648 million. But when the phone was answered, the voice which replied merely said, “we’re not interested in any publicity at all.” The dream win was a bit of a fluke, with Curry admitting she bought only the one ticket, and it was a last-minute decision.


Her numbers were family birthdays and her family’s lucky number – the number seven. Mrs.Curry spent some time with the lottery officials and decided not to be present at the press conference. Again, no news is good news, so we wish Mrs. Curry the best and hope she enjoys her big win!

Adrian and Gillian Bayford (£148.6 Million Euros)

The couple from Suffolk, England, told the press that they would share their money with family and children’s charities, and with £148.6 Million in the bank, we’re pretty sure they’d be able to make a massive difference to many lives! The music shop owner and healthcare assistant became the UK’s second-biggest lottery winners.

Getty Images Photo by Oli Scarff

The 41-year-old husband recalled checking his phone a number of times before sharing the news with his wife, whose main concern was settling the kids before bed! The couple, who’d been in a tight financial situation before the win, decided that instead of splurging on a party with expensive champagne, they celebrated with their two young children by going to Domino’s Pizza for dinner!

Ocean’s 16 ($149M)

Three Powerball winners won big in this draw, bagging $149 million each! The tickets were purchased in Minnesota and New Jersey – with one of the New Jersey prizes being a group of 16 members, who called themselves Ocean’s 16! What a name, eh? The other New Jersey winner passed ‘Go’ and collected a very cool $86 million.


What we love about this win is that Darlene Riccio and her 15 co-workers put in $6 each after Hurricane Sandy destroyed the home she was renting. Each member of Ocean’s 16 won around $3.4 million – which is a far stretch from their average salary of around $40,000 a year.

Lara and Roger Griffiths ($2.19m)

A little money can really go to your head, as was the case with Lara and Roger Griffiths! The British couple split just under a decade after winning the lottery in the UK. Mr. Griffiths had been playing in a band for some time and decided to invest in his passion project, while his wife Lara enjoyed being pampered and enjoying the luxe life!


The couple splurged, paying for luxury cars, an expensive house, designer garb, and a private school for their daughter! Instead of smartly investing for their and their daughter’s future, they squandered away their money and were left with less than $10.

Mavis Wanczyk ($336M)

The best advice that any financial advisors can give lottery winners is “keep quiet.” Lottery winners generally have three months to present their winning ticket – but Mavis Wanczyk spoke with the media in less than 24 hours! Beating 1 in 292 million odds, Mavis took home around $336m!

Getty Images Photo by Barry Chin

The Massachusetts native worked in inpatient care for 32 years before her massive win. Promptly after confirming her winnings, she called into work and told them she wouldn’t be back! Let’s hope that Ms. Wanczyk can keep pesky money-grabbers at bay and maintain some anonymity as she enjoys her retirement – because $336m is a lot of money!