People Who Have Won The Top 10 Lottery Jackpots

The lottery is a great way to set aside a little money for retirement or a long-term goal without really thinking about it. 

Understandably, many people would like the idea of winning millions, but some jackpot winners are more amazing than others. Here are some of the biggest lottery wins ever had by one person.  

The level of excitement for these winners reached to the seventh sky when they heard of being the lucky ones among the millions , some made it to the next level and lived  like a lottery winner while others could not even manage to handle the pool of money and drown in it badly. 

Winner :  Callie Rogers

Prize  :     £ 5.4 million 

Year      :     2002           

In 2002 at age 16, this British teen won £3 million (or about $5.4 million). She spent the next few years in and out of rehab trying to get over her addiction problems before finally getting her act together. She had only made around £200,000 (around $330K) after taxes and expenses when it was all said and done. And she blew almost all of it in less than five years.

Winner : Sharon Tirabassi

Prize : $10 million 

Year : 2004

Another teen-turned-lottery winner, this Canadian teen was just 18 when she won $10 million in 2004. Unlike Rogers, though, Tirabassi managed to hold onto the majority of her winnings. Currently, she owns two homes (one of which she lives in), expenses less than $20K per year, has saved nearly half her original winnings ($5 million), pays herself an annual salary of about $100,000, and has travelled the world. 

Winner : Janice Lee

Prize : $18 million 

Year : 1993

In 1993 at age 37, this St. Louis native won a then-record $18 million jackpot – approximately $32 million today – beating odds of 1 in 14 million. She could have retired for good at that point but instead chose to rejoin the working class just a year later as a financial analyst with Washington University, where she had been employed before her big win. Unfortunately, Lee passed away from cancer in 2009 at age 65. In addition to having squandered much of her fortune, she racked up about half a million dollars worth of debt due to medical bills.

Winner : Ibi Roncaioli

Prize : $5.1 million 

Year : 1991

In 1991 at age 42, this Canadian social worker won $5.1 million after taxes ($8.9 million in today’s dollars). A few years later, she started showing signs of dementia and ended up giving away most of her money to friends and family members to keep them from taking advantage of her. When she died in 2003 at the age of 64, only about $10K remained behind for her husband.

Winner : William “Bud” Post III

Prize : $16.2 million 

Year : 1998

This Pennsylvania native won $16.2 million ($35M today) in the Pennsylvania lottery back in 1988 but was dead broke by 2006 when he told a reporter that his wife had left him taking half of his winnings with her. He passed away a year later from complications from a car crash, which was drug-related. By that point, he had less than $5K to his name and lived off of social assistance checks.

Winner :Jeffrey Dampier

Prize : $20 million 

Year : 1996

In 1996 at age 26, this Illinois native won the jackpot ($20 million) in the Illinois lottery – a prize split with a dozen other family members. After winning the jackpot, Dampier moved into a new house and bought the sisters’ silence by giving them money and gifts. He was later kidnapped and murdered by his brother, who wanted to get the rest of Dampier’s winnings. His murderer and another brother were arrested in 2006 after a failed attempt at breaking into his account while $100K remained unclaimed.

Winner : Michael Klingebiel

Prize : $111 million 

Year : 1996

In 1996 at age 45, this Ohio native won a then-record jackpot of $111 million ($183 million today) — but lost it all just three years later, selling off properties to keep up with high living expenses! Then, in 2004, he was found guilty of forging prescriptions for painkillers due to chronic back pain from a spinal injury sustained in a car accident several years earlier. After serving time in prison, he now lives on a $450 monthly disability check.

Winner : Willie Hurt

Prize : $3.1 million 

Year :1989

This Michigan native won a then-record jackpot of $3.1 million in 1989 ($6.9 million today) and blew it all within two years, going from rich to poor while spending lavishly on cars, boats, homes, and drugs! Then, in 1991 he was charged with assault after shooting a woman following an argument over drugs. 

Winner : Billie Bob Harrell Jr

Prize : $31 million 

Year  : 1997

In 1997 at age 39, this Texas native won the $31 million jackpot in the Texas Lotto and ended up giving away, or lending to family and friends, over half of it while spending lavishly on houses, cars, boats, and vacations! In 1999 he was found dead in his truck from a self-inflicted gunshot wound — one day after wiring nearly $500K to his ex-wife for fear that she would sue him for half of his winnings. Family members were also pressuring him to give money to them. His widow claimed that her late husband had simply lost all joy for life after winning the lottery and that it pushed him to commit suicide.

Winner : Andrew Whittaker Jr.

Prize : $ 315 million 

Year :2002

In 2002 at age 55, this West Virginia native became the biggest lottery winner ($315 million). Since then, he has been robbed of over $500K, sued by a girlfriend for child support, and sued by a strip club for a bounced check. In 2005 he gave his daughter $1 million to purchase a home. In 2007 thieves broke into his SUV and stole a briefcase containing $545K in cash, which led him to beef up security around his family. He also bought two homes for his ex-wife, who would claim that they were a product of their love and not a gift from the lottery winnings. Whittaker has since sued his ex-wife, claiming that she took advantage of him after a stroke in 2012.

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