Lottery and Casino Winners Who Got in Trouble

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Lottery Winners. Image Credit: Shutterstock

It’s one thing to win a big prize at a casino or the lottery, and another to use that money wisely and stay out of trouble.

What would you do if you won the lottery? A big win can make you an instant millionaire. But, not everyone who wins gets to enjoy a life of glitz and glamour. There exists a not so fortunate bunch of people who, to this day, regret ever winning a significant sum of money. Many ended up squandering their entire prize, causing heartache and depression from which they continue to suffer, while others paid the ultimate price and lost their lives due to their wins.

Here are a few individuals who found out the hard way that winning could ultimately end up being a losing proposition.

William Post III

William Post III, also known as Bud Post, worked at carnivals and even did some time in jail. He didn’t have ambitions in life and had no hopes of ever making any substantial money. So, you can imagine how ecstatic he was when he won US$16 million in a Pennsylvania lottery draw. At that time, he only had a few dollars to his name.

It only took a minute for Post to start sinking into debt. Upon receiving a portion of the prize money, he immediately purchased a twin-engine jet despite having no aviation background or even a pilot’s license. With this acquisition, he accumulated a debt of US$500,000 in under three months. And it only got worse!

Post ultimately tried to commit suicide and was, in the end, convicted of assault. Sadly, his yearly prize payments were spent with no regard for the future. He won the lottery in 1988, and within two years, he filed for bankruptcy. Post passed away at the age of 66 in 2006 after suffering from a lung condition.

Urooj Khan

The 46-year-old Urooj Khan tried to stop gambling for a very long time, but he struggled to fight the urge. While Khan was battling his gambling addiction, he hit a US$1 million jackpot. He decided to cash out one lump sum instead of working with instalments. Unfortunately, he never saw a single cent of his winnings. After he was announced as the winner, he simply dropped dead.

Subsequently, the coroner tried to convince the family that Khan died of natural causes, but some family members didn’t buy this story. A second autopsy was requested, and it was revealed that Khan had died of cyanide poisoning. The estate quickly cashed the cheque, and local law enforcement reclassified his death as a homicide.

Evelyn Marie Adams

Some people make you think that winning a lottery is like a walk in the park. Even though the odds were stacked against her, Evelyn Marie Adams defied them not once but twice! At the time, Adams was your typical Jane Doe, working as a New Jersey convenience store clerk.

In 1985, Adams decided to try her luck for the first time. She won US$3,9 million in a Pick 6 lottery game. But she did not stop playing. Before long, another US$1,4 million was all hers.

The New York Post got in touch with her in 2012 and discovered she was living in a trailer park and working two jobs to feed her family. Apparently, she lost all her money in Atlantic City casinos.

Amanda Clayton

Amanda Clayton is another lottery winner that encountered hard times after winning. In 2012, Clayton was only 25 years old when she was charged with welfare fraud, despite winning US$1 million on the Make Me Rich gameshow. According to Detroit Free Press, she sparked anger from the public when it was disclosed that she was still collecting food stamps. The court sentenced her to nine months of probation. However, she later died, likely from a drug overdose.

Freddie Young

Freddie Young split his jackpot to the value of US$46 million with his lottery club in February 2011. A few months later, the authorities accused him of killing his daughter’s landlord, 45-year-old Greg McNichol. An argument ensued when McNichol showed up to collect some unpaid rent, following which Young shot him. In 2012, Young was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

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Bojan Lipovic - Digital Project Manager

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