FOR some lottery champs, snagging the grand prize like the recent $2 billion Powerball wasn’t the answer to their prayers and actually put them on the road to ruin. Discover how these eight winners became losers when their luck ran out! New Jersey resident EVELYN ADAMS became the first person in U.S. lottery history to win two separate jackpots over $1 million each — scoring $3.9 million in October 1985 and $1.4 million four months later. However, she soon blew her fortune on slot machines in Atlantic City and wound up buying — and selling — the convenience store where she worked. Adams now lives in a trailer park. “Winning the lottery isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be,” she says. “I won the American dream, but I lost it, too. It was a very hard fall. It’s called rock bottom.” South Carolina construction worker JONATHAN VARGAS initially had big plans in May 2008 when he notched a $35.3 million Powerball prize at age 19. He wanted to go to college and buy his mom a home. Instead, he blew much of his winnings on a sketch comedy TV show called Wrestlicious TakeDown, which featured lingerie-clad female grapplers. It aired for just one year on the Dish Network. “If I had to do it all over again, I would recommend people just sit on it for a year — really decide what they want to
do with it,” he admits. In 1989, WILLIE HURT won $3.1 million in Michigan’s Super Lotto Drawing. Two years later, he was charged with fatally shooting Wendy Elizabeth Kimmey, 30, in the head during an argument over crack cocaine. The couple had been on a two-day drug and booze bender at a rooming house and bickered after running out of crack, witnesses claimed. Following Hurt’s arrest, his lawyer said he was penniless. Hurt was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to between 50 and 150 months in state prison.
How lottery millionaires went broke
Ladies’ man JEFFREY DAMPIER scored $20 million in 1996 through an Illinois Lottery ticket he bought with his wife. He soon got divorced and invested his half of the winnings in a Florida-based popcorn business. He remarried and had an affair with one of his new sisters-in-law — but he was gunned down at age 39 in the Sunshine State by his mistress and her boyfriend in a 2005 robbery scheme. Florida Lottery winner ABRAHAM SHAKESPEARE won a $30 million jackpot in 2006 — but two years later, he ended up a bullet-riddled corpse buried beneath
a concrete slab! His mistake: befriending she-devil swindler Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore, who is now serving life behind bars for killing him in a plot to steal his fortune. “Abraham Shakespeare was your prey and victim,” a judge told murderous Moore at her sentencing. “Money was the route of evil you brought to [him].” When WILLIAM “BUD” POST III hit a $16.2 million jackpot in Pennsylvania in 1988, he had only $2.46 in the bank. He’d even pawned a ring for $40 to buy his golden ticket. He quickly blew his winnings on mansions, a plane, a restaurant lease and a used car lot — and ended up bankrupt. He was also the target of an unsuccessful murder-for-hire plot masterminded by one of his brothers. He died in 2006 at age 66 after spending his last years surviving on disability benefits and food stamps. “Everybody dreams of winning money, but nobody realizes the nightmares that come out of the woodwork,” he said. Occasional lottery player RONNIE MUSIC JR. couldn’t believe his good fortune when he won a $3 million scratch-off ticket prize in Georgia in February 2015. But by the following year, he had pleaded guilty to sinking his dough into a crystal meth distribution ring. Federal prosecutors called it “an unsound investment strategy.” Music was shipped off to federal prison for 21 years for his role in the drug-trafficking operation — and for possessing a cache of firearms as a convicted felon! College student JAY SOMMERS won roughly $5 million in the Michigan
State Lottery in 1988 at age 20 — but his choices put him on the fast track to failure. He promptly dropped out of school, bought an expensive race car and became a NASCAR driver. He finished fourth in the 1988 Daytona 500 — but he also lost millions to embezzlement by a sketchy trust fund manager. Today, the 54-year-old toils away fixing boats as a marine mechanic. “There ain’t no money left,” says Jay, who insists the financial windfall
“ruined” his life.