No doubt you’ve all had the conversation
with your friends about what you would do
if you won the lottery.
How much would you give away to family and
friends- how many problems might that cause?.
Or would you just spend, spend, spend, and
live a life of selfish luxury?
According to CNN Money the biggest lottery
win ever was $1.586 billion, but it was divided
between three people.
A year later in 2017, one woman scooped $758.7
million and she decided to take the lump sum
of $480.5 million.
If you don’t know, you can take your win
divided over a number of years or all at once.
Sounds great, but tell us what you think about
that after this episode of the Infographics
Show, When winning the lottery was a horrible
You may have already seen the documentaries,
in which lottery winners find themselves surrounded
by cunning relatives and friends suddenly
emerging from the past, all wanting a piece
of the pie.
You will know how it can tear families apart,
which often sounds like a tale of biblical
These are sad stories for sure.
The last one might even bring a tear to your
10: Return of the killer lover
Aged 42, Doris Murray must have thought she
was the luckiest woman alive when she picked
up $5 million after winning the Georgia lottery
It’s said her plan was to start a trust
fund for her grandchildren.
But Murray only got to live with her winnings
one year as her ex-boyfriend came back on
the scene begging.
She wasn’t interested in getting back with
him or sharing cash with him, and so he stabbed
her to death.
He was arrested soon after.
A lose-lose situation, which we will see is
often the case with lottery greed.
9: A murderer in the family
A guy called Jeffrey Dampier had a similar
fate, except this time it was family with
blood on their hands.
39-year old Dampier was over the moon when
he won $20 million in 1996, and it’s reported
that he wasn’t stingy, either, treating
family and friends with his cash.
His sister-in-law and her boyfriend got the
idea to take Dampier’s winnings and together
they kidnapped him and then shot him in the
The pair were soon arrested.
Dampier’s widow was later asked what winning
the lottery had done for her husband.
“I think it is a curse,” she replied.
8: Don’t trust anyone
In 2009 a man with a great name, Abraham Shakespeare,
won $30 million in the Florida lottery when
he was 42-years old.
The former laborer didn’t spend big at first,
buying just a Nissan Altima and a Rolex watch.
According to reports he was constantly harassed
by people who wanted some of his cash.
He once told his brother, “I’d have been
better off broke.
I thought all these people were my friends,
but then I realized all they want is just
And it got worse.
He went missing and was later found buried
under someone’s backyard.
The killer was a woman he’d befriended who
had told him she’d help him with his too-much
Her name was Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore, and she’s
currently serving a long prison sentence for
first degree murder.
7: Drinking to the grave
It’s happened numerous times, when winners
have been murdered for their money.
All the reports of this happening were in
the USA, but self-destruction, well, that’s
Take the case of Brit, Keith Gough, who won
£9 million (about $12 million at today’s
rates) in 2005.
Gough got straight down to the business of
spending, betting big on soccer, horse-racing,
and apparently drinking himself to oblivion.
He wasn’t the brightest of lucky people,
and got scammed out close to a million dollars
after giving it to some shady guy to invest.
He not only ended up selling everything he
had bought, including racehorses, a top of
the line BMW, his executive box at Aston Villa
Football Club and a large country villa, but
he got into money troubles.
He died of a heart attack, and financial problems
and booze were to blame.
His friends said the lottery virtually killed
“Winning the money was the worst thing that
happened to him.
It’s very sad,” said one old friend.
6: Taking your own life
Then there’s the story of Billie Bob Harrell,
who won $31million in the Texan lottery in
He was followed around like many others by
people with their hands out looking for some
of his winnings.
He didn’t hide the fact he was rich, though.
It got so much for the poor guy that he moved
and changed his phone number.
He also made some terrible financial decisions,
and things got worse when he got divorced.
It seems it all got too much, and two years
after he won, still with money in the bank,
he put a gun to his own head.
Prior to taking his own life he said, “Winning
the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened
5: Losing everything you need
Another case was the curse of Jack Whittaker,
a West Virginian who won a staggering $315
million in 2002.
He wasn’t too careful with his cash, having
almost half a million stolen from his car
where he kept a money-loaded suitcase.
He later had another $200,000 stolen in a
Then he was hit by grief after losing his
granddaughter to a drug overdose, and then
her mother- his daughter- died two years later
from a drug overdose.
They’d both been spending his fortune for
“My granddaughter is dead because of the
She was the shining star of my life, and she
was what it was all about for me,” he told
Incredibly, years later he said he had nothing
left, and was a daughter and granddaughter
“I wish that we tore the ticket up,” he
said in an interview.
4: Too much, too young
Over in Scotland a wee lad of 17 called Stuart
Donnelly won the lottery in 1997 – not a
good year for lottery winners it seems – and
talked about the pressure of being rich.
He once told a newspaper that he was scared
to leave the house.
“It was very hard to deal with all the attention
I even had people camping outside my house.
It put a huge strain on me and my family.”
He was found dead in his luxury home when
he was 29.
It’s thought he died of natural causes,
but the press speculates the lottery win played
a part in his demise.
3: Back to the trailer park
Here’s another story of rags to riches and
back to rags.
Evelyn Basehore won $3.9 million back in 1985,
but she had a taste for gambling.
In 2000 she was back in a trailer park, saying
she’d gambled all her money away.
“I won the American dream, but I lost it,
It was a very hard fall.
It’s called rock bottom,” she said.
2: Thug life
Back in the UK there’s a man by the name
Michael Carroll, called a “Lottery Lout”
by the press, which kinda means lottery thug.
He even called himself “King of Chavs”.
What is a chav?
That’s a long story, but we guess you could
say a chav is a young hoodlum, but more of
a white trash type of hoodlum.
Anyway, this young delinquent won a massive
£9.7million ($12.7 million) in the UK lottery
At the time of his win, when he was just 19,
he was working as a binman (trash collector)
and was still wearing an electronic tag so
the cops could keep an eye on him.
Winning didn’t stop him from getting in
trouble with the police.
10 years later and ALL the money was gone,
on what he said was tons of drugs, lots of
gambling, and “thousands of prostitutes.”
We are not sure how he, or his poor lungs
and brain managed it, but he said he had a
$2,300 a day crack cocaine habit.
What did he have to say about his rise and
“The party has ended and it’s back to reality.
I haven’t got two pennies to rub together
and that’s the way I like it.
I find it easier to live off £42 dole than
Dole means unemployment benefits.
He couldn’t get away from crime, or criminals,
As his money was running out some blackmailers
slit the throats of five of his dogs and basically
ran him out of town, but not before he paid
them over $150,000.
1: A mortal loss
But we’ll leave you with the story of all
stories, even though we are not sure you can
call it a curse.
In Thailand the lottery is serious business
for many; it’s a way out of poverty for
some who don’t have many options in life.
People make merit at temples and pray for
the winning numbers.
Superstitious folks get exploited by seers
who sell the right numbers; people see winning
numbers in dreams, or if someone has, say,
a strange-looking fruit growing in their garden,
people will queue to pray to it and hope it
gives them lottery-luck.
The numbers might even appear on the license
plates of crashed vehicles.
A ghost may even whisper the winning numbers
in someone’s ear.
So yeah, it’s serious alright.
So serious that in 2018 a man called Jirawut
Pongphan was absolutely delighted when he
found out he had the winning numbers for the
lottery and was about to collect $1.8 million.
The 42-year-old threw a party and got really
drunk, only to wake up and not be able to
find his winning tickets.
It’s said he became very depressed after
that and wasn’t even able to work.
He then shot himself in the head.
His suicide note read, “I’m really sorry,
please don’t bully my family, I did win the
Apparently, the tickets were never found,
and no one claimed the prize.
After hearing all this, we guess you are thinking
you’d be totally different.
Are we right?
How would you deal with the cash explosion
to ensure you didn’t become yet another
person cursed by a lottery win?
Let us know in the comments!Also, be sure
to check out our other video Worst Days In
The History of the World.
Thanks for watching, and as always, please
don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.
See you next time!