Skip to comments.Winners, beware! Meet the four who went from jackpot to jack squat
Posted on 04/04/2012 5:59:40 AM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia
Home: West Virginia
Won: $315M in 2002
One of the saddest tales is that of Jack Whittaker, the cowboy-hat-wearing West Virginia contractor who scored a $315 million Powerball win in December 2002.
Already a millionaire, Whittaker pledged to give 10 percent of his fortune to charity. But legal and personal problems took a heavy toll, and he started hitting the sauce and hanging out at sleazy jiggle joints.
Just eight months after his big score, he was robbed of $545,000 in a strip club. A month later, his granddaughter died of an overdose from drugs bought with an allowance from him. A short time later, his daughter also died of a drug overdose
I wish Id torn that ticket up, Whittaker sobbed to reporters at the time.
By January 2007, Whittaker told cops thieves had emptied his bank accounts.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
Dysfunctional people with money and thewn dysfunctional people broke.... no real surprize
A fool and his money ...
“I wish Id torn that ticket up,”
He still doesn’t get it. Poor guy.
easy come, easy go
This is glimpse into why our country seems not to understand the deficit problem we have thanks to Obama. People just don’t realize there is a bottom and that wealth is not endless. Especially, people in elected office.
How did he ever get his first million?
This is why no amount of wealth distribution would ever be enough to eliminate poverty.
John Wayne was right.. Ya can’t fix stupid!
It just goes to show that wealth, and poverty, are states of mind.
I really dislike stories like this, because they amount to just one thing:
Morality tales written by amoral journalists. This is about as bad as morality tales created and performed by immoral Hollywood types.
Yet the people who really advocate this stuff are both bitter and greedy. “I will never have a lot of money, so other people should never have a lot of money. Because money corrupts people by making them think they are better than me.”
You hear people like Al Gore, who inherited his money from his corrupt politician father, who complains about other people who “win life’s lottery”. He really has no grasp of how *most* people with money actually *earned* it through their hard work.
The typical American millionaire lives in an average house in the suburbs, looks and acts normal, doesn’t travel a whole lot, continues to work as either a small businessman or professional. They continue to put in more than an 8-hour day, including a lot of “unpaid overtime”. And they invest in only very conservative investments. If stocks, not for a quick sale at a higher price, but dividends.
The typical American who isn’t a millionaire often assumes that there are only two ways to become a millionaire: by either staggeringly hard work and deprivation, or by “winning” money by inheritance or in a lottery. While for a tiny percentage this is true, for most it isn’t.
The bottom line is that money is like alcohol, “the neutral spirit”. It is not inherently good or bad, but can be put to very good use, or abused to your detriment.
That some lottery winners failed is predictable. The majority spent some, saved most. If they gave away a large part of it, the same rule applied to those who received the gift. If they were wise, they benefited. If they were foolish, bitter and greedy, like journalists, they probably wasted it.
If you took all the money from the rich and gave it to the poor....within a few years, the rich would have all of the money back, and the poor would still be poor.
yeah, blame the ticket. That’s what losers do is blame others.
Which is why the Communists knew the only way they could keep their power was to kill the rich, once they gained power.
He burned through all of it.
"I was always carefree," Sharp said. "A fool and his money soon shall part." If he had the chance to do it over, "I wouldn't have been so easy to rush into things. I would have paid more attention to my finances."
He has advice for the newest generation of lottery winners: "Take a vacation, go away and clear your head," he said. "Get a good financial planner. Get a good lawyer."
"Make sure you pay tithes to your church," he added.
Not that he's complaining about his losses. He said finding God has filled the gap. He preaches at a church near his home and visits prisons, where inmates usually ask about his partly charmed life.
"My main thing is to give them the word of God," Sharp said. "It's the only thing that will last."
[from PHYLLIS FURMAN, DAILY NEWS BUSINESS WRITER, Monday, October 05, 2009]
When Lotto fist started in Iowa back in the about 20 years ago, I remember one of the first million dollar winners was an unemployed guy and his wife who at the time were living in a trailer home in a seedy neighborhood in Des Moines. They claimed to have been spending as much as $50 per week on Lotto tickets. One of the first things they did with their winnings was to take a bunch of their friends on a two week trip to a high end resort in Jamaica. Needless to say they were back living in their trailer with less than two years. There is a saying among state legislators that lottery is a tax on people who aren’t very good at math.
Looks like his story ended well after all.
I agree. Significantly, he doesn’t wish he’d never won, just that he’d been smarter, less rash, and had been more careful about whose advice he took. I think his experience makes him perfectly suited to prison ministry.
—he was robbed of $545,000 in a strip club—
How do you do that?
When I was about five, I drained my piggy bank at a cool aid stand.
About $10, which was a lot in 1959
A young couple in our area were one of the first winners in our state’s millionaire lotto. The paid off and renovated their historic home, bought new “used” cars for each. Both got college degrees so they could get “better jobs”, put money in savings for their children’s education and gave away ten per cent. A good start for a couple still in their twenties.
Forgot the renewed wedding vows and Honeymoon they had never had the money to take.
Dropping money on someone doesn’t make them a “winner” anymore than dropping a phsyics book on someone makes them smart.
—He still doesnt get it. Poor guy.—
My thoughts exactly.
I have heard that those that do keep the money often find themselves losing friends and even family because everyone is angry that they don’t share the wealth.
I have a brother in law that earned the money the hard way. I am guessing he is worth maybe a billion. He gives the family shirts for Christmas. And as for me, we’re living “God Bless the Child”. And that is a good thing. He has flown us to Cabo in his jet, Flown us to his Yacht in the islands off Juneau and stuff like that (the ride in the Beaver was my favorite part). But he doesn’t give us “stuff” and when we are at restaurants, we all pay for our own meals.
And that’s how it should be.
I think one of the first things a “responsible” lotto winner needs to do is look for new friends at the first sign of bitterness.
The trips are fun, though. :-)
—How did he ever get his first million?—
Stole it from a drunk at a strip club.
-—Morality tales written by amoral journalists. This is about as bad as morality tales created and performed by immoral Hollywood types.-—
Insightful post. TY.
It is said that for every ten men that can cope with losing everything, there is only one that can cope with striking it rich.
And the problem is that the wealth is “sudden”.
If I ever win the lotto, the first thing I will do is hire an accountant, and every time any charity asks for money I’ll just give them my accountant’s card, who will politely tell them no. Unless it is a charity I really DO want to support.
I suppose that I should buy a ticket first though. Maybe some day.
Actually, I have said that if God wanted me to win the lotto I need buy only one ticket. So I did. 14 years ago.
I didn’t win...
“Dressed in a bowler hat and suit right out of Guys and Dolls, he arrived at a news conference to claim his winnings with both his wife and his girlfriend.”
Do a thought experiment. Transport 10,000 residents of Harlem, picked at random, to a remote island in the Pacific and leave them there, with the means to survive for about a year and allow them to take about 100 pound of personal effects, but they will be isolated from the outside world. Pick another 10,000 from North Dakota and place them on a similar but separate island.
Come back in a generation, 25 years, and note the demographics and economy. On one island, most of the original settlers will have died off, the population will be distributed towards the young, with lots of children, few of whom survive into adulthood. Literacy among the young will be non-existant, healthcare not even rudimentary, religion reduced to superstition, government will be run by one or more competing strongman tryrants.
On the other, population will be stable, schools, a clinic, elections and governance will have been established. At least two religious communities will exist in harmony, Catholics and Protestants. Religion will be smoothly integrated into education with few objections.
Sadly, America is progressing from the second island to the first.
Sounds like a metaphor for the welfare state. Easy money, easy pain.
If only voters could connect the dots from this.
If I ever won a lottery, I would not give money to anyone that asked for it. I would pick and choose who would receive my money - and often, they would never know where it came from. It seems like the ones most in need and deserving a helping hand never ask for help. THOSE are the people I would help.
Beggars would never see a penny of it. In my place of business, I get beggars in almost every day, all of them have some pitiful story - and all of them feel like victims that are entitled to my money. They are almost all healthy looking and able to do some kind of work - but they never ask for work.
It can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what you do with the money. I always thought I’d like to start a school where children really learn and are taught values.
First time I ever got the gas station beggar:
I’m near Disneyland filling up and a guy comes up and says he drove his family here for vacation in their old truck and the rear end went out. They have no money to fix it and if I could just give him $25 it would really help (this was early 80’s).
I was young and believed him. I also had Washington plates. I too had driven my car there.
I also thought that if he was not prepared to fix something like that he never should have drove out and actions have consequences, so I declined to help. Naturally, as I drove away it hit me that it was a scam. It’s happened several times since then...
After they have heard the responses they can better make the decision on how to respond to requests coming their way.
“It just goes to show that wealth, and poverty, are states of mind.”
To paraphrase the great Dave Ramsey, “being broke is a temporary monetary scenario, while being poor is a state of mind.” Poor people will stay poor because they will continue to behave like poor people. Broke people will eventually move up the economic ladder because they will behave differently.
And the real sad thing is that he, more than most people should have known how to handle money. He had a successful construction business worth something along the lines of 15 million dollars.
You’d almost have to move and change your name if you wanted to see any peace. I’d probably spend like a drunken fool the first year, but I’d settle down after that and figure out how to do some real good with the rest of the money - something that would go on long after I’m gone.
I have some friends and family that I would just have to completely cut out of my life, sad to say. They would be absolute parasites.
I’m familiar with this Whitaker guy’s story, that’s a real tragedy! Apparently, he was a successful contractor before he won the lottery, had all of these plans to go to the Holy Land with his wife (his poor wife) and do all of this good with it. I believe his granddaughter was found under a tarp somewhere where her “friends” left her after she died of a drug overdose. She was just a teen, and her grandfather gave her a house of her own and all kinds of money - she just spent it all on drugs for her and her buddies. They used her up until she was dead. So sad.
Whitaker took to going to strip clubs all the time, carrying HUGE amounts of money with him to stuff in strippers G-strings - what a surprise that they robbed him. A fool and his money are soon parted. I’ve often wondered what happened to his wife.
That is probably the one positive thing about Obama.
No matter what he does, as long as America can stay America, he’ll be nothing more than a footnote of a pimple.
That’s only about 5450 hundred dollar bills. That can fit into a small suitcase easily enough.
Most lotto winners hang on to the bulk of their winnings, some flit it away, but that is the way of many people who work for their money, many flit it away while some save and build for retirement.
Lottos are not evil, they don't make people into idiots. Give me 345 some odd million bucks and I can guarandamntee you I will still have most of it until the day I die.
Well said. Journalism rarely rises above a tabloid focus on either end of the bell curve of behavior and then predictably reports what they find there as everyday, garden variety normal.
One of my “regular” beggars is a guy that comes in every so often - with the same story every time. He says his grandmother just died and he needs money for gas to go out of town for her funeral. One time I said - you told me the same thing last time you asked for money - he said, “Oh” and walked out. One of Obama’s people.
One of my favorites, and one that I have had pulled on me several times, is the guy comes up to you and says that he has a job that he is to start on monday(or whatever day of the week)and he just needs a few bucks to tide him over. I always ask them what the job is and what it entails and how much it pays. They can never answer the questions. Needless to say I don't give them any money.
Boyfriend and I were coming out of a restaurant one afternoon, and a woman was standing outside soliciting passers-by.
She claimed she was employed as a nurse’s aide in Ohio, and had come to PA for a relatives funeral but didn’t have any money to get home or get a meal. She asked me if I could help her out and stated “anything would be appreciated” and that she would mail me a check once she got home.
Well, I wasn’t too sure of her story and just handed her $10, of course not expecting her to pay it back. She took it, but looked disappointed and asked if I could give her more!
Anyway, soon a guy in an Obama ‘08/Hope & Change t-shirt walked by and she hit him up. He just shrugged his shoulders and walked away.
I guess I was the only patsy.
Maybe you could have just used it more wisely.
This happened recently and it really made me mad - a well-dressed and well-fed looking woman comes in (I recognized her because she had been in several times before) and hands me a handwritten note saying that she was a deaf-mute and needed some money to buy food for her children and diapers for her baby.
I turned her away, because I know she gets money from somewhere & I was tired of being manipulated like that. Well, a little while later - a little girl, about 8 years old - comes in and hands me a note. This one says that her mommy is a deaf-mute and would I please help them out with a little money for food and diapers? That just killed me that she was using her children for something like that. I gave her a dollar because I felt sorry for her.
Some time later, I saw her walking up the street with 3 little children. Future parasites. I just shook my head in disgust.