Skip to comments.Grandfather ($314.9 million PowerBall jackpot winner)blames girl's death on drugs
Posted on 12/23/2004 9:38:29 PM PST by NormsRevenge
HINTON, W.Va. (AP) - The nation's largest lottery winner blamed his granddaughter's recent death on a drug overdose and said he wants the friends he says gave the drugs to her to be put in jail.
Jack Whittaker's comments came as a medical examiner was preparing a toxicology report on Brandi Bragg, 17, whose body was found earlier this week wrapped in a plastic tarp on property owned by a boyfriend's father.
"All of the problems I have had are because of my granddaughter's friends, her drug-using friends," Whittaker said. "I'm going to find them and put them in jail. It's not her fault, it's the people who sold drugs because they weren't taken off the street."
The father of Bragg's boyfriend, Steve Crosier, told reporters soon after the discovery of the body that his son Brandon and Bragg were friends and had dated. "All I know is she OD'd and Brandon freaked out," he said. He later said he didn't know how Bragg died.
No charges have been filed.
Putnam County Prosecutor Mark Sorsaia, who is investigating Bragg's death, declined to comment on a possible drug involvement. Bragg's Dec. 5 death is being treated as a missing person case that ended in death, not a homicide.
Whittaker, who won a $314.9 million Powerball jackpot on Christmas Day 2002, is now preparing for a Christmas Eve funeral for his only granddaughter.
"She was my world, you understand that?" he said.
Whittaker remarked in an interview last year that people had started to befriend his granddaughter for her money rather than her personality. Since his lottery win, she had moved into her own apartment and drove several vehicles, including a Hummer and a Cadillac Escalade.
"She had too much money," said Becky Layton, who once cared for Bragg when she lived with her grandparents. "I could point fingers all day long; the money is the root of it all I would say."
In September, an 18-year-old friend of Bragg's was found dead at Whittaker's home following a drug overdose. Whittaker was out of town at the time.
Sometimes I'm glad I'm 'poor'.
Somebody dropped the ball on this little girl, who was in touch from her family?
It's like the Curse of the
No explaining it really , it just happened.
Gee, Grandpa. You're not feeling pangs of guilt are you?
Not sure but it sounds like she may have had a less than ideal family upbringing environment, for whatever reasons.
sad ,, 17 years old and granddad is loaded (in more ways than one if you follow his legal escapades since he won).
They had a bad situation...even before the winnings. This girl would have died from drugs if he had never won the lotto...although she would have been in her mid-20s probably in that case. If Americans really understood the grip of drugs on high school kids in the US...they'd be shocked.
Somehow I doubt this went over too well in rural West Virginia, a 17-year-old driving better cars than most of those people will ever own in their entire lives.
If you're the type that a sudden windfall will turn into a snob, it's best that you move to where the snobs are.
However, I seem to recall that Whitaker wasn't exactly poor even before the lottery win. This kid probably would have been showing off no matter what.
Echoes of Twin Peaks...
Lord knows what kind of goofball relatives would come out of the woods if I won the lottery. Some of the ones I am aware of are bad enough.
I read an article in the Charleston, WV newspaper about this girl. She had her own apartment, drove a Hummer and a Cadillac Escalade. Her father is deceased and the mother remarried. Her grandfather made the news often for brawling and drinking. And this immature girl was most likely treated like an adult. No one to look after her and now shes gone on. What a sad commentary on a short life. All the money she wanted and we see what it did. Living the working class life style looks pretty good compared to this. And, there is the grandmother whom I feel very sorry for. She made a statement a few days ago that she wished she had torn that multi million ticket up.
Yep! You'd have family you never knew you had... people are such parasites LOL
News reports locally, are, that she had SEVEN vehicles. When is enough, enough?
The grandfather believes he is above the law and faces 2 DUI's now, plus one or two assaults and / or batteries.
They should have done two things after winning:
-Found a lawyer, established a Trust, remained anonymous;
-Left town, and established a new identity.
yeah this Whittaker guy is a real prize......two DUI's, been robbed, mugged, dead relatives......his wife was even on the news saying she wished she had torn up the ticket and she was DEAD serious......poor planning by idiots who never had money and spent it like they didn't want to die with any either
"If Americans really understood the grip of drugs on high school kids in the US...they'd be shocked"
It is Lack of Parenting
If Americans really understood the grip of the Government School System in the US...
We should be OUTRAGED!
(Sorry Pet Peeve - Ranks right up there with nanny cops and Seatbelts)
Standard advice for new lottery winners is to change your phone number and move into a hotel room temporarily (or even better, leave town if you can) before you even turn in the ticket. You should also hire an assistant to handle all your incoming mail and calls for at least a year or so. Why? Because once your name is published, not only will all your little-known relatives start coming out of the woodwork, so will thousands of people you've never met before and have no relationship to you at all ... and every single one of them will be begging for money.
Sounds like she had a drug problem for some time
I feel sorry for this guy .. but he should have stuck that money in some kind of trust until she could be responsible with that kind of money
Oh yes they did. Whitaker is some sort of local businessman, and already had a net worth of at least a couple of million dollars. (I distinctly remember how pissed off a lot of people were when he won. Everyone was hoping that some working class stiff would have gotten it, and instead some low-rent hillbilly version of J.R. Ewing showed up on TV instead.) That's certainly not crazy rich, but it's rich enough that you'd think they would have had some clue on how to handle the windfall. Instead, it was just proof that money can't buy class or intelligence.
Did you say PLAN? Is the presidential debate drinking game still in effect! :o)
Yep tis true. I don't mind poverty. God gave me good genetics to work like a mule not get sick. One of my neighbors won the lottery and he went crazy a few years later. Personally I think his wife poisoned him but that's just my opinion.
I nag my Catechism kids and my grandkids about this constantly. I try to tell them how much it will mess them up and I show them the people who I know are on them and then I find pictures of how beautiful and handsome they used to be and what they are now. I want them to see people that they will see around town and KNOW that it happens in real life.
My cousin's wife has been on drugs for years and I use her for an example for my grankids, they can't believe that she's younger than me and not older than their great grandmother.
I can't explain it to you but I do have a plan. When I run for president you can read all about it on my website. LOL
I remember this guy. I remember that he stood up there with his wife and acted like a fine religious man. A few months later he was in the news because someone had stolen about a half million dollars cash from his car while he was getting drunk in a strip bar.
I remember him saying that he wanted to buy a helicopter with some of the money. The guy sounds like a real redneck.
The enemy is chaos. Too little money and the structure of someone's life falls apart. Too much money with no preparation for it, and the same thing happens. You can be poor and happy or rich and happy. The key thing is structure....and character.
I have also been following recent developments regarding the Whittakers, so I noticed as I scrolled down this thread that no one mentioned that the man who won the lottery reportedly donated $14 million to help people in rural West Virginia. Yeah, it's apparent that he became an obnoxious drunk who thought the money put him above the law, but at least he did SOMETHING for the community with his winnings. Look at how they repaid him, it's a pity. I believe the grandmother when she said she wished she'd torn up the winning ticket.
It sounds like having too much money was not her biggest problem. Rather, it seems that never being taught that she was responsible for her own actions was a big contributor to this girl's death.
Let's hope the community stands with him, in this instance.
Didn't he take a lump sum payout too?
It has little to do with being "poor" and everything to do with values.
Look at the change in his family's lifestyle:
"Whittaker remarked in an interview last year that people had started to befriend his granddaughter for her money rather than her personality. Since his lottery win, she had moved into her own apartment and drove several vehicles, including a Hummer and a Cadillac Escalade."
In 1979, my wife and I were both "poor". Now, according to the Democrats, we are "rich".
However, we still have that old 1979 Toyota Tercel, our newest car is 8 years old and there is no way on Earth my kids will ever be given an expensive new car to drive around in.
< Somehow I doubt this went over too well in rural West Virginia, a 17-year-old driving better cars than most of those people will ever own in their entire lives. >
Most people outside of our state would be truly surprised that we do actually have wealthy people here. Yes, we are used to seeing Hummers and Cadillacs. It's not so uncommon that we hicks drop our jaws and say, "Hey, Homer, lookit that". Now indoor plummin', that raises eyebrows.
Poverty was the only thing that got me through my college years alive.
No, this guy's a hillbilly.
There are country people in WV (the salt of the earth),
and there are hillbillies. Sometimes called white trash, like the Clintons.
Like the Clintons, this guy is a millionaire, but money doesn't change white trash.
I always heard that if you want to know every single bad thing you've done in your life, then run for office. And if you want to find all your whack-job relatives then win the lottery.
He had money before the lottery winnings. He owned a good sized construction company.
Money has nothing to do with it. You decide your fate !
She decided to die ! God bless her for her own decision !
I always wipe my own butt after a poo, don't you ?
Women like it when their boyfriends use drugs. And beat them.
There's something wrong when a 17 year old drives cars that cost more than the neighbors' houses.
a fool and his money are soon parted....