For millions of people across the United States winning the lottery would be a dream come true.
But for those who have actually won the huge jackpot, the sums can sometimes cause trouble.
The winners talked about how it negatively impacted their lives, with one person saying he “wished he’d rip the ticket.”
Another said that winning “isn’t always what it turns out to be.”
Convenience store worker Evelyn Adams added: “I won the American dream but I also lost it. It was a very hard fall. It’s called rock bottom.”
Others even died after demanding cash.
Below The Sun looks at the most shocking events after the big US wins and the so-called lottery curse.
BEEN BROADED IN THE YARD
In 2009, Abraham Shakespeare won $30 million in the Florida lottery.
Months after his victory, he was shot dead with his body overturned in early 2010 buried in the yard under a cement slab.
DeeDee Moore was then accused of befriending Abraham after his win before stealing his winnings and killing him.
Moore was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murder, ABC report.
Judge Emmet Battles said: “After hearing and hearing all of this for more than two weeks, the words were cool, calculated, manipulated.
“Abraham Shakespeare is your prey and victim.
“Money is the evil way you brought to Abraham.”
KIDNAPPED & SHOT
Jeffrey Dampier won $20 million in 1996 after playing the Illinois Lottery.
Nine years later he was kidnapped and shot dead.
Her sister-in-law Victoria Jackson and her boyfriend Nathaniel Jackson have been blamed by prosecutors for the murders.
A court heard that Dampier was tied to a truck with his hands bound.
Nathaniel is said to have told Victoria: “Shoot him or I’ll shoot you”.
Victoria – who was allegedly romantically linked to Dampier – allegedly pulled the trigger, killing him.
The murder scene was a house Dampier bought, DailyMail.com report.
His wife Crystal said of the lottery: “It’s a curse.”
SHARE AFTER 20 YEARS
In 2004, Juan Rodriguez won $149 million on Mega Millions.
The bankrupt parking valet recently split from his wife of 20 years when he hit the jackpot.
They reunited after his win – but split again 10 days after his wife filed for divorce.
The couple split their winnings in half, The New York Post report.
Convenience store worker Evelyn Adams, from New Jersey, has won two different multi-million dollar jackpots in just four months.
She won $5.4 million after winning the jackpot twice but lost everything when her winning streak turned into a serious gamble addiction.
Adams scored $3.9 million in October 1985 and another $1.4 million in February 1986, making her the first person in New Jersey Lottery history to win multiple jackpots worth millions of dollars.
After winning first place, Adams paid the bills and raised funds to pay for her daughter’s college tuition, in addition to buying a new car and giving gifts to people close to her.
But by 2012, Adams had spent all her winnings, she had lost money gambling in Atlantic City casinos, and a string of failed business deals.
“Winning the lottery isn’t always what it turns out to be,” she said, now living in one of the trailers.
“I won the American dream but I also lost it. It was a very hard fall. It’s called rock bottom.”
“Everybody wants my money. Everyone put their hand out. I’ve never learned a simple word in English, ‘no.’
“I wish I had a chance to do it all over again. I’d be much smarter about it now,” said Adams, who also lost money at slot machines in Atlantic City.
Adams admits: “I used to be a big gambler. “I didn’t drop a million dollars, but that’s a lot of money.
“I’ve made mistakes, some I regret, some not. I’m human. I can’t go back now so I’m just moving forward, one step at a time.”
Daughter is dead
Andrew ‘Jack’ Whittaker Jr – who won a staggering $315 million on Christmas Eve 2002 – once said he wished he had ripped the ticket.
Whittaker, who passed away aged 72 in 2020, became an instant celebrity when he claimed the then-largest US lottery jackpot was hit by a single ticket.
He opted for a one-time payment of $113.4 million after taxes, and flew to New York with his family on a private jet to appear on the network’s morning TV shows.
But in the years that followed he suffered devastating personal tragedies.
Whittaker, who was wearing a cowboy hat, separated from his wife.
A friend of his drug addict niece was later found dead at his home in 2004.
Three months later, his 17-year-old granddaughter also died.
Brandi Bragg was found dead in a lorry, hidden by a boyfriend, who panicked when he found her dead, the Associated Press reported.
An autopsy failed to determine a cause.
Whittaker’s daughter, Ginger Whittaker Bragg, later passed away in 2009 at the age of 42 after a long battle with cancer.
And in 2016, he lost a home in Virginia to a fire.
He also struggled with drinking, gambling and his home and car were repeatedly broken into.
And at a strip club, thieves broke into his Lincoln Navigator and stole a briefcase containing $245,000 and three cashier checks for $100,000.
That time, at least, he caught a break-in – the briefcase was later found, with the money still inside.
Whittaker – who became a self-made millionaire before winning Powerball – has twice been accused of driving while under the influence and has been sued repeatedly, once by three female casino employees who accuse him of assaulting him. .
“I will only be remembered as a lunatic who won the lottery,” Whittaker said.
“I’m not proud of that. I want to be remembered as someone who helped so many people.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17417368/inside-deadly-lottery-curse-winners-dead/ Inside the deadly lottery curse with one winner shot and buried under a cement slab and another killed after winning $20 million