Many individuals believe that winning the lottery will answer their prayers and solve all of their problems, yet other lottery winners have had the opposite experience and face the lottery curse. Even though they were fortunate enough to win the lottery, they later regretted they had torn up their ticket instead of redeeming it.
It may appear impossible that you might win millions of dollars and then regret your decision. But it happens frequently enough that it’s been termed the “lottery curse.”
Still don’t believe it? Here are seven lotteries “victims” whose “fortunate” win turned into a lottery curse, resulting in divorce, bankruptcy, or even death.
To some, the “Lottery Curse” is a psychological study, while to others, it is a predictable consequence and to some still, it is an undiscovered phenomenon.
Here are five winners who most likely regret they hadn’t won in the first place due to the lottery curse. These are cautionary tales, but there have been many jackpot winners who have used their winnings to benefit themselves and their communities.
5 Lottery Curse Victim Stories
- Michael Carroll
Michael Carroll thought he was set for life after winning 9.7 million British Pounds (about $15 million).
According to Mail Online, his wife, Sandra, left Michael around a year after he won the lottery, “angry with his life of excess,” and took their young daughter Brooke with her.
Carroll had spent all of his money on drugs, gambling, and prostitutes eight years later.
He is currently in the same, if not worse, financial situation as when he began.
- Kenneth and Connie Parker
Kenneth and Connie Parker had been happily married for 16 years when they won the $25 million jackpot, but their marriage soon fell apart months later.
Kenneth’s “wife turned cold, kicked him out of the condo they had bought, and told him she was keeping all the money,” according to ABC News. It was a harsh end to what appeared to be a solid marriage.
- Billie Bob Harrell Jr.
Billie Bob felt he had it all after winning $31 million in the Texas lottery.
The winnings seemed like a blessing to Harrell, who was struggling to maintain his wife and teenage children on his Home Depot salary.
After learning they had won the lottery, he and his wife rejoiced in their living room in 1997.
Harrell shot and murdered himself in a bedroom at his Kingwood, Texas, home two years later, unable to bear the weight of regularly lending money to friends and regretting his family’s damaged relationships.
- Jack Whittaker
Jack Whittaker had the greatest lottery prize ever in the United States at the time of his lottery win, with a single ticket worth $315 million in the Powerball multi-state lottery.
Whittaker gave a lot of money to churches and charities after winning, but it didn’t stop the lottery curse from following him.
First, when Whittaker was at a strip club, $545,000 in cash was stolen from his car.
A total of $200,000 was stolen a second time and was later recovered.
These issues were minor in comparison to what came next. Whittaker’s granddaughter’s boyfriend was discovered dead at his house, allegedly from a heroin overdose.
As if one death wasn’t enough, Whittaker’s granddaughter was found dead from a heroin overdose several months later.
Jack’s daughter, who was also the mother of his deceased granddaughter, was discovered dead five years later.
- Jeffrey Dampier
Jeffrey Dampier, a native of Chicago, was the lucky winner of a $20 million reward from his home state’s lottery in 1996.
He allegedly spent most of his money on his family, even taking 38 members of his family on a seven-day Caribbean cruise.
He didn’t stop there: he bought houses and cars for his parents and siblings as well, but not everyone was grateful.
His Lottery curse came with his sister-in-law. Dampier’s sister-in-law, Victoria Jackson, kidnapped and murdered him in 2005, leaving his body in his truck.
These five lottery curse situations do not only apply to lottery winners. Several other stories are similar to this one.
Think again the next time you think winning the lottery will fix all your problems.