As the Powerball lottery has climbed to a whopping $500 million jackpot, many are playing hoping for the winning combination of lucky numbers. But is winning the Powerball lottery truly a dream come true? It seems that for many, the idea of winning the Powerball lottery is not only an answer to prayer, but a cure all for many of life’s problems. People begin to dream about everything they could do with millions, but unfortunately, there are countless stories of people who suddenly struck it rich by winning Powerball and other lottery tickets, and in turn lost everything, including their lives. Here are some stories of people who won the Powerball lottery jackpot or other lotteries, and after they suddenly struck it rich, realized their dream come true became their biggest nightmare.
Powerball Lottery here in USA is $500 million tonight????so I just picked up these,well if your not in you can’t win???? pic.twitter.com/hOsubGKj4Z
— stephen grant (@soccer2golf) January 6, 2016
— Fund Social (@Funding_Social) January 6, 2016
Though not the Powerball, Abraham Shakespeare won the Florida lottery in 2006. A generous and kind, yet reportedly uneducated, man, he opted for a $17 million dollar payout for his winnings and shared his newfound wealth with family and friends. In 2009, after befriending a woman named Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore, Abraham Shakespeare was declared missing. Not only had he ceased all contact with his family, but Dee Dee Moore was spending his assets and had control of his quickly dwindling lottery winnings. In 2010, Abraham Shakespeare’s body was found buried under a concrete slab in a Plant City, Florida, home and Dee Dee Moore was arrested and charged with his death. In December, 2012, Dee Dee Moore was convicted of first-degree murder. She was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Abraham Shakespeare’s story was featured on several television shows. You can see Abraham Shakespeare’s case on 20/20 Trust and Treachery in the video player below. You can read more about Abraham Shakespeare at The Ledger: Abraham Shakespeare.
— Weekly Challenger (@WklyChllnger) April 29, 2015
— Abel Stevens (@abelstevens) May 31, 2015
Winning the Powerball lottery might seem a dream to many, but history shows us that anytime someone wins a large jackpot, like Wednesday night’s estimated $500 million, good friends can become enemies, spouses may seek divorces, and old friends can come knocking on your door looking for handouts. While some lottery winners are faced with sudden tax problems, others face more serious challenges. Kidnapping and murder are two crimes that have befallen a number of lottery winners. Whether it’s the Powerball, state lottery, or sweepstake, any time someone suddenly wins millions, they can become the target for unscrupulous people who want one thing and will do anything to get it.
BET released a photos slideshow, titled “The Dos and Don’ts of winning the Lottery,” that features the case of lottery winners (not all Powerball jackpots) and how their lives became devastated from the windfall. The first is the story of Denise Rossi who, after winning $1.3 million, withheld the information from her husband, then filed for divorce less than 2 weeks later. Once her husband found out about the lottery earnings, he took her to court and sued. Even though it was two years after Rossi won the California jackpot, a judge granted him the winnings. The lesson to be learned is that if you do win the Powerball lottery, do not try and hide the winnings from your spouse. If you file for divorce, the winnings will be divided as an asset, most likely 50/50, and you both will be required to pay taxes on your earnings.
Whoever wins the Powerball lottery may find it best to keep their identity secret, then stay in a hotel for a while. The media will do whatever they can to find out who struck the jackpot and secured the winnings, but it is best to do whatever it takes to keep your identity secret. It’s even a good idea to keep the information quiet from family and friends (save, of course, your spouse) and anyone who may not be trusted to keep the information secret. It is also advisable to speak to a certified accountant immediately and determine how much tax will be paid on the winnings. Those who win the Powerball lottery need to not only be lucky, but wise in how they approach their newfound wealth, or else they, too, might become one of the world’s unlucky and cursed lottery winners.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]