Did a Powerball winner overdose on cocaine while surrounded by hookers and die? Was a Georgia lottery winner murdered in his own home? Is there a lottery curse? These are just a few of the questions that have been taking over social media lately. The lottery has received a lot of attention after an epic Powerball jackpot of $1.58 billion resulted in three winners on Jan. 13, 2016. While large lottery jackpots aren’t new, the Powerball jackpot reached a world record and sparked lottery and Powerball frenzy to break out nationwide. With the intense coverage of the lottery lately, some on social media networks have noticed a trend. Many Powerball, Mega Millions, and lottery winners don’t live happily ever after. In fact, many of them don’t live long after winning the lottery, meet with foul play, or lose all their winnings and end up in financial ruin.
The bad luck that befalls lottery winners has caused some to see winning the lottery more of a curse than a blessing. While many dream of winning the lottery and having all their financial needs taken care of, the reality is often far different. So, is there a curse? And what is fact and what is rumor? Did a Powerball billionaire winner spend all of his cash earnings just days after picking the winning numbers? And was a lottery winner murdered, targeted for his winning ticket? How about other lottery winners? Is there a lengthy history of winners losing all that would point to a lottery curse?
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) January 22, 2016
When it comes to determining fact and fiction with the lottery curse, you’ll find there are plenty of rumors and hoaxes out there. Unfortunately, there are just as many true stories of devastation, loss, and tragedy. With the Jan. 13, 2016, $1.58 billion Powerball, the story that a winner overdosed on cocaine while surrounded by hookers is false. The story quickly surfaced on social media networks and went viral. A photo was shown of a mansion and the story went on to state that a winner from Chino Hills, California, cashed in his ticket, took out a loan against his winnings, purchased a kilo of cocaine, then did all the drugs while partying with hookers. According to the rumor, the Powerball jackpot winner was dead within two days of winning. The only problem with this story is it is false.
Here is the fake news about the Powerball jackpot winner that circulated the internet, as reported and recently debunked by Snopes.
“1 of the 3 $1.5B Powerball jackpot winners was found in his new multi-million dollar home dead of an accidental cocaine overdose.
“32 Year-old James Hugston was 1 of the 3 lucky winners to hit the billion dollar jackpot. He received an estimated $327 million lump sum. Now most people are aware it takes 4-8 weeks to collect your money after you put in a claim. But Mr. Hugston couldn’t wait and took out a loan from a money lender to start blowing his millions immediately. His first purchase was a multi-million dollar furnished home.
“Rick Kingston a close friends of James said he was trying to keep his identity a secret and was doing it well by quickly moving out his 2 bedroom apartment where he lived with his girlfriend who he broke up with once he won.
“At the multi-million dollar home where James Hugston was found dead over a kilo of cocaine was found close friend Rick Kingston said ‘James went crazy fast! First he bought this huge house then cocaine and invited over 10 hookers from backpage’ a website know for prostitution.”
Powerball winner dies of cocaine overdose in mansion newly purchased. pic.twitter.com/kXN2YSpBfu
— David Nacion (@DavidNacion) January 17, 2016
The story has been confirmed false as the winner of the California Powerball hasn’t come forward to claim their winnings yet. You can check on the official Powerball website and see that the California and Florida winners have yet to come forward and their winning tickets are pending. At this point in time, the only winner of the $1.58 billion Powerball to have claimed their winnings is the Tennessee couple John and Lisa Robinson.
— Pheebe✨Life Is Good✨ (@Pheebe_Dee) December 3, 2013
As for the story of the Georgia lottery winner murdered, unfortunately, that one is true. It is also a story that has caused many people to comment publicly on the “lottery curse.” According to NY Daily News, Craigory Burch, Jr., 20, was the victim of a home invasion on Jan. 21, two months after he won the Fantasy 5 lottery. Burch, Jr., who was gunned down, begged the three burglars whose faces were concealed behind masks not to kill him in front of his girlfriend and kids, according to the report. Jasmine Hendricks, Burch’s girlfriend, was in the house when the burglars broke in and ran for help. You can watch a WALB news report that includes an interview with Jasmine Hendricks and Burch’s mother. Craigory Burch, Jr., was described as a generous, kind-hearted man who spent $4,000 of his winnings on children in his community who needed Christmas presents.
20-year old Craigory Burch, Jr,, a recent GA Lottery winner, was killed in a home invasion robbery in Fitzgerald. pic.twitter.com/xd7J4hPnCC
— Karla Heath-Sands (@karlahs) January 21, 2016
— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) January 13, 2016
— Michelle Singletary (@SingletaryM) January 13, 2016
— WOLF WALL$TREET (@KeepItGulley) January 13, 2016
What do you think? Do you believe there is a lottery curse, or do you think Powerball and other winners are just making poor decisions? Does winning the lottery make someone a target for violent crime?
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