Dreaming of what you could buy with the $700 million Powerball jackpot? Hold that thought. Before tonight's drawing, you may want to consider these horror stories from past jackpot winners.
The curse is real. Many winners, like these, have met tragic ends.
1. Jack Whittaker. He was already a millionaire when he won the $315 million lottery in West Virginia in 2002, according to Time. The then-55-year-old construction company president claimed he went broke four years later. His granddaughter and daughter died soon after from drug overdoses and he was robbed of $545,000 sitting in his car while he was at a strip club.
2. Abraham Shakespeare. He won $30 million in a 2009 Florida lottery and was murdered soon after. The 47-year-old was shot twice in the chest and then buried under a slab of concrete in a backyard, according to ABC News. DeeDee Moore, who befriended him after his lottery win, was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2012.
3. Ronnie Music Jr. This Georgia man was sentenced to serve 21 years in prison in April 2017 after he invested part of his $3 million lottery winnings in a crystal meth ring, according to CBS News.
4. Urooj Khan. This Illinois man died in 2012, just one day after collecting the lump sum on a $1 million win. It was originally found by a medical examiner that Khan died of natural causes, but another official found later that the winner was fatally poisoned with cyanide, according to CBS News.
5. Jeffrey Dampier. He won $20 million in the Illinois lottery in 1996 and used the winnings to help his family, according to Bustle. But his sister-in-law Victoria, along with her boyfriend, kidnapped Dampier and shot him in the head. The two are serving life sentences for the murder.
6. William Post. Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988. Soon after, his landlady sued him, claiming he had agreed to give part of the winnings, according to the Washington Post. She was awarded $5.2 million in 1992. Post had six failed marriages and was eventually convicted and sentenced to prison for firing a gun at a debt collector. He died of respiratory failure in 2006.
Thinking twice about buying that winning ticket?
We are, too.
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