When someone wins millions of dollars, it’s not always a dream come true. These five people won millions, and now they’ve been dubbed as some of the “dumbest” lottery winners of all time.
What would you do if you won millions of dollars? You may choose to pay off your mortgage or maybe go on a dream vacation. Would you consult a financial planner or start spending like there was no tomorrow? The last place you’d want to see yourselves is on a list of some of the dumbest lottery winners of all time. How about if you won the lottery not once, but twice?
#1 Evelyn Adams won two different multi-million jackpots in the span of just four months.
According to The Sun, Adams scored $3.9 million in October 1985 and another $1.4 million in February 1986, making her the first person in the history of the New Jersey Lottery to win multiple million-dollar jackpot prizes. Of the 22 states at the time with lotteries, none had had a two-time winner. The odds of winning the first jackpot were 1 in 3.2 million, the second, 1 in 5.2 million.
Unfortunately, playing the lotto wasn’t Adams’s only addiction. She was also a compulsive gambler. Another issue the two-time winner reported was giving away money to friends and acquaintances, and even when it was a “loan,” nobody felt obligated to pay her back. Ultimately, by 2012, Adams had spent all her winnings, having lost her money to gambling in slot machines in Atlantic City casinos and a string of unsuccessful business deals. “Winning the lottery isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be,” she said while reported to be living in a trailer. “I won the American dream but I lost it, too. It was a very hard fall. It’s called rock bottom.”
#2 Micheal Carroll was dubbed the “lotto lout” by the British press after he won £9.7 Million.
Carroll was indeed a rags-to-riches story. At just 19 years old and while working as a trash man, he scooped up £9.7 million on the lottery in 2002. However, he quickly rubbed the public the wrong way. His wife left him after he blew his winnings on booze, drugs, sex, and friends. According to The Sun, Carroll hosted wild sex parties, which he called “Roman-style orgies,” and he once boasted that he had bedded 4,000 women. The “Lotto Lout” also spent his days partying with pals in luxury destinations such as Jamaica, Barbados, and Puerto Banus.
His life spiraled out of control. The millionaire, who immediately gave £4 million of his winnings away, appeared in court more than 30 times. The good times came to an end in 2012 with all his winnings blown, leaving the former trash man on welfare for six months. He finally found work in Scotland as a coalman. The one silver lining is his ex-wife took him back and they married again in 2021.
#3 Waffle House waitress Tonda Dickerson was given a winning lotto ticket as a tip.
Edward Seward finished up his cheap meal and handed Tonda Dickerson a lotto ticket as her tip in 1999. Dickerson, a then-divorced woman in her late 20s, won $10 million dollars with the ticket. “But Tonda’s colleagues had a different idea,” The Sun reported. “They accused her of breaking a promise made to other waitresses to share any winnings from the lottery ticket handed over by Seward.” Even Seward sued her for millions.
In a bizarre turn of events, Dickerson was allegedly “kidnapped” by her ex-husband Stacy Martin who was armed with a .22 caliber handgun. When Martin was distracted, Dickerson got the firearm and shot him in the chest. Martin was rushed to a hospital, but strangely enough, no charges were pressed against anyone for the outlandish kidnapping and shooting incident, AL.com reported. For 12 years after that, Dickerson was chased to pay $1 million in “gift taxes,” on top of hefty income taxes. It was reported that she got a job as a poker dealer at the Golden Nugget casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.
#4 William Hurt won a $3.1 million lottery jackpot in 1989 and ended up murdering a woman.
Prior to 1989, Willie Hurt was a happily married family man who was fairly well known in his community, according to reports. That all changed when he won $3.1 million in the Michigan Lottery. Within two years, Hurt separated from his wife, lost custody of his children, and blew through his fortune, thanks to his newfound addiction to crack cocaine. Hurt was arrested for the murder of Wendy Elizabeth Kimmey, 30, who was found shot in the head.
Willie Hurt turned himself into the police in Lansing the day the murder took place. According to Ingham County Prosecutor Donald Martin, the altercation that led to Kimmey’s murder started because Hurt was enraged that they didn’t have any more crack cocaine and couldn’t find more. Not much is known about Hurt after that, however, the judge in the case ordered a psychiatric evaluation, the Associated Press reported.
#5 Callie Rogers was just 16 years old and in foster care when she won $2.3 million dollars.
What does a teenager do when they win the lottery? They spend it on boob jobs, tattoos, and luxury cars. According to The Sun, Callie Rogers is Britain’s youngest ever Lottery winner. After winning the lottery in 2003, the British girl quit her job as a checkout girl and started splashing the cash.
Rogers lavished herself with three breast enhancement surgeries, drug-fuelled parties, and $362,000 dollars worth of designer clothes, the Daily Mail reported. In 2021, Rogers was on welfare and was given a suspended driving license after crashing her 4×4 while high on cocaine when it emerged she had blown her winnings.
The lure of the lottery is that it will magically change your life overnight, but actually winning the big jackpot could make your life a nightmare. As any of these winners-turned-losers would tell you, winning isn’t everything. Especially when you don’t have a clue what to do with all of that money. Spend your money wisely, no matter how much you have.