4 Lottery Winners Who Lost

4 Lottery Winners Who Lost

Slide1Lately, we’ve noticed the prevalence of lottery tickets, likely because the Powerball has been rising to new heights and we’re feeling the effects of an economy that is in recovery. Even though Jason Hartman is wary of gambling, chances are, you’ve purchased a lottery ticket or thought a lot about it. But what happens to the winners who, by purchase of a simple ticket, created wealth? Here are a few of their stories:

Ibi Roncailoli

In 1991, Ibi Roncailoli won $5 million is lottery money, but failed to discuss the spending of said money with her husband, Joseph Roncailoli. When Joseph found out Ibi gave $2 million to a secret child she’d conceived by another man (we’re not sure how she hid it), he got upset. So upset that he used his status as a gynecologist to acquire enough painkillers to kill Ibi.

Janite Lee

A wigmaker hailing from South Korea, Janite Lee won a casual $18 million in 1993—and spent it in under ten years. Though her intentions were charitable, her major donations (to Washington University’s law school and the Democratic party) landed her in a world of debt that culminated in a gambling problem and an abundance of credit card debt. In 2001, Lee filed for bankruptcy.

Alex and Rhonda Toth

Somewhat of a rare occurrence amongst lottery winners, Alex and Rhonda Togh didn’t actually kill each other. Instead, they worked as a team after winning Florida’s 1990 $13 millon jackpot. For 15 years, the couple lived happily until their bankruptcy and subsequent arrest for tax evasion. Alex passed away and Rhonda spent two years in prison.

Lara and Robert Griffith

This couple won $2.76 million in lottery money and spent it on a fancy car (a Porsche) and a million dollar house. Six years after striking it rich, Robert and Lara, who rarely argued prior to their winning, faced trouble. When Lara suggested, after finding incriminating emails, that he was interested in another woman, things went quickly south. A 14-year marriage ended in divorce and the house caught fire, destroying any chance for wealth.

So, while winning the lottery seems like a dream, it’s not unusual to end in murder, suicide, divorce, or jail. Perhaps all four. Easy come, easy go, they say—and as a young investor, you’re safer making sound investments that guarantee an eventual payoff. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/juggernautco/4974549044/)

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