The Mega millions Lottery winners : Where are they now?

The Mega millions Lottery winners : Where are they now?

wMany people may wonder what happens to Lottery winners, and that question has a wide range of results. From successful investments to all-out spending sprees, one thing is for sure: winning the jackpot does not guarantee you a prosperous life. Read on for more about Lottery winners, where they are now, and which winners have the biggest success stories.

Lottery winners : Where are they now?
The largest jackpot in the game's history and the first to top the $1 billion mark in 2019. Photo: @GettyImages
Source: Getty Images

There have been numerous winners since the Mega Millions Lottery began in 2002 and even more when you also consider the Powerball winners. Many of the lucky ticket holders have subsequently disappeared from the spotlight, but Briefly.co.za has some of the more interesting stories for you.

How many lottery winners are still rich?

Many of the winners managed to hit the jackpot and keep things simple for the sake of longevity. Opting out of the lavish lifestyle that comes with a millionaire status can be what saves your lottery fortunes. Here is a list of some of the biggest Lottery winners and where they are now:

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  • Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt (2016): This couple has not indulged in their winnings much, apart from a new car each. They claim to still play the Lottery to this day.
  • Cindy and Mark Hill (2012): The Hill's have changed very little about their lifestyles since winning the millions. The charitable couple opted to rather use their newfound fortunes to fund civil projects, such as building football fields and fire stations.
  • Les Robins (1993): Nicknamed "the unselfish lottery winner", this former teacher chose to use his lucky ticket to build Camp Winnegator. This camp is a refuge for teenagers for five weeks each summer, where they can trade in technology for nature.
Lottery winners : Where are they now?
Sixteen-year-old, Callie Rogers celebrates after winning 1.8 million on the National Lottery, becoming the second youngest jackpot winner. Photo: @GettyImages
Source: Getty Images

Big lottery winners

For some winners, unfortunately, it was a hit and miss. The sudden influx of wealth was too much for some to bear, and the cash flow soon burnt out, leaving them back at square one, maybe even slightly worse for wear. Here are some of the biggest Lottery winner mistakes:

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  • Callie Rogers (2003): At just 16, Rogers became Britain's youngest Lotto Star, but her wealth led her down a darker path. Her fortune was quickly spent on cosmetic surgery and fueling her party lifestyle. Drugs, alcohol, and a list of bad break-ups left her suicidal. She is now clean and campaigning for the age limit to be raised for gambling in the Lottery.
  • Jack Whittaker (2002): His lucky draw was the most considerable sum paid to a single recipient at that time. With his fame and fortune came gambling, strippers, and questionable financial choices. His daughter and granddaughter had subsequently developed addiction problems and had both overdosed within four years of the Lottery winnings. Whittaker claims that drugs was not a problem before money cursed their lives.
Lottery winners : Where are they now?
Powerball winner Andrew "Jack" Whittaker with his granddaughter Brandi Bragg, 2002. Photo: @ GettyImages
Source: Getty Images

Are there any successful lottery winners?

There have been several smart Lottery winners, as not every new millionaire has ended up bankrupt. Investing in some shape or form has helped many lucky ticket winners keep their bank accounts happy. So, here is a list of some of the earlier successful Lottery winners and where they are now:

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  • Brad Duke (2005): Winning led Duke to quit his job as the manager of Gold Gym, and he ended up doubling his net worth with his investments. Focusing on oil, gas, and real estate, Brad has made enough to continue his charity work as well.
  • Peter Lavery (1996): Once a humble bus driver, this now successful businessman is best known for creating Danny Boy, a distilled blended Irish whiskey. Lavery also owns property throughout Northern Ireland, as well as housing development initiatives.
  • Deana Sampson (1996): Formerly a beautician, this mother of two started an online lingerie store and opened a bar, which led her into the eatery industry. During the lockdown, she focused on training some furry companions through her charity organisation, Support Dogs.
  • Dean Allen (2000): For Allen, the lottery win allowed him to enjoy his passion for expensive cars, but he and his wife, Louise, have made substantial charity donations, specifically toward purchasing costly, life-saving equipment for hospitals.

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Lottery winners : Where are they now?
Colin Sampson and his wife Deana. Colin's half were disputed after drug possession charges were made. Photo: @ GettyImages
Source: Getty Images

Where do most Lottery winners live?

America is home to the most winners of the Powerball and Mega Millions Lotto games, which now have a minimum jackpot of $40 million. Out of the top 25 highest ever recorded Lottery wins, 13 of them were from Powerball games.

  • Here are the top 5 states with the most Powerball winners:
  • Indiana (39)
  • Missouri (31)
  • Minnesota (22)
  • Kentucky (18)
  • Pennsylvania (18)

Only 25 States can boast of telling their Mega Millions winner story, and 3 New York tickets still remain unclaimed.

Here are the top states with the most Mega Million winners:

  • New York (37)
  • California (31)
  • New Jersey (20)
  • Ohio (20)
  • Georgia (17)
  • Michigan (17)

Here are the top 5 Lottery wins in history:

  • $1.58 billion (2016): Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt; John and Lisa Robinson; Marvin and Mae Acosta
  • $1.54 billion (2018): anonymous woman
  • $1.537 billion (2018): anonymous player
  • $1.050 billion (2021): Wolverine FLL Club
  • $768.4 million (2019): Manuel Franco

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Lottery winners : Where are they now?
A group of kids enjoying the great outdoors at Camp Winnegator, 2014. Photo: @jonathanwitte
Source: Twitter

There have been claims of a Lottery curse, and one can see how that may be true. Some lives have been completely ruined by the sudden influx of wealth, while others simply went into hiding to avoid the scandal of it all.

There have been a lucky few lottery winners with the restraint to keep things simple, while others possessed a more business mindset and focused on investments. One thing is for sure; a winning Lottery ticket does not guarantee a wealthy life.

READ ALSO: Consecutive numbers in Powerball results have Mzansi questioning Lotto

Briefly.co.za has much more interesting stories. South Africans began to question the legitimacy of the Powerball draw after a suspicious draw was made.

The Powerball numbers that were apparently randomly chosen read: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 + 10 on the evening of 1 December 2020, which resulted in a total of 20 winners. Read on to find out what South Africa has to say about these incredulous results, and how it was possible for twenty people to guess the suspicious sequence of the numbers correctly. More here!

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Source: Briefly News

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