3 Lessons from (Mostly) Broke Lottery Winners

We all hope that winning the lottery will change our lives for the better. Take note of the following cautionary tales.

1. Young Mother

In 2003, Callie Rogers was only 16 when she won nearly £1,875,000 (about $2 million), according to The Telegraph. As a young mother of two, Rogers proceeded to undergo two breast implant surgeries, attempt suicide four times, and spend approximately $380,000 on cocaine, according to The Sun. However, the Huffington Post reported that Rogers’ life has since taken a more humble turn. Now with three children, life revolves around her children, and Rogers is happy that she is able to teach them the true value of money.

Lesson: No matter our age, we have many lessons to learn about life and money.

2. Medical Emergency

In 1993, Suzanne Mullins won $4.2 million. According to USA Today, Mullins opted for annual payments for her winnings, but after a couple of years, her son-in-law needed money for medical reasons. Mullins borrowed $197,746.15 from a company called People’s Lottery Foundation, and this loan was to be paid using her annual lottery payments. In 2000, the lottery rules in Virginia changed, and Mullins decided to take a lump sum of her remaining winnings. She allegedly stopped paying on the loan, and was taken to court. A circuit court judge ruled that Mullins owed $154,147, but it was unclear if she had the assets or means to pay back the debt.

Lesson: We never know what emergencies life will throw at us. Even lottery winners and their families run into the unexpected.

3. Happy Meal

In 2006, Luke Pittard won £1.3 million, and according to The Standard, he bought a new home, threw a lavish wedding, and took a vacation to the Canary Islands. Pittard and his girlfriend were working at McDonalds at the time, but after starting an early retirement, Luke soon missed his old job. Even though the interest the Pittards made on their winnings was more than Luke’s job, Luke was much happier working someplace he loved.

Lesson: Money doesn’t buy true happiness or a deep sense of fulfilment.