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'Unluckiest' lottery winner made major mistake that led to downfall of £250 million winnings

'Unluckiest' lottery winner made major mistake that led to downfall of £250 million winnings

He won millions but after that his life was beset by bad luck

Everyone who's ever bought a lottery ticket has imagined what sort of life they'd lead if their numbers came up, but that dream only comes true for a select few.

That dream has also turned into a nightmare for plenty of lottery winners, with some of them wishing they'd never won the money in the first place.

A number of lottery winners ended up back where they started in their old jobs after losing all of the money, and the winnings can change people around them as well.

Plenty of lottery winners found their relationships with family and friends changing drastically after it became common knowledge that they were now loaded.

Then, of course, that money paints one hell of a target on your back for some people, with some winners having their life threatened.

Jack Whittaker is sometimes known as the unluckiest lottery winner ever.
Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

However, if there's a prize for being the unluckiest lottery winner then it might have to go to Jack Whittaker, an American man who won $315 million (£250 million) at Christmas 21 years ago.

At the time, it was the biggest lottery jackpot ever won by one ticket in the US, and Jack became an instant celebrity, but misfortune was soon headed his way.

According to the New York Times, he often said he wished he'd torn up the winning ticket.

He was beset by scandals and lawsuits as a constant stream of people wanted a piece of his money.

Less than a year after winning the lottery, thieves broke into his car and made off with over half a million dollars from it. A year later, the same thing happened and another $200,000 was robbed, though this amount was recovered later on.

He won $315 million on Christmas Day 2002, got $113 million of that amount and wished he'd torn the ticket up.
Michael Appleton/NY Daily News via Getty Images

In another incident, two people working at a strip club in West Virginia were arrested and charged with a plan to drug his drink and steal his money.

In 2004, a friend of his granddaughter, Brandi, was found dead in his home, and before the end of the year, Whittaker's granddaughter was dead as well.

His daughter Ginger died in 2009, while in 2016 his house burned down.

While Whittaker had been a millionaire before he won the lottery, in 2007 he said he was sure he would be remembered as 'the lunatic who won the lottery'.

While external observers might think his big mistake was accepting the lump sum of money, dropping his prize pot from $315 million to $113 million, he'd probably have thought his major error was not tearing the ticket into pieces instead of cashing in his prize.

He was able to do some good with the cash, however, as when he won the lottery he donated some of his winnings to charity and set up a foundation to provide food and clothes to low income families.

Featured Image Credit: Michael Appleton/NY Daily News/Getty Images/Scott Gries/Getty Images

Topics: Money, US News, Weird, Crime