Ten People Who Won the Lottery - and Lost It All

. August 4, 2011
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"Money is a tool and not the goal." That's easy to say if you don't have enough to live like the rich and famous. But what if you did?

Check out these quotes from an article titled 10 People Who Won the Lottery - Then Lost It All.

Ever dream of winning the lottery? The golden ticket holders on this list might convince you otherwise. Most of them either regret winning the jackpot, or admit it made their lives hell. Let them show you what the lottery could make you lose.

"My life is a shambles and hopefully now it has all gone I can find some happiness. It’s brought me nothing but unhappiness. It’s ruined my life."

"For all the trouble the lottery brought on me, I don’t know whether to be happy I won or sorry I didn’t."

"$100,000 in debt, Proxmire filed for bankruptcy. His wife left him at that time, too, according to this Time Magazine article. Since his business failure, tax payments and bankruptcy settlements have gobbled up most of his annual winnings."

"Post’s brother hired a hit man to kill him, hoping to inherit some money. Other family members persuaded him to invest in two businesses that ultimately failed. Post’s ex-girlfriend sued him for some of the winnings. Post himself was thrown in jail for firing a gun at a bill collector. 
"Over time, Post accumulated so much debt that he had to declare bankruptcy. He now relies on Social Security for income. “Lotteries don’t mean (anything) to me,” he is quoted as saying—after he lost all his money."

"Lee’s philanthropy was expensive. But combined with her gambling habit—she lost $347,000 in a single year—bank loans, and credit card debt, it harkened disaster. She filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2001."

"Welshman Luke Pittard won £1.3 million in a 2006 UK lottery play. He spent a portion of his prize money on a Canary Islands holiday, a wedding, and new house. 
"After only 18 months, however, Pittard felt bored. Early retirement didn’t suit him. So he returned to his previous job—at a Cardiff, Wales McDonald’s restaurant. Back among burgers, he feels much happier, despite the fact that his winnings interest makes him more than his restaurant wage."

"Harrell’s life became too stressful to handle. He divorced his wife. Less than two years after hitting paydirt, he committed suicide. “Winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me,” he is quoted as saying shortly before his suicide." 
Money is a Test

Money isn't inherently bad. It is, however, a test of your character. (See Deuteronomy 8.)

After winning the lottery, these people lost all of it because they weren't able to handle the heavy responsibility. They were given much and didn't know what to do with it.

Imagine other situations in which people were entrusted with much. King Solomon and his harem of foreign women comes to mind. Or perhaps Simon, who had the privilege of traveling with Philip.

It's not just money. Privileges generally seem to be easy to abuse.

Money isn't everything. It won't make you happy. It won't draw you closer to God. Invested wisely, however, it can help fund your dream of ministry.

We have all been entrusted with the greatest treasure, which is the gospel message. If we make money a tool to serve the One who is greatest, we'll have no motivation to waste it.