A LUCKY winner could land a $1.2billion Mega Millions jackpot on Friday but there is sometimes a downside to a big prize.
The sad reality is about 70 percent of lottery winners wind up broke within a few years, according to some experts.
One finance expert told the National Endowment for Financial Education that winners can sometimes "lose all sense of reality."
Some prize recipients have even ended up in jail or dead after winning big.
In 1998, Jay Sommers won $5million in the Michigan state lottery, which he said “ruined” his life, according to the New York Post.
He said he was only 20 years old at the time, and lacked the financial knowledge to manage the funds.
“There ain’t no money left,” Sommers, 54, told The Post.
He told the paper that he initially put the money in a trust fund.
Unfortunately, he claims the trustee embezzled $2 million from him.
Sommers said that he sued the trustee, spending $380,000 on legal fees and $200,000 on the trial despite settling the case for $800,000.
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Sommers said he also spent $200,000 a year to race in NASCAR, and once finished fourth in Daytona.
He dropped out of college, which he said was “idiotic.”
“I work as a marine mechanic, fixing boat,” he said of what he is up to these days.
“I’m a normal guy, working 9 to 5.
“Everybody expected money from me,” said Sommers.
“I had uncles expecting and friends [wanting money] that I don’t even speak to anymore.”
An Illinois man won $20million in the state lottery in 1996.
He divorced his wife and gave her half of his winnings and then remarried, according to the Post.
The outlet said he then had an affair with his new sister-in-law, who reportedly shot him to death.
Ronnie Music Jr
A Georgia resident, 45, took home $3million in lottery winnings in 2015 then reportedly purchased 11 pounds of meth.
Ronnie Music Jr was arrested in 2016, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
United States Attorney Ed Tarver said: “Defendant Music decided to test his luck by sinking millions of dollars of lottery winnings into the purchase and sale of crystal meth.
"As a result of his unsound investment strategy, Music now faces decades in a federal prison.”
Police seized over $1million worth of meth, a large cache of firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, multiple vehicles, and over $600,000 in cash during the investigation.
Music eventually pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking and firearm charges.
A New Jersey woman won nearly $5.5million on two separate tickets in the mid-1980s.
She reportedly blew it on slot machines and apparently ended up living in a trailer park.
"Winning the lottery isn't always what it's cracked up to be," she said.
"I won the American dream but I lost it, too. It was a very hard fall. It's called rock bottom."
Robert Pagliarini, author of “The Sudden Wealth Solution” and founder of Pacifica Wealth Advisors, told the Post that people get into trouble when they have unrealistic expectations about their long-term Financial Health after winning lots of cash.
“You go from zero to a million and think you’re rich,” Pagliarini said.
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“Then a financial planner tells you that the money should be invested and you can conservatively receive $2,000 a month for the rest of your life.”
“Then the winner says, ‘What are you talking about? I’m a millionaire.’ After that conversation, he goes off and spends all his money.”
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