7 stories that will make you feel less bad about not winning the Powerball

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So: You did not win the Powerball jackpot on Wednesday night. But given the tendency of so many lottery winners toward tragedy, maybe that's for the best.


There's a plethora of evidence (and great journalism) that proves money does not buy happiness, or even basic well-being, for many lottery winners.

So console yourself over your Powerball failure with these tales of lottery victors whose lives went off the rails following their wins.

1. The 42 residents of Roby Band, Texas, who couldn't save their town, even with $46 million.

The Texas Monthly magazine published this yarn about the bad luck that entered Roby, Texas, following a group lotto victory in 1996. Car crashes, failed business ventures, and accusations of murder dot Pamela Colloff's slow-motion wreck of a story.

2. West Virginian Jack Whittaker, who went from successful businessman to a hot mess in $114 million.

Bloomberg Businessweek has a long, richly detailed story of Whitaker, who descended into a life of alcohol abuse, strip club patronage, and tragedy after he won what was, at the time, the largest single lottery jackpot of all time.


3. Floridian Abraham Shakespeare, who was murdered by the woman who had stolen what was left of his $30 million prize

ABC News reported Shakespeare, 47, had already given away much of his newfound fortune when he befriended DeeDee Moore, who agreed to manage what remained of his winnings. Instead of that, she stole most his money, shot him twice in the chest and hid his body under a cement slab. She was found guilty of murder in 2012 and sentenced to life in prison.


4. Ex-con David Lee Edwards, who spent his $27 millions and ended up living in a storage shed

The Broward-Palm Beach New Times reported Edwards had spent a third of his life behind bars when he purchased a winning lottery ticket in his native Kentucky at age 46. In just a few years, he managed to spend most of that money away in a series of drug-fueled purchases. He ended up moving into a storage unit, and then died in a community hospice in 2013.


5. Amanda Clayton, whose $1 million prize led her to a drug overdose death

The Detroit native was on food stamps when she won her prize, according to the NY Daily News. She ended up getting in trouble with the state for continuing to receive those benefits after her victory. Her neighbors also weren't too thrilled when she reportedly tried to hire men to try and kill her. She died of a drug overdose in September 2012.


6. Canadian Ibi Roncaioli, who won $5 million and was poisoned by her husband.

The Toronto Star reports Roncaioli allegedly had been rapidly spending her windfall on her drinking habit, as well as supporting children she had with two other men besides her husband. Both the infidelity and squandered money are believed to be the reasons he injected her with painkillers that led to her death. At his manslaughter trial, he claimed he was just trying to get a blood sample to check on her health. He was found guilty.


7. Donna Mikkin, whose $27 million win only led to emotional bankruptcy

There's no record on the Internet of any ill-advised purchases or criminal escapades for Mikkin or her family following their 2007 win. But in a 2014 blog post, she wrote she felt emotionally empty after receiving her winnings because she felt she did not earn them. Not such a bad way to end up, considering some of the other entries on the list.