Here’s why you don’t want to win the Mega Millions lottery jackpot

Published: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 @ 1:42 PM
Updated: Tuesday, July 05, 2016 @ 4:02 PM

Tips on Winning the Lottery

Hard to imagine that a multi-million dollar lottery win would be anything but a good thing. Most of us, if asked, would quickly come up with a dream “bucket list” of ways to burn through that big pile of cash (think how good you will look on that brand new island of yours).

With the Mega Millions jackpot now at $454 million, you may be busy fantasizing about the riches to come, but sometimes when those fantasies become reality, it can all take a nasty turn.

Consider these lottery winners and their horror stories (so many there was actually a TV series about them).

>>READ MORE: Mega Millions By the Numbers

Jack Whittaker

Jack Whittaker, a millionaire from West Virginia, became a much bigger millionaire when he won a $315 million lottery in 2002. Sound’s great, right? Not so fast. After four years, Whittaker was broke and had lost both his daughter and granddaughter to drug overdoses (which he blamed on the lottery winnings). In addition to all that, Whittaker was robbed of $545,000 in CASH, as he sat in the parking lot of a strip club. Whittaker said, in hindsight, “I wish we had torn the ticket up.”

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here

Abraham Shakespeare

Abraham Shakespeare suffered far more than Jack Whittaker when after winning a $30 million jackpot in Florida. Shakespeare was murdered.  Shakespeare was found buried under a slab of concrete in his backyard. He had been shot twice in the chest. A woman named DeeDee Moore, who Shakespeare’s brother said befriended him after his lotto win, was found guilty of his murder. 

Sandra Hayes

She split a $224 million Powerball jackpot with about a dozen co-workers, then Sandra Hayes went on to write a book. Not one you might imagine, it’s a book about how the lottery ruined her relationship with family and friends.  She told the Associated Press, “I had to endure the greed and the need that people have, trying to get you to release your money to them. That caused a lot of emotional pain. These are people who you’ve loved deep down, and they’re turning into vampires trying to suck the life out of me.”  

Jeffrey Dampier Jr.

Jeffrey Dampier won an estimated $20 million jackpot from the Illinois Lottery in 1996. Not long after, he and his wife divorced, and Dampier remarried. The newlyweds moved to Tampa. In 2005, he was kidnapped by his sister-in-law and her boyfriend. Three days after he went missing, he was found dead in the boyfriend’s van. Victoria Jackson and boyfriend Nathaniel Jackson were arrested were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

At least I’ll be happy

If you don’t put much stock in these stories, then how about a scientific study? According to NBC News, a 2008 University of California study that measured people’s happiness six months after winning a relatively modest lottery prize didn’t exactly produce the results you may have imagined. The study looked at those who won an amount equivalent to about eight months’ worth of income. The winners had taken the money it in a lump sum. The study found that winning the money, “had zero detectable effect on happiness,” according to Peter Kuhn, one of the study’s authors.

But, wait, there is hope

Richard Lustig is a seven-time lottery game grand-prize winner who really likes being rich.“Obviously it’s changed my life big time,” Lustig told TIME in January. “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor, and I like rich a whole lot better. We’ve lived in big, fancy houses. I drive a Jaguar. We’ve gone on cruises. I can’t complain.” Lustig’s  biggest payoff came with an$842,000 Mega Money win. He’s kept most of his winnings and wrote a book, “Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery.”

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Police: Student was punched, spat on before dorm stabbing

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:35 AM

Georgia State University student Sean Rowtham is accused of assaulting another student in a fight. The other student was also charged in the incident, according to the GSU police chief.
Fulton County Sheriff's Office
Georgia State University student Sean Rowtham is accused of assaulting another student in a fight. The other student was also charged in the incident, according to the GSU police chief.(Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

A Georgia State University student walked up to another student, spat on him and punched him before the suspect stabbed him multiple times in a university dorm, the school’s police chief said Thursday.

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University and Atlanta police responded to a call about the fight Tuesday, GSU police chief Joe Spillane said.

Nakia Roach was found in the the laundry room of a dorm with multiple stab wounds. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition. The other student, Sean Rowtham, was located by police in the dorm lobby and detained.

“After interviewing witnesses,” Spillane said, “it was determined that the two males know each other and had an ongoing dispute. The male who was stabbed was actively looking for the male who stabbed him.”

When he found him, Spillane said, Rowtham was holding a knife at his side.

Rowtham took the knife out as soon as Roach walked into the laundry room, but he didn’t hold it in a threatening way, according to the chief.

“Roach is about twice as big as Mr. Rowtham,” Spillane said.

Rowtham has been charged with aggravated assault in the incident. Roach has been charged with simple battery.

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Hero German shepherd takes bullet for teenager in home invasion

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:50 PM

(KIRO7.com)
(KIRO7.com)

When burglars violently broke into a Des Moines, Washington, home mid-afternoon on Wednesday, a teenager hid in a closet and held onto his dog.

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But Rex -- a 2-year-old German shepherd -- ran downstairs to protect the 16-year-old.

The dog confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. The dog ran back upstairs.

>> Related: Argument over dog’s weight turns deadly at Missouri sports bar

With the dog out of sight, the home invasion continued as the two burglars trashed the house room by room. When they came into the bedroom where the teen and the dog were hiding in the closet, and the teen was on the phone with 911, the dog stood up to them with the little strength he had left.

>> Related: Police: Des Moines teen calls 911 from closet during home invasion

He threw himself at the burglars, the teen's family wrote on a GoFundMe page, and was shot at least three times in the neck, leg and knee.

As the sound of sirens became audible, the burglars ran away.

Officers found smashed sliding door glass when they went into the home to get the teen outside safely. They also found Rex, who at first looked dead.

While SWAT teams looked for the suspects, Rex was taken to the animal hospital. 

>> Related: Shepherd, lab mix found tied to tree with note attached to collar gets adopted

He was eventually taken to BluePearl, where he is in the veterinary intensive care unit, receiving pain medication, antibiotics and wound care, with round-the-clock monitoring of his vital signs.
After making it through the night, the dog is now in stable condition.

As Rex recovers, people on social media have taken to calling him a "hero dog" for intervening between the burglars and the teenager.

"My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to," family member Susy Cadena said on the GoFundMe page.

The family started crowdfunding after paying large sums of money for X-rays and urgently needed medication for Rex. They hope to raise $10,000 to cover the expenses.

"Our family cannot let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew," Cadena said.

Meanwhile, officers are still looking for the suspects, and they are trying to figure out why the house was targeted.

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Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:35 PM

Armed Stoneman Douglas Resource Officer Resigns

The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

[View the story "Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation" on Storify]

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Follow along with our live updates as we learn more

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Wakanda is real? Village of Wauconda, Illinois, gets ‘Black Panther’ love, requests for vibranium

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:06 AM

(Marvel Studios/Disney via AP)
AP
(Marvel Studios/Disney via AP)(AP)

The village of Wauconda, Illinois, is getting a lot of love from “Black Panther” fans following the blockbuster’s record-breaking premiere weekend.

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Pronounced the same way as the magical (but fictional) African kingdom of Wakanda, the town, where about 20,000 people reside along the shore of Lake Michigan, has already received a call asking whether they were hiding vibranium, the strongest metal in the world (Wakanda’s fictional world).

Another fan called to ask about the village’s pronunciation. “When I told him, he began yelling, ‘Wakanda forever!’” Alise Homola, executive assistant to Wauconda’s village administrator and mayor, told the Hollywood Reporter.

» RELATED: ‘Black Panther’ was the first movie filmed at Tyler Perry Studios’ new stages

"At first, I was like, is there a full moon out?” Homola said, confused about the calls and requests for vibranium. She knew about the film but not the plot.

In the Marvel universe, the Kingdom of Wakanda is a fictional nation ruled by T’Challa, or the Black Panther. Thanks to its massive hidden stash of vibranium, it’s also one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Wauconda High School Principal Dan Klett even received an inquiry about changing the school’s mascot from a bulldog to a black panther. But that won’t be happening.

» RELATED: ‘Black Panther’: Five things to know about the movie’s ties to metro Atlanta

While Wauconda, Illinois, has no plans to play up the “Black Panther” connection, other cities are getting in on the fun.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport announced on Twitter that it would be offering nonstop flights to the fictional kingdom, prompting hilarious reactions from some of the stars of “Black Panther” themselves.

The blockbuster’s ties to the metro Atlanta region are a pretty big deal. In fact, almost $84 million of flick’s reported $200 million budget was spent in Georgia, the AJC previously reported. 

Several scenes of Wakanda were actually shot at the beautiful rock quarry at the Vulcan Materials Co. in Stockbridge.

» RELATED: Made in Atlanta: “Black Panther” stuns with $235 million four-day take

According to the state economic development department, 3,100 people working in Georgia’s booming film industry were employed during the shoot, which started in August 2016 and wrapped up in November 2017.

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