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.”

Trending - Most Read Stories

Memorial Day 2018: Some of the best discounts and freebies in the Dayton-area

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Memorial Day Deals 2018

Monday is Memorial Day, the day set aside to honor those who died in military service to the United States.

In addition to being a day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country, the last day in May is also seen as the “unofficial start of summer.”

>>7 ways to celebrate Memorial Day in (and around) Dayton

Retailers are not letting that opportunity for a long weekend of shopping pass without offering a few deals.

Here are some Memorial Day deals, freebies and advice:

>>JUST IN: Owners of local, independent bookstore apply for beer & wine license

  • Ace Hardware: Ace Hardware pledges to give away 1 million free 8-inch by 12-inch American flags this Memorial Day. A second flag is donated to a local VFW post to be used to mark the graves of those who once served. No purchase necessary, while supplies last.American Tourister: Get an extra 40 percent off select items.
  • Ann Taylor: Get an extra 40 percent off regularly priced items.
  • Ashley Home Store: Up to 35 percent off sitewide plus an additional 15 percent off with the code “Freedom15.”

>>Luke Bryan to play concert at area farm

  • Best Buy: Get up to 40 percent off appliances, plus other deals here
  • Boston Market: Get a whole rotisserie chicken, a half-rack of ribs, four sides and four pieces of cornbread for $29.99.
  • Callaway Apparel: Get an extra 40 percent off clearance items.
  • CanvasPop: Get 50 percent off all canvas and framed prints with the code MEMORIAL50 at check out.

>>Live music events in and around Dayton in 2018

  • Calvin Klein: Get an extra 40 percent off sitewide.
  • Carters: Get an extra 50 percent off sitewide.
  • Coleman: Get an extra 25 percent off on select items.
  • Crocs: Get an extra 30 percent off sitewide.
  • eBags: Get up to 50 percent off select items.
  • Ebay: Get an extra 15 percent off select items.
  • Eddie Bauer: Get 40 percent off sitewide using the code TRIBUTE. Exclusions apply.
  • Einstein Bagels: Beginning Saturday, May 26, until Monday, May 28, guests who present proof of local residence at participating locations will receive a buy-one, get-one offer on the company’s new Flavors Across America menu. The offer will return during Fourth of July week and Labor Day weekend.
  • Famous Footwear: Up to 40 percent off sandals.
  • Finish Line: Up to 50 percent off select styles.
  • Firebirds: Veterans and active duty military will get their meal for free on Memorial Day at Firebirds.
  • Ford: Military members and first responders can get a special deal from Ford. This offer is valid at any time. Enter your ZIP code to find the nearest Ford dealer.

>>Ghostlight Coffee unveils new vegan breakfast sandwiches

  • Home Depot: A 10 percent discount is offered in-store to all military veterans on Memorial Day. A year-round 10 percent discount is available at all U.S. locations to active duty personnel, reservists, retired or disabled veterans, and their immediate dependents. You must present a valid military ID. Some limitations may apply.
  • J.Crew: Get an extra 40 percent your purchase.
  • Kohls: Get up to 50 percent off outdoor furniture and décor.
  • Land’s End: Get an extra 30 percent off one item.
  • Lenovo: Save up to 50 percent off gaming machines, plus up to 30 percent on select tablets, laptops and desktop computers.
  • LongHorn Steakhouse: The Grill US Hotline returns Memorial Day to offer free grilling advice. Call 1-855-LH-GRILL on Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET for advice ranging from “grilling basics to hard-core techniques.”
  • Lowe's: Grills, mowers, gardening material and outdoor furniture are among the items on sale at Lowe's through the holiday weekend.
  • Lucky Brand: Get 30-50 percent off the entire site.
  • Macy's: In addition to several deals, you can get up to 50 percent off on select items.
  • Musicians Friend: Get an extra 15 percent off an order of $199 or more.
  • McCormick and Schmick’s: Military personnel, including Gold Star honorees, veterans and National Guard can get a free entree Monday.
  • Nautica: Get an extra 40 percent off clearance items.
  • Nectar: Get $125 off your purchase, plus two premium pillows free. The offer expires Thursday.
  • Ninety-Nine Restaurant: Present your proof of service on Monday, purchase a meal and receive a free entree from the “9 Real Size Entrees for $9.99” menu.
  • Oneida: Get an extra 30 percent off the entire site. Sale ends Thursday.
  • OshKoshB’gosh: Get an extra 50 percent off sitewide.
  • Overstock.com: Through Monday, take an get an extra 20 percent off select outdoor dining products, and 15 percent off select summer bedding.
  • Pier 1: Get up to 50 percent off on select items. All outdoor items are on sale.
  • Perkins Restaurant and Bakery: On any Monday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., enjoy a free slice of pie with purchase of an entree. Valid only at participating locations. Restrictions apply.
  • Sears: Save up to 60 percent on the “Red, White & You Event.”
  • Sherwin-Williams: During the month of May, active duty military and veterans save an additional 10 percent on paints and stains. Valid military-issued identification required.
  • Sperry: Get an up to 50 percent off select styles.
  • Stride Rite: Get an extra 40 percent off select styles.
  • Texas de Brazil: (Columbus) Active duty military and veterans will receive 50 percent off their lunch or dinner Monday. Additional accompanying diners (up to seven) will also receive 20 percent off their dinner or lunch.
  • The Children's Place: takes 60 percent off summer apparel 
  • Under Armour: Veterans and active duty service members receive 15 percent off with a valid TroopID.
  • Vera Bradley: Get up to 40 percent off select patterns.
  • Walgreens: Active military and veterans get 20 percent off regular-priced eligible items with Balance Rewards Card on Monday.
  • Zutano: Get 25 percent off the entire site from Friday through Monday.   
(Keith Srakocic/AP)

Trending - Most Read Stories

Elementary school principal praised for helping serve breakfast to students

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 3:43 AM

A Texas elementary school principal handed out breakfast to students when the cafeteria was short-staffed (not pictured). (Micah Sittig via Flickr (CC BY 2.0))
Micah Sittig via Flickr  (CC BY 2.0)
A Texas elementary school principal handed out breakfast to students when the cafeteria was short-staffed (not pictured). (Micah Sittig via Flickr (CC BY 2.0))(Micah Sittig via Flickr (CC BY 2.0))

A principal at Dr. Martha Mead Elementary School is getting praise after she was photographed helping serve breakfast to her students.

KSAT reported that Principal Annette Lopez stepped into action when she was told that the cafeteria would be short staffed Thursday. Many employees were out on sick leave.

>> Read more trending news 

“What happens when the cafeteria is short staffed? The principal puts on a hair net, gloves & apron to help serve breakfast,” Mead Elementary captioned a photo posted to the school’s Twitter page.

“When you serve that many students, there is no way that one line is just going to do it,” Lopez told KSAT. “I loved it and the kids had fun, (and) one of the kids said, ‘Hey, I know you,’ and I said, ‘Yes, I’m the principal.’”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

According to Lopez more than 400 students are served meals at the school  .

“(The students) kept saying, ‘But, you’re the principal.’ And I kept saying, ‘It doesn’t matter what your job title is, if someone needs help, then you do it,’” Lopez said.

By lunch time, the cafeteria was fully staffed, but the photo posted of Lopez serving students made a lasting impression.

“Not surprising,” one reply read. “This principal is one of the best.”

Trending - Most Read Stories

Indiana couple finds bobcat sleeping on front porch

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 1:22 AM

A bobcat (not pictured) was found sleeping on a couple's front porch in  Georgetown, Indiana. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images/Getty Images
A bobcat (not pictured) was found sleeping on a couple's front porch in Georgetown, Indiana. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)(Sam Greenwood/Getty Images/Getty Images)

A family in Georgetown, Indiana, said they walked on their front porch to find a bobcat sleeping on a chair.

WAVE reported that Donna and Ray Singleton, the owners of the home, walked out onto the porch around 7:30 a.m. Monday. 

“I looked at it and I thought, ‘That is the biggest cat I have ever seen,’” Donna Singleton told WDRB. “It was very, very beautiful.”

>> Read more trending news 

They left the home for four hours and the big cat hadn’t moved.

“My husband, Ray, said, ‘I think that's a bobcat.’ With that, we got in the car, came back at 11:30 and it’s still there,” Donna Singleton said.

Like Donna Singleton, neighbors began taking videos and photos of the bobcat.

According to WDRB, residents in the area suspect that the bobcat is a pet because it’s been seen in the area before. It’s also known that someone in the area owns a bobcat. With the proper permit, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources says it’s legal to own the big cat, according to WDRB.

The bobcat eventually woke and walked away. 

Trending - Most Read Stories

Albania national deserts cruise ship, captured at Atlanta Amtrak station, feds say

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 10:58 PM

Atlanta U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents escort Gentian Kurdina, 23, after the Albanian national deserted his cruise ship in Louisiana and boarded a train bound for New York City.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Atlanta U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents escort Gentian Kurdina, 23, after the Albanian national deserted his cruise ship in Louisiana and boarded a train bound for New York City.(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

An Albanian national was pulled off an Amtrak train in Atlanta days after he deserted his cruise ship while it was docked in the Port of New Orleans, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

>> Read more trending news 

A Carnival vessel agent notified the New Orleans customs office May 21 that cruise ship member Gentian Kurdina, 23, failed to return, the agency said.

New Orleans and Atlanta customs officers coordinated during the investigation and searched for the man.

He was boarding a train in Atlanta bound for New York City late Tuesday night when authorities took him into custody for removal from the U.S., according to officials.

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintains a high level of vigilance and works closely with a myriad of law enforcement partners as part of efforts to manage our borders," Steven Stavinoha, the director of the New Orleans Office of Field Operations, said in a statement.

>> Related: ICE will read license plates to find undocumented immigrants

"This is just the latest example of the men and women of CBP working hard every day to secure our borders and keep our nation safe."

Trending - Most Read Stories