Last updated on

The Lottery Winner Curse — They Died before Getting to Enjoy the Win

The Lottery Winner Curse

Lottery Winners That Had No Time to Enjoy Their Winnings

What’s the ultimate goal for every lottery enthusiast? That’s a silly question – winning the jackpot, of course. Well, things don’t always play out as people imagine them. In fact, some lottery winners are the unluckiest people to have ever walked the surface of this planet.

Some call it the curse of the lottery winner, others call it bad karma. Whatever the reason is, there are multiple accounts of people that have died too soon, people that have never gotten to enjoy the money that they’ve won and individuals that have been completely ruined by the jackpot.

Curious about the misfortune of those individuals? This article will present some of the gloomiest stories that will make you reach just one conclusion – winning the lottery isn’t always the best thing that can happen to you.

Don’t Party Till Late!

The first story isn’t about a lottery jackpot winner, but it sets the tone and establishes the theme.

In January 2010, Deborah McDonald from Crystal Rock won 8,000 dollars on a TV show organized by the Ohio Lottery. Just like any other normal person, McDonald went out to celebrate with friends.

She had a couple of drinks and she left the bar early on Tuesday morning. While walking down the road, McDonald was hit by a car and the accident proved to be lethal. What’s even worse is that the show was taped earlier and it was set to air approximately 15 days later.

According to police reports, the driver of the car hadn’t consumed alcohol prior to hitting McDonald. Yep, the lottery winner curse could be the explanation in this instance.

Man Dies Three Months after Jackpot Win

The next grim story comes from the UK. This time, it involves an actual jackpot winner.

In October 2008, Tina and Colin Halford from Tamworth in the UK bought a lottery ticket from a local store. Without having big expectations, they checked the winning numbers for the drawing a few days later. You could imagine their surprise when the couple found out that they’d won a 1.134 million pound jackpot.

Shortly after, Tina and Colin became media stars. They were photographed by various newspapers, they posed, holding champagne glasses and displaying proudly the huge jackpot check.

Just seven weeks after the win, Colin was diagnosed with a rare blood disease. He died in January 2009, before the couple had had a chance to determine what to do with the money. Tina and Colin were planning to invest the money and do something beneficial for their kids with it.

Devastated, Tina stopped thinking about the money. With the help of family and friends, however, she gradually got back on track. In time, Tina invested the money in property. She remained close to the same friends and never spent the money irresponsibly. In 2011, Tina started dating once again and met a wonderful man named Kevin. The couple got married some time ago and Tina is now happy that she has someone to share the lottery millions with.

It’s Poison!

One of the most shocking lottery death stories comes from Chicago. In 2012, Urooj Khan died suddenly and unexpectedly. The man was expected to soon collect the 425,000 dollars that he’d won in lottery winnings.

The initial autopsy ruling was that Khan died of natural causes.

Six months passed and authorities came up with another ruling – Khan had died due to the fact that he was given a lethal dose of cyanide. Explained in simple terms, the lottery winner was poisoned by someone.

Khan’s family still cashed the lottery winnings. Regardless of the investigation, police hadn’t been capable of figuring out who poisoned the lottery winner and whether the murder had anything to do with the sudden influx of cash.

The Lottery Winner Who Committed Suicide

The final story in this list isn’t an exact match for the theme, but it still can be used as an illustration of the lottery winner curse.

Billie Harrell Jr. is probably one of the most (mis)fortunate men to have ever won the lottery. On June 1997, the man hit the 31-million dollar Lotto Texas jackpot. Prior to winning the lottery, Harrell had been fired a few times and he was finding it very difficult to provide for his partner and for three teenage children.

After winning the lottery, Harrell bought a ranch and things were great for a while. With time, however, spending spiraled out of control. Many friends and family members were also requesting funds, making it impossible for him to turn down the requests.

Because of the fact that he was now broke, Harrell split from his wife. It didn’t take a lot of time for the man to find his life to be completely empty and meaningless. Harrell committed suicide and the note that he wrote prior to killing himself stated that winning the lottery was the worst thing to ever happen in his life.

These are just some examples of misfortune that can strike at any given time, even when the luckiest people are involved. Playing the lottery can be fun and winning can be even more exciting. Still, you never know what’s lurking behind the corner and if getting those millions is a blessing or a curse.

The lesson of the story – be careful what you wish for, kids! Millions are exciting but also a huge responsibility. And who knows, fate could be eagerly awaiting to play a nasty little trick on you. Take it easy, be responsible and have fun. That’s how the lottery should be played. Oh, and keep jealous people an arm’s length away!