We all hope for that “happily ever after.” Many of us believe that a lottery is a powerful tool sent from the heavens above to change our lives for the better. In many instances, this is indeed the case. A few stories out there, however, serve as a constant reminder that money isn’t the answer to all of life’s problems. It has turned into the demise of many people.
The story of Alex and Rhoda Toth is a classic fairytale gone wrong (from rags to riches, to rags again!). Sit down, relax and let us tell you how life turned out for one of the biggest lottery winner duos in history.
How Much Does Happiness Cost?
Alex and Rhoda Toth became infamous after they won a 13-million-dollar lottery jackpot.
In 1990, Alex bought a lottery ticket that made him and his wife instant millionaires. The family was walking the line of poverty at the time. Alex had to take care of his wife, as well as six kids (some from previous relationships). Reports suggest these people had less than 25 dollars to live on for the coming seven days at the time the lottery jackpot changed their lives.
A true Cinderella-like story, this one is anticipated to have a wonderful happy ending. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
In initial interviews, Alex and Rhoda said that the lottery money isn’t going to change them one little bit. Unfortunately, quick and easy money turned them both into big-headed prima donnas almost immediately.
Eventually, the couple ended up living in a hotel for three months. A single night of accommodation there cost them 1,000 dollars. While in Vegas. Alex and Rhoda also gambled huge sums of money away.
Shopping, trips, and lavish expenses piled up pretty soon. Eventually, the Toth family got tired of the lifestyle. The couple returned to their home in Florida where they bought some property and settled with all of the kids.
This idyllic lifestyle, however, didn’t last long. The Toth family ran into financial troubles pretty soon.
From Lottery Millionaires to People Facing Criminal Charges
Because of poor money management and wasting away large sums, the Toth family found themselves forced to file bankruptcy not once but twice in the coming years.
Eventually, the IRS had to get involved as the couple was suspected of filing fraudulent tax returns.
Alex Toth was facing tax fraud charges in 2008 when he died suddenly at the age of 60. Both he and Rhoda had pleaded guilty, and they were awaiting sentencing at the time when Alex passed away.
Reports suggest that at the time of the criminal investigation, the lottery millions were a nearly forgotten memory. Nothing was left of the jackpot, and Alex and Rhoda were once again living in almost abysmal conditions. They had no electricity at their home. The only source of power was a wire linking the home to the couple’s car engine.
Eventually, the coroner’s office released a report that Alex Toth had died from a heart attack. Rhoda was left to face justice alone.
Due to the guilty plea, Rhoda Toth was sentenced to two years in federal prison in the aftermath of her husband’s death. Harsh but this is how justice works, and if you do the crime, you have to serve the time regardless of the circumstances.
“The hardest thing I have ever had to do, except for burying my mom and dad, was turning myself in and flying to Texas to go into prison,” Rhoda said in an interview later on. She had never been inside a prison before, and she served her time. The place had way more dangerous criminals than Rhoda incarcerated there in the same period. Eventually, however, Rhoda made some friendships that opened her eyes to numerous vital things in life.
After being released from prison, Rhoda Toth was placed in a halfway house in Tampa. Upon the end of the three months, she was “released” back into society and left to her device.
Rhoda was free and broke once again. Before going to prison, she was in a relationship with someone who promised to wait for her. Eventually, he returned to his wife, leaving Rhoda entirely on her own.
Some of the latest interviews with Rhoda Toth reveal she didn’t know how to get back on her feet. Still, she was confident that her life would improve after she had hit the lowest low.
What’s the Moral of the Alex and Rhoda Toth Story?
Studies show that 70 percent of lottery millionaires will be dead broke within three years of winning. The story of Alex and Rhoda is a perfect illustration of this dark, dark claim.
Today, Rhoda believes the moment she learned that she’d become a lottery millionaire with her late husband was the moment that changed her life for the worst. She’s an avid believer in the lottery curse and how it completely ruined her family.
There’s one obvious thing to do in such instances – financial planning. So many people, especially those nearing poverty, become completely dizzy with the fame and riches that lottery millions bring. They get used to the comfortable and lavish lifestyle of those who are millionaires. They end up wasting the millions away and becoming even more financially unstable than they were before winning.
Is the lottery winner curse a real thing? The answer depends on mindset, personality, and what a person intends to do after becoming rich. Many have managed to invest, pay it forward and change their lives for the better through the power of the lottery jackpot. One thing to remember is that you shouldn’t be like Rhoda and Alex Toth. Sooner or later, justice will catch up to you, and the consequences could be disastrous.