Winners and Losers

Winning a large amount of money can be a life changing event with mixed results. For many winning a large lottery or bingo jackpot has led to a life of happy prosperity. For others is has led to debts, addiction and other troubles. Just about everyone if familiar with stories of lottery players who won millions who wind up broke and in trouble after a few short years. For people not used to handling large sums of money a big win can easily lead to tragedy. In Florida a man who won $14 million trusted the wrong people and ended up dead at the hands of his so called friends. In West Virginia one man won a record lottery jackpot and after a few years told reporters that winning hundreds of millions was the worst thing that ever happened to him and told reporters he wished he had never purchased the winning ticket.

In the UK the world’s biggest bingo winner if broke just four years after winning a £1.2 million bingo jackpot. ($1,870,974.09 USD) The Scottish mother is currently facing a threat of bankruptcy. Soraya Lowell made national headlines after winning the record national bingo game jackpot in March 2008. Lowell won £1,167,795 playing the national bingo game at a local bingo hall in Coatbridge. Lowell had a long standing agreement with bingo buddy Agnes O’Neill to split any bingo winnings. Lowell kept her word despite the massive bingo jackpot. Lowell told reporters “A deal’s a deal. I’d never go back on it.” At the time her neighbor and bingo buddy O’Neill said “There wouldn’t have been any malice from me if Soraya had decided to keep the money, but she insisted. She’s just brilliant. I don’t keep well and she does absolutely everything for me.” Two months later O’Neill died leaving behind her husband John.

Lowell is facing debt problems and the local council has launched a bid to have Lowell declared bankrupt over unpaid council taxes. Even worse the local sheriff gave the Bank of Scotland permission to seize Lowell’s £150,000 house. Council lawyers have demanded that Lowell be declared bankrupt over unpaid taxes of £13,214. ($20,458.49 USD) Lowell and her husband purchased a new home after her big win but were forced to move back to council housing after they failed to pay the mortgage. Like many big winners Lowell and her husband made some very bad financial decisions. Many big winners purchase new houses and cars without considering the consequences of their spending spree.

Recently a bored football widow won over a million pounds playing internet bingo. She got tired of her husband ignoring her in favor of the Euro 2012 championship football games. She went on her favorite internet bingo site and won over a million pounds on a five pound wager. Hopefully she and her husband will make better financial decisions than the Lowell’s.