Horror Stories About People Who Died Tragic Deaths After Winning the Lottery

Most lottery winners claim that the day they win big is the best of their life. However, it’s uncanny how frequently those same winners end up down on their luck within years.

Before you buy your next Powerball ticket, consider how the millions would affect your life. You won’t believe how some of these lottery winners died as a result of their newfound fortune.

David Lee Edwards

David Lee Edwards makes an announcement at a podium.

Winning the lottery never guarantees a long and prosperous life. | USA Today via YouTube

David Lee Edwards’ story is a true rags-to-riches tale that took a turn for the worst. The ex-con who’d robbed a bank 20 years prior to winning the Powerball lived in Ashland, Kentucky in a home without running water.

Edwards spent $7 on the Powerball ticket that changed his life. After winning the $27 million he purchased a mansion, dozens of luxury cars, and a jet. By 2006 both Edwards and his wife had contracted hepatitis from needle drug use. He died in hospice care in 2013 at age 58, only 12 years after winning the lottery.

Craigory Burch Jr.

Craigory Burch Jr stands at a lottery press event.

His life ended in tragedy. | YouTube

Craigory Burch Jr., a forklift operator from Georgia, won a $434,272 Fantasy 5 jackpot in 2015. He was murdered over a year later by three masked, armed men who broke into his home.

Friends of Burch said that he had recently used some of his winnings to buy Christmas presents for people in need. “I want them to know what they took from me,” his mother, Leslie Collins, said, “They took a part of my life away from me. My child that I carried and raised for 20 years.”

William ‘Bud’ Post

William walking along with a group of people while wearing a suit and tie.

He might have alienated the people around him. | YouTube

William “Bud” Post won the lottery in 1988 and died broke in 2006. He spent his $16.2 Pennsylvania lottery winnings on houses, cars, boats, an unsuccessful family company and a twin-engine airplane, despite his lack of a pilot’s license.

By 1989 Post was $1 million in debt. His former girlfriend successfully sued him for part of the winnings and his brother tried to hire a hit man to kill him.

Abraham Shakespeare

Abraham Shakespeare posing in front of a yellow background.

Abraham Shakespeare’s life changed completely after his winnings. | YouTube

The 43 year old truck driver’s assistant won $16.9 million from the Florida lottery in 2006. His extravagant purchases included a $1 million home, a Rolex, and a car.

Shakespeare was known for his generosity following his win and had a tough time saying no when someone asked him for money. He let multiple homeless people stay in his home as well. It was this trust that was his true achilles heel; Dorice Donegan “Dee Dee” Moore befriended Shakespeare and bought his home for a fraction of the price. Shakespeare went missing in 2009 and Moore was found guilty of first degree murder.

Urooj Khan

Urooj Khan holding up his winning lottery ticket.

Urooj Khan’s death came at a very surprising time. | YouTube

Urooj Khan ran a dry-cleaning business in Chicago. His finances changed drastically after he won $424,000 from a scratch-off lottery ticket. Khan never saw his winnings, however; a day later he dropped dead of mysterious causes.

Khan’s sister Meraj, who was granted guardianship of his daughter, continues to believe her brother’s wife and father-in-law were involved in the death. Khan was poisoned with cyanide in what the Associated Press referred to as a “very much an open and active investigation.”

Doris Murray

Doris Murray standing with her partner while holding a lottery ticket.

Her partner killed her for her money shortly after she won the lottery. | YouTube

Doris Murray, 42, $5 million in the Georgia lottery in 2007. A year later she was found stabbed to death in her home. Murray “lived by meager standards,” according to CBS, despite winning the lottery.

Her former boyfriend, Derrick Lorenzo Stanley, was charged with her murder. Stanley led police on a car chase through the cities of East Dublin and Dublin following a 911 call to Murray’s residence Monday. Members of Murray’s family called 911 saying they had seen Stanley leaving her home with blood on his face. Friends and family of Murray’s believe he couldn’t accept that she no longer wanted to be with him.

Billy Bob Harrell Jr.

Billy Bob Harrell Jr. wearing glasses and smiling.

After all is said and done, Billy Bob Harrell Jr. would have preferred a humble life. | YouTube

Billy Bob Harrell Jr. won the Texas Lottery Lotto jackpot of $31 million in 1997. He proceeded to quit his job at Home Depot, buy a ranch among other homes for his family, and make huge donations to his church.

Harrell blew through his winnings quickly. Just 20 months after winning the lottery, Harrell took his own life after going broke. Shortly before his death, Harrell told a financial adviser: “Winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me,” the Houston Press said.

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