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Lottery Winners’ Most Foolish Initial Purchases Ever

The Most Outlandish First Purchases by Lottery Winners

Winning the lottery is often considered a life-altering stroke of luck, capable of transforming financial destinies in an instant. However, the manner in which individuals choose to spend their newfound wealth varies wildly. In this in-depth exploration, we delve into the extraordinary and sometimes peculiar first purchases made by lottery winners, shedding light on the diverse ways in which sudden wealth can be both a blessing and a challenge.


1. Debbie Mathers’ Fiery Dream:

Debbie Mathers, a bookkeeper by trade, won a staggering $6.5 million in 2005. Rather than opting for conventional investments, she embarked on an unexpected journey by setting up her own fireworks business. This decision not only showcased financial entrepreneurship but also reflected a heartfelt desire to relive cherished childhood memories.

2. Sarah Cockings’ Generous Cosmetic Gesture:

Sarah Cockings’ story stands out for its blend of personal indulgence and familial generosity. Winning $3.8 million in 2006, she spent $12,500 on plastic surgery, not just for herself but also for her two sisters. Beyond the cosmetic procedures, Sarah’s winnings allowed her to support her family and pursue personal growth, returning to university after her windfall.

3. Keith Goff’s Highs and Lows:

Keith Goff’s tale serves as a cautionary reminder of the pitfalls of sudden wealth. After winning $1.4 million in 2005, Goff indulged in a lavish lifestyle, including a substantial investment in a racehorse. Unfortunately, this led to financial instability, personal struggles, and ultimately, a tragic end to his story.

4. Evelyn Adams’ Gamble with Luck:

Evelyn Adams achieved the rare feat of winning the lottery twice, totaling $5.4 million. However, her story takes an unexpected turn as she heavily indulges in poker and slot machines, resulting in a rapid decline in her financial situation. Adams’ tale serves as a stark reminder that even repeated lottery victories do not guarantee financial security.

5. David Copeland’s Celestial Investments:

David Copeland’s approach to spending his $1 million lottery win in 2000 was truly unique. Rather than opting for earthly possessions, he chose to buy land on celestial bodies, including the Moon and Mars. Copeland’s decision highlights a quirky and imaginative use of his lottery fortune, deviating from the more common tales of extravagant spending.

6. Roger Griffiths’ Rock Star Dream:

Roger Griffiths, after winning $2.3 million in 2005, pursued a long-held ambition of becoming a rock star. His investment in guitars and dedication to recording music, however, did not translate into success. Griffiths’ story is a poignant reminder of the unpredictable nature of the entertainment industry and the risks associated with chasing dreams.

7. John and Linda Cotti’s Philanthropic Contribution:

Meet the Out & About 500

The story of John and Linda Cotti stands as a heartwarming example of using lottery winnings for community betterment. Winning $28.7 million in 2011, they donated $250,000 towards the construction of a water park in their hometown, Green Island, creating a lasting legacy that honors their parents.

8. Jonathan Vargas’ Ill-fated Wrestling Venture:

Jonathan Vargas, with a $35.3 million Powerball win in 2008, ventured into the world of professional wrestling by founding Wrestlicious, an all-female wrestling promotion. Despite unique concepts, the venture failed to sustain an audience, underscoring the challenges of entering unpredictable industries.

9. Ronnie Music Jr’s Criminal Descent:

Meth Dealer Won $3 Million in the Lottery and Invested It in More Meth

In 2015, Ronnie Music Jr’s lottery win of $3 million took a dark turn as he invested in a crystal meth trafficking ring. His involvement in illegal activities led to federal charges and a tragic downfall, emphasizing the importance of responsible choices even in the face of sudden wealth.

10. Bob Herb’s Advocacy for Marijuana Legalization:


Bob Herb, after winning $25 million in 2012, demonstrated a unique approach to spending his lottery fortune. Instead of indulging in luxury, he directed $1 million towards supporting the legalization of marijuana, aligning his wealth with a cause he passionately believed in.

11. Michael Carroll’s Rise and Fall:

9.7m Lottery Winner Michael Carroll Now Works Seven Day Weeks As Coalman - LADbible

Michael Carroll’s story is a cautionary tale of rapid ascent and decline. Winning $18 million at the age of 19, Carroll’s extravagant spending included constructing a personal racetrack in his backyard. However, his lack of financial acumen led to a swift depletion of his assets, showcasing the ephemeral nature of fortune.


The tales of these lottery winners unveil the diverse and sometimes unpredictable choices made at the peak of new money. From personal dreams to supporting causes, these narratives underscore the importance of responsible financial management and the potential pitfalls that come with sudden wealth. Each story serves as a unique chapter in the complex relationship between fortune and the human spirit, showcasing the need for both caution and responsibility when faced with a windfall.

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