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17 Lottery Winners Who Blew It All

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Americo Lopez

As  America salivates over the $500 million Powerball prize  — seriously, you should go buy a ticket right now —  we'd like to remind people that winning the lottery will not solve all your problems.

In fact, many people's lives became notably worse after they got super rich, and in no time they managed to lose it all.

Tonda Lynn Dickerson was forced to pay gift tax

A former Waffle House waitress named Tonda Lynn Dickerson got served a big plate of karma when she refused to split her winnings with ex-colleagues and was forced to pay the tax man $1,119,347.90. 

How did it happen? Dickerson placed her winnings in a corporation and granted her family 51 percent of the stock—qualifying her for the tax. 



Suzanne Mullins couldn't dig herself out of debt

When Mullins won the U.S. lotto in 1993, she opted for yearly payouts instead of a lump sum, reports MSN. 

She quickly found herself in debt, using future payouts as collateral for a $200,000 loan.

Mullins later switched to a lump sum payout, but never paid back the debt. The loan company filed suit and won a $154,000,000 settlement that was all but worthless—Mullins had no assets. 



Americo Lopes quit his job, lied about it, then got sued

Construction worker Americo Lopes won the New Jersey lottery, quit his job and then lied about it, claiming he needed foot surgery. 

After coming clean to an ex-colleague, he and a few others ganged up on Lopes for not splitting the winnings as promised. 

Sadly, the court ordered Lopes to split the prize. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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