On Tuesday morning, the world met its newest millionaires: Les and Samantha Scadding from Newport, Wales, and seven Hewlett-Packard employees in Liverpool, including 19-year-old Alex Parry.
The winners will share $150 million. The Scaddings plan to buy a Range Rover, while the Hewlett-Packard workers say they’ll quit their jobs. One of them plans to buy a house in South America.
In 2002, Andrew “Jack” Whitaker was in their shoes: The West Virginia man won a $315 million jackpot, at the time the largest win in United States history. After giving large amounts to his church and the woman who sold him the winning ticket, Whitaker was robbed of half a million dollars by waitresses at a strip bar. And when a friend of his granddaughter’s died of a drug overdose, her family sued Whitaker. Today, Whitaker is ill, bankrupt and in trouble with the law.
“Lottery winners think of all the things they can buy, but they don’t recognize themselves in their new position,” says Susan Bradley, a financial adviser. “We all live by our rules and limits, but when you suddenly get a lot more money you don’t have those rules any more. That’s why lottery winners do stupid things.”